AUSTIN, TX (Feb. 28, 2013) – Argentina’s diverse mix of people, terrain and climates creates a rich culture known for the rhythmic tango, char-grilled beef, and some of the world’s most robust, delicious wines. This spring, Whole Foods Market will celebrate wines from Argentina, which include a lightly floral torrontes to an intense, earthy bonarda, sometimes referred to as the “next malbec.”
While Argentina’s roots in viticulture run deep, it wasn’t until the end of the 20th century that the country began broadly exporting wines. Currently Argentina is the fifth largest wine producer in the world. The country’s soaring elevations and high quality Andean melt water, coupled with old world grapes and new world prices are what led Whole Foods Market to some of Argentina’s highest-rated wineries for its spring selection.
“Most admiration for Argentine wines is inspired by the mighty malbec due to its similarities to rich, dark Californian reds,” said Doug Bell, global wine buyer for Whole Foods Market. “While we’ve got some amazing malbecs in our lineup, we are excited to push the Argentine envelope and turn our shoppers on to unique varietals. Like malbec? Try a bonarda. Crave a fruity, floral sauvignon blanc? Check out the torrontes.”
Wine enthusiasts are invited to learn about and sample wines from Argentina at in-store tastings, as well as during a Mar. 14 Twitter Tasting. Go to wholefoodsmarket.com/wine for information and use the hashtag #WFMwine to follow the conversation. Participants must be 21 and over.
Wines from Argentina selected for the Twitter Tasting, Mar. 14 from 7-8 p.m. CST include:
- Crios Torrontes
- Andes Crossing Malbec
- Argento Bonarda
- Santa Julia Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon
Featured Argentine wines for the spring include:
Crios Torrontes from Salta — fruity, floral yet still dry with a light and bright finish, this white has hints of peach pit, white pear and honeydew rind on the nose.
Recipe pairing: Jamaican Jerk Chicken
Cheese pairing: Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog
Casarena 505 Chardonnay from Mendoza — with crisp acidity and stone fruit, this is a delicate, refreshing white with well-integrated oak.
Recipe pairing: Linguine with White Clam Sauce
Cheese pairing: Emmi Roth Gran Queso
Doña Paula Los Cardos Sauvignon Blanc from Mendoza — bursting with zesty citrus, Mirabelle plums, white currants and touches of Granny Smith apples, this easy-drinking white has a nose that hints of limestone and leaves a solid, well-balanced finish.
Recipe pairing: Honey-glazed Ham with Fresh Pineapple Chutney
Cheese pairing: Uniekaas Parrano
Andes Crossing Malbec from Mendoza — dense with jam, spice and hints of dark cherries and cigar box, this deep ruby red is round and weighty with oak on the nose and a lengthy finish.
Recipe pairing: Roasted Brisket with Parsley, Mint and Thyme
Cheese pairing: Grafton Village Classic Reserve Cheddar
Argento Bonarda from Mendoza – this inky red has earthy, rustic notes, and tastes of red berries with a touch of violet, plum and toasted oak and a soft, round finish. Could this varietal be the next malbec?
Recipe pairing: Skillet Skirt Steak Fajitas with Jicama Salsa
Cheese pairing: Emmi Roth Gran Queso
Bodega Tamarí Reserva Malbec from Mendoza – offering flowery notes of plum, caramel and toffee, this medium-to full-bodied red is aged to perfection in oak barrels. With silky tannins and a ripe red fruit flavor like a chocolate Morello cherry, this is a perfect pick for a date night.
Recipe pairing: Braised Lamb Shanks
Cheese pairing: Cabot Clothbound Cheddar aged at the Cellars at Jasper Hill
Masi Tupungato Passo Doble Malbec-Corvina from Mendoza – this flavor-intense “Passo Doble” blend of 70 percent malbec and 30 percent corvina is similar to a Valpolicella in body and structure. This red has aromas of black cherries and plums with notes of leather, cigar box and black pepper.
Recipe pairing: Spaghetti Bolognese
Cheese pairing: Ossau-Iraty
Santa Julia Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon from Mendoza — this full-bodied, bold cabernet sauvignon offers a complex bouquet of ripe cherries and plums with sweet tannins, vanilla, leather, cigar box and spices like black pepper and paprika. This 2011 vintage red has a long, lingering finish.
Recipe pairing: Spice-rubbed Beef Short Ribs
Cheese pairing: Borough Market Farmhouse Cheddar
Achaval Ferrer Malbec-Cabernet Sauvignon from Mendoza — from the one of the highest-rated wineries in Argentina, this equally blended malbec and cabernet sauvignon is a limited edition production akin to a new world Bordeaux. With dark fruit, oak and mahogany on the nose, this red gives the palate a chance to experience a truly obscure equilibrium of fruit and minerals. Enjoy an hour after allowing it to breathe.
Recipe pairing: Grass-fed Steak with Spring Greens
Cheese pairing: IGOR Gorgonzola Dolce