Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Food.....in Mendoza!!!!

This will be my last post for my Mendoza, Argentina blog and thought it would be fitting to conclude it with some of the culinary discoveries in my final week.

 Thanks to everyone who followed my blog and for the new friends I have met along the way who enriched my experience! I will think of Mendoza with warm thoughts and look forward to promoting their wines!!

In a previous post I wrote about the Asado, an Argentine ritual of eating grilled beef which is very important to the locals.  My first Asado experience was within 48 hours of arriving by the end of my four week visit, I can say I have never eaten so much red meat in my life. Of course, I'm not complaining:) But, after I left my internship at the winery, I had one week in Mendoza city to seek some variety in my diet I came across some places worthy of sharing. I had an abundance of wine bottles from my previous wine touring and most places welcomed serving one of my bottles for a reasonable corkage. 

 Ciebo Restaurant
What a great night (and a late night) with some new friends from Mendoza City that work in the wine industry. Meet Andrea, Santiago and Jose. Jose was one of my references for my internship. This night we indulged in an Argentine classic, Empanada's!! Stuffed with different meats or vegetarian. We finished the meal with a Malbec Grappa to prepare us for some zzzz's ;)

This is a place that I found in my tour book. Is funky, eclectic and serves up quality food. I have seldom had opportunity to eat any seafood since I arrived in Argentina so I was delighted to enjoy and entree of salmon.  

Bute Plaza
This is a meal that has stayed etched in my memory. Outstanding service with the classic pairing of empanada's and t-bone beef, which was done to perfection! Hmmm..... maybe its time to introduce some salads into the meal plan???

Maria Antoineta
It was here at this French themed bistro that I found some refreshing options: green salad with vinaigrette, white fish and beautiful baked bread.

 The Libations at the Hyatt

I had been on the hunt to find this distillate, Pisco, native to South America and extremely hard to find in Canada. It is mixed (3 parts pisco) to 1 part simple syrup and 1 part lime juice to make a Pisco Sour. It is also possible to add egg white and a sprinkle of bitters.

Vines of Mendoza

Across the street from Marie Antoineta restaurant is a tasting room called Vines of Mendoza. What a fun way to spend a couple hours in the afternoon with a blind tasting and a supply of tasting sheets to make your notes and conclusions.....after seeing the results, it was evident I needed more practice;)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

One more post to go....

I have been back in Waterloo, Ontario for a few days now. It was an exhausting couple of days in airports plus 4 flights to get back. I will be working on one last post in the next few days about the food culture.

For now, check out my latest youtube video on my channel UNCORKED. This week I review a Barbara D'asti from producer Bersano. This lovely, earthy, approachable red wine is only $12.00 at the LCBO!!

Bersano Wine Review

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Andes Mountains

I am just days away from leaving Mendoza to head back home to Waterloo. The weather has been incredible which has given me the opportunity to see the majestic Andes Mountains. It also helped that I was living right at the foot of the mountains during my internship at Flechas de los Andes.....imagine, waking up everyday and this was the first thing you saw....

This blog post is a collection of some of the photos that I have taken. But first, here are some interesting wikipedia facts about the most important rain shadow in the world!!! (providing a dry climate for growing grapes)

The Andes is the longest continental mountain range in the world ranging about 7,000 km long, about 200 km wide and of an average height of about 13,000 ft. The Andes extend from north to south through seven South American countries: Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Wine tours: Lujan de Cuyo and Maipu, Mendoza

I took a couple days this week to do some wine touring at the following wineries in Lujan de Cuyo and Maipu: 
Catena Zapata 
Luigi Bosca

Driving in Mendoza province is not the easiest so I hired a driver to take me around. I avoided the rustic roads, manual transmission cars, dealing with directions and street signs in Spanish, etc.....It was a good decision. I trusted the services to a company named Wine and Route. I would certainly recommend them to make your touring stress free! 
When do my planning of which wineries to visit, I consider what's available in the market I live in (LCBO), and make my way to those most prominent on the shelves. I want to be able to identify with the winery and to communicate a story. One thing is synonymous with all these properties - they practice high quality wine making and execute premium portfolios of wine.

This was my favorite visit. I was treated to a private tour with a tasting of 6 wines by Gaston the resident Sommelier. This is a very large winery with many different portfolios and group tours conducted throughout the day.  Despite the multitude of people coming through the door and the 25 million liters they produce a year, I left feeling like this is an exceptional winery that offers everyday value wines and superior wines with great structure that can cellar.
Winery built in 1928

Old, original tanks

New, modern, double tank

Trapiche Icon Wine

Luigi Bosca

I love the variety of wines Luigi Bosca produces from their multitude of vineyards!


What does Kaiken mean? It is this white goose from Patagonia
104 year old Malbec vine!

Controlled irrigation channels

80 year old, pergola trained, cabernet sauvignon vines

Concrete tanks (1930's)


 If you get to visit Decero, make sure you book a reservation for lunch on the property. It was a beautiful day to dine al fresco!

This winery produces labels you will find at the LCBO like Fuzion, Santa Julia and Zuccardi Q

Zuccardi Icon wine from Uco Valle

Cellar for Zuccardi Q

Concrete tanks and eggs for specialty wines

Zuccardi Q - a find at the LCBO

Series A - Bonarda, you can find at the LCBO and its amazing!

Catena Zapata

The winery: The Pyramid, Mayan inspired

Outstanding view from the Pyramid of the stretch of Andes called 'the silver ribbon'

NICOLAS Catena Zapata - I will be looking for this one @LCBO