The Vines of Mendoza

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Carolyn lived in Mendoza in 2011, learning about the wine industry and teaching English at a local university, and blogging about her day-to-day life for The Vines.

What to Drink in Argentina—The Traveler’s Checklist, Bottom’s Up!


Now that we’ve covered some of the foods you should try in Mendoza, here are some of the drinks that you should accompany them with. Malbec & Torrontes wine: These are two wines that immediately come to mind when thinking about Argentina. Mendoza, of course, specializes in the native-French varietal of Malbec, whereas the Northern region of Salta claims the best Torrontes. Stop by the Vines to try a little of both or consider taking home the Argentine starter kit Fernet con coca (Fernet with Coca-Cola): Fernet, an Italian aperitif made of fermented grapes and bitter herbs, is a common favorite for Argentinians. While the dark, syrupy liquid is certainly an acquired taste, it also is a medical wonder, curing the worst of stomachaches. Fernet branca is by far the most popular type. Gancia: A sweet Italian aperitif used in cocktails at bars and clubs, a Gancia Batida can be a light, refreshing drink to start the night. Mate: A strong tea made from dried leaves known as yerba. It’s drank from a gourd (called a mate) through a metal straw with a filter on the end called the bombilla. It serves as the basis of social interaction and people drink it at any of the day, passing it from person to person. It’s often extended to strangers as a welcoming gesture. It can be considered rude to turn down a mate invitation so keep an open mind and feel very welcomed if it’s offered. A new materia at the corner of Aristedes and Olascoaga allows travelers to try mate themselves before investing in a mate gourd and bombilla. ***A new materia at the corner of Aristedes and Olascoaga allows travelers to try mate themselves for approximately 15 pesos before investing in a mate gourd and bombilla. Quilmes: The most popular beer in Buenos Aires since the 1920s, Quilmes is somewhat of a national symbol, and has 75% of the beer market share in Argentina. It sponsors the Argentina national football team, and the colors of its labels are Argentina's light blue and white. Andes: My personal favorite of the Argentine beer rivalry, Andes seems to be more popular, of course, near the Andes mountains such as here in Mendoza. Known worldwide for its creative advertising—see here. Café con leche/agua con gas: This perhaps shouldn’t be considered an Argentine beverage, but it’s an interesting custom how café con leche, or coffee with milk, is consistently served with a small glass of carbonated water and often times with a glass of fresh orange juice as well. Submarino: The ultimate hot chocolate, a submarino is a large glass of hot milk served with a large bar of quality chocolate. Though you may be tempted to eat the chocolate solo, drop the chocolate into the glass for a nice cup of hot chocolate.

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