06/07/06 – Argentina

By Jesse on June 5, 2006


If you go up to any random person on the street and grab them around their waist, tackle them to the ground, put your arm across their neck so that they can’t breathe very well, and ask them, “what do you love most about Argentinian wine,” you’ll probably get arrested.  I really, really hope that unfortunate fact won’t dissuade you from reading the rest of this e-mail, because Argentian wine is actually really interesting and exciting.  Argentina has been called the “sleeping giant” of the wine world, because even though it produces the fifth most wine of any country, it’s only recently that the world has begun to take notice.  The Argentinians, though, have been appreciating their wine for a long time.  We Americans drink an average of about 1 to 2 gallons of wine per year (I certainly assume the Young Winos drink a bit more than the average).  Argentinians, in comparison, drink 10.4 gallons of wine per year, and as little as a few decades ago, that figure was 26 gallons a year.  That’s a gallon of wine every two weeks!  Inspirational, isn’t it?

Lets do both red and white on the same day, because although Argentinian wines are becoming more accessible by the year, I’m worried that there isn’t as much variety available here in LA to prevent a lot of doubling up of bottles if we do red and white separately.  If you’re buying red, the best bets are Cabernet Sauvignon and, interestingly enough, Malbec, a varietal used purely as a blending grape in Bordeaux, but which apparently does very, very well in Argentina on its own.  If you’re thinking white, look for either a Chardonnay or — even better — a bottle of Torrontes, a light, flowery white that is grown almost nowhere else in the world.  Hopefully we’ll get a good mixture out of those four varietals, since they’re the ones most frequently exported to the states.

We’ll be meeting a la casa de Theresa y Joe.  Their address is: (classified)

I’ve been advised to let you know that they have two small dogs, and they request that you don’t allow them to have too much wine.  Believe me, these guys are insane enough as it is.  Seriously, their dogs are the coolest things ever… last time we had wine club there, I think I stayed until about 1 AM playing with the dogs.  Joe and Theresa were so mad at me.  Watch me redeem myself Tuesday night at 9:00.