Saturday, June 8, 2013

Argentina Wine Tasting Miami 2013

Last month, the Consejo Federal de Inversiones (CFI), a federal trade organization from Argentina whose main purpose is to promote the development of the provinces and regions of its country, hosted 12 wineries, or “bodegas” in a wine tasting event that took place at the beautiful St. Regis Hotel in Bal Harbour. The focus of the tasting was to introduce distributors and importers to the wide variety of wines produced in Argentina, assisting the boutique and medium-sized cellars, and further expanding their market in the United States.

NewLink Communications invited me to the event and I have to say it was not only wine-a-licious but I also learned a lot about the region as a whole, and the vast grapes available there that we are not familiar with in America. When we think of Argentinian wines, we tend to gravitate towards the Malbecs, which are phenomenal. However, there are others equally as memorable, both whites and reds, and I was totally taken aback by the passion the producers displayed in their product.

I had a chance to speak with Dario Ciscar, consultant for the CFI, and talk a bit about wine and the influence Argentina is having in the global market. “Although Argentina is known to be part of the “New World” wines because we are outside the traditional wine-growing areas of Europe, we have been producing the grapes for centuries,” said Ciscar. “Currently, we are the fifth largest wine producer in the world.” We also talked about the uniqueness of each wine- producing region in Argentina, and the exceptional quality of the grapes due in part to the low relative humidity and scarce rainfall. While a higher percentage of production corresponds to red grapes, there is significant cultivation of white as well. Ciscar recommended I try Torrontes, a white wine known for its subtle citrus flavor and lingering finish; primarily produced in the Riojana region. Making mental note of that expert suggestion, I headed over to the tables as soon as we finished our chat.

While I didn’t taste a wine I didn’t like, there were some that really stood out for me.  One of my favorites was the Malbec from Apogeo A16. It was one of the deepest and most intense I sampled all evening. Exhibiting a brilliant color, it had sweet and juicy tannins with an elegant finish. There’s a wine I would love to pair with my churrasco.

Another I thoroughly enjoyed was the Santa Florentina Torrontes, from La Riojana Coop.  This was the first time I had tasted this white wine from Argentina. Medium bodied, and notably aromatic of melons and peaches, it had a crisp, refreshing finish. I can see this as a perfect companion to a light appetizer or a nice seafood dish.

Between the sampling of wines, light bites (loved the ceviches) were served and a live band played a few songs. The next day, the wineries headed off to London, to participate in the London International Wine Fair; one of the most important trade shows in the world for the wine industry. For more information on these fine Argentinian wines, visit Consejo Federal de Inversiones

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