CFN – Malbec, that sensuous, red elixir of the gods, and of mere mortals world wide, has it’s very own day, April 17, and deservedly so. Lucky for me, I got a first hand preview of how to celebrate this delicious red wine from Argentina when I attended a World Malbec Day event, in Ottawa, on April 12. Hosted by the Embassy of Argentina and Wines of Argentina, wine connoisseurs mingled and rubbed shoulders at the well attended gala at Algonquin College’s Restaurant International.
Sean Moher, from the Underground wine tasting club met me at the restaurant entrance. Ready to pay tribute to one of my favorite wines, and with a pre printed Wines of Argentina tasting note in hand, Sean directed me to the wine glasses. My evening into the world of wine discovery had begun.
Making my way to each wine tasting table, I indulged my palate with a one ounce samples of treats like Finca Flinchman Misterio Malbec 2010, with a bold flavor of cassis, violet, plum. Rinsing my glass I then sampled Norton Barrel Select Malbec 2009 (Private Order) – rich, red fruit, pepper, spicy, …sweet on the palate. Saving the best for last was Catena Alta Malbec 2008 at 49.95 a bottle; it was simply divine and worth every cent. Thanks to Ben Hodgison for the introduction to this great wine which got my vote for the evening.
Wine lovers mark April 17 on your calendar and savour a glass ….or perhaps two of Malbec. You’ll be in good company, as events, parties and wine tastings in cities around the world will be honoring Malbec.
Photo taken in Argentina, in the Mendoza region, just last month when Monica Ralph visited with some buyers. The Malbec vines here are 80+ years old
and they are trained in a ‘pergola’ system to shield the grapes from the sun. The grapes were almost ready to harvest, in fact due to be harvested a few days after her visit, so they were very tasty indeed!
Cornwall Free News interviews Toronto based, Monica Ralphs, Senior Partner of WineSpeak. Representing clients from many of the wine regions of the world, Monica is the Eastern Canada Representative for Wines of Argentina. Monica has 14 years experience in the wine industry.
CFN: When was World Malbec Day organized?
Monica: World Malbec day is the brainchild of the Wines of Argentina, the organization in Mendoza, Argentina committed to promoting their wine industry internationally. April 17, 2011 was first year that World Malbec Day was celebrated and this year cities, world wide like New York, Toronto, Ottawa, London, England and Mendoza will host events to honor Malbec wine.
CFN: Why was April 17 the date chosen?
Monica: History!!! Simple as that. On April 17, 1853, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento who later became the president of Argentina founded the first agronomical school, dedicated to research of wine. He arranged for the importation of vines and hired Michel Pouget, a French soil expert to bring vines from France to Argentina, especially Malbec.
CFN: Why did Wines of Argentina come up with this novel idea – World Malbec Day?
Wines of Argentina, the organization, has existed since 1993 and this is about recognizing that Wines of Argentina have come of age and Malbec is Argentina’s flag bearer.
World Malbec Day is an opportunity to raise a glass of Malbec to Argentina. Malbec is not a one dimensional wine but a grape that lends itself to different flavours. Argentina is a dry, hot country and Malbec is planted at different altitudes and the taste profile and flavor of the wine are different depending on the terroir and the altitude the where the grape grows
CFN: Suggestions. How should wine lovers celebrate World Malbec Day?
Monica:Enjoy a glass of Malbec ….. Malbec is not a cookie cutter grape … so go ahead and explore the different Malbecs. Raise a glass of Malbec to Argentina – you won’t be sorry.