Last month a group of wine oriented friends got a head start on World Malbec Day. Our design was to taste and match some light foods with Argentina's main grape. We bought some of the better known small producers and decided to match food dishes with the wines. We at first tasted and gave a score to the wines and then we matched them with food to see how they would change. As we suspected the food made a big difference in how we looked at the wines. All of the wines were in the very good category and rated between 87 to 90. Overall our opinion was that Malbec as a grape does well on its own because it does not tend to have harsh mouth coating tannins. The fruit forward nature also is pleasing as a food match. I feel that red meat and cheese are the perfect foil for Malbec, that is not to say that other foods will not do well. Roasted vegies with a touch of garlic also shine and hold up well to the flavors of Malbec.
One of the best virtues of Malbec is the quality price ratio. Most of the well known Argentine wines are at $20 or less. Large retailers sell Catena, Alamos, Crios, Archeval Ferrer, La Posta, Llama, Pascal Toso and many more at less than $20. I have had many California Malbecs and they ask much more for a wine which does not compete with the real McCoy. With news of a grape shortage in California, I would suggest that consumers look to Argentina for great red wine at very fair prices.
We were sent samples of Crois and La Posta.