Story by Sarah Murphy Robertson
In with the new year and embracing of new things! If you are a red wine fan, you likely have your established favorites. I have enjoyed several Malbecs over the holidays and have discovered their versatility– especially when served with dinner courses. Below are a few facts on Malbec wines and suggestions of a few to try out.
Malbec grapes originated in Bordeaux, France and were typically used in red blends. In the dry, sunny climate of Argentina however, Malbec fruit flourished and became their signature grape. South Africa, Chile and America also successfully grow Malbec grapes. Malbec wines are usually medium to full-bodied and on the drier side with lots of acidity. They showcase flavors of dark fruit like plums, black cherries and blackberries. Many interesting layers of flavors can make Malbecs successful with food pairings. Malbec wines are food friendly and go beautifully with red meat and can also stand up to complex dishes underscored with chilis and heat.
The 2013 Catena Mendoza Malbec has intense flavor and aromas of dark cherry and hints of cocoa and vanilla. It is a fresh, palate cleansing sip and a very popular vintage. This wine would go deliciously with a variety of ethnic cuisines including Mexican, Asian or Indian spiced entrees.
The 2013 Broquel Malbec is another wine I can recommend highly. The initial aromas are of jam and mocha and then the sip leads to a velvety mouth feel and a long finish. Broquel is produced by Trapiche, Argentina’s leading wine exporter and could accompany a fine meal starring braised, caramelized meats such as lamb or beef.
The 2014 Alamos Malbec is widely available and a very affordable option for trying out a Malbec with your next weeknight meal. It is blended with Syrah and Bonarda grapes to enhance the cherry and blackberry flavors. This wine is well balanced and medium-light bodied and would go great with a casual meal of beef fajitas or even grilled burgers with all the toppings.