Malbec: What sets this red wine apart from the rest? For those who are new to wine appreciation, the varietal with bold layers of flavor hails from Argentina and has captured the hearts of many wine-lovers here in the states. Read on to find out five things you probably didn’t know about Malbec.
In fact, Argentina has been enjoying Malbec for more than 150 years (no fair, right?). The grape was first introduced to Argentina from France in 1852. By 1968, Malbec had become the most widely planted red varietal in the wine-growing region of Mendoza, Argentina. Today the tradition carries on - with more than 136,000 acres of vines, Argentina grows the most Malbec grapes of any country in the world.
It’s no wonder that Malbec is a success in Argentina. The unique grape-growing environment along the Andes Mountain range, the highest mountains in the world, results in more flavor in your glass. That’s because the high-altitude Mendoza region of Argentina has a desert-like climate, known for hot sunny days and very cool nights. This translates to highly aromatic grapes with a thicker skin, ultimately leading to a more flavorful and delicious wine (three cheers!).
After the grapes are harvested, they are crushed and their juices are stored and set aside for nine to 15 days. This allows the sugar content of the fruit to ferment (turn into alcohol). Next, the juice is placed in barrels made from French or American oak. The wines are aged in these barrels for six to nine months, which adds character, texture, and complexity, which leads to…
The winemaking process leads to a wine that typically expresses dark fruit flavors and berry-like aromas, including black currant, plum, and hints of cherry. The fruit flavors combined with the unique balance of natural acidity and oak make Malbec a highly versatile wine for food pairing. Whether you’re putting burgers and brats on the grill or serving a traditional holiday turkey or ham, Malbec has the versatility to pair with just about any dish. And, the experts agree – more than half of culinary professionals surveyed agree that Malbec pairs with many types of foods.1
While Argentina may have made Malbec famous, Alamos is the brand that makes America’s favorite Malbec.2 Why do we love Alamos so? Alamos winemakers handpick their grapes and only the best of the bunch are selected to go into the bottle. Then, the wine is handcrafted using techniques typically reserved for wines sold at a much higher price point (yes, please!). Alamos Malbec can be purchased nationwide for a suggested retail price of $13.
1 The online survey was conducted among 214 members of one of the most reputable culinary institutions in the United States during the period of May 9, 2013 – May 16, 2013.
2©Symphony IRI, TTL US MULO, Premium+ Malbec, Volume Sales, 52 weeks ending 2-23-14.