The Vines of Mendoza

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“mmmm… Jammy!!!”

I love wine by itself… I love having a great glass of wine to enjoy a great moment, an interesting talk, nice company… but there is no doubt that whenever we drink wine… Food can amplify the enjoyment of the wine and the moment even more.

Wine drunk by itself tastes different than wine accompanied with food. Wine reacts with food in a comparable way to a food spice. Wine can improve the flavor of food… and vice versa. A good match will bring out the nuances enhancing the flavors and distinctive characteristics of both the food and the wine.

Wine is rarely isolated. Wine is context; people, smiles, music, landscapes, smells, food… The best pairing is good food, good wine and good company. Well… last week we had it all!!

Emily, who loves bubbles!, joined me in a visit to the most important sparkling winery in Mendoza: Chandon Argentina.

Mariana Roura, responsible for Tourism, guided us through the winery.  She had a welcoming attitude and tried to personalize the visit with information we would be specifically interested to hear.

Mariana explained that between 1957 and 1959 Poirier, a well known French oenologist and Claude Moet's technical advisor, conducted several oenological trials, convincing himself that Argentina, and specifically the Mendoza district of Agrelo, was the ideal place to locate Moët & Chandon’s first winery outside of France.

Valle de Uco is Chandon's preferred region to make their high-end wines. Clay-based and rocky soils, a semi-desert climate, cold nights and distinctive thermal amplitude combine to create the perfect conditions for obtaining grapes with higher acidity, body and flavor. There is no doubt that Valle de Uco is the best region to grow the best grapes to make the best sparkling wines from Argentina.

Afterward our tour, Marcos Zabaleta, in-house chef, walked us through a great clase de maridaje (wine/food pairings)!- (very reasonably priced, by the way - U$15) It certainly was the best food and wine paring at a winery that I have been offered of late.

Marcos explained that “through these pairings I demonstrate that we can have sparkling wine from the appetizer through to dessert”

  • Chandon Extra Brut paired with a Caprese tartlet: mix of 5 cheeses: (blue cheese, fontina, parmesan and bufarella), cherry tomatoes and dry basil.

  • Chandon B. Nature paired with Salmon Carpaccio: marinated salmon with parmesan cheese, olives and tomatoes on a toast.

  • Barón B Extra Brut paired with “Empanada de chorizo”: empanada stuffed with pork sausage, Portobello, cooked with a sparkling wine and cream.

  • Barón B Brut Rose paired with “Tibio de frutos morados”: Black and red fruit salteé with Henessy and rosé sparkling, black sugar, pepper Corn and a dash of fresh cream.

Well… I have just one word to describe these pairings: PERFECT!!

If you are in Mendoza, don’t miss this sparkling wine and food pairing!

Mariana Roura  -
Tel: (54-261) 4909969
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