Argentina can mean many things to different people… Some think of beautiful mountains and architecture. Others think of, well… Football.
For me, however, Argentina is the land of amazing steak and wine.
Argentina over the years has undergone a dramatic change in their wine scene.
An industry introduced by Spain, Argentine winemaking initially concentrated on large quantities of production and local consumption. But over the years, with the desire to export their wines, Argentina has made significant changes that focused on making quality wine. Which is why one of my failsafe go-to red wines on a budget is a good Argentinian Malbec. In fact, such is the reverence for the grape that people from Argentina actually celebrate Malbec day (in 17 April, to commemorate the day when President Domingo Faustino Sarmiento made a decision to transform Argentina’s wine industry in 1853).
One of my recent Argentinian wine discoveries is Trivento. The name is derived from an amalgamation of the Spanish “tres” and “vento” (“Three Winds”), signifying winds being the “agent of change”… Absolutely fitting, because the winery in Mendoza started as a new venture by the Chilean powerhouse Concha Y Toro, and the area regularly experiences “three winds”.
Speaking of which, as an interesting “change of pace”, we were treated to a food and wine dinner featuring Trivento wines and delicious Thai food from Benjarong in Dusit Thani Manila. It may not be the typical pairing, but we were surprised by some of the delicious combinations presented during the dinner.
We started with Trivento Torrontes Reserve. Torrontes is Argentina’s specialty white wine, noted for its fresh floral aromas* similar to Muscat. The bottle was a treat because it’s difficult to find good Torrontes in Manila (which is a shame because it’s great with our hot weather). Trivento’s version was deliciously refreshing, light, and floral, which made for a great appetiser and salad wine (my favourite pair was with the Five Spice Duck Crispy Salad, because the texture of the duck subdues the acidity of the wine).
The evening also featured a wonderfully structured Trivento Golden Reserve Chardonnay and a gentle, fruit forward Trivento Golden Reserve Syrah (so inky and deep, it was amazing alone or with the Crispy Pork Knuckle).
In keeping with the tradition of saving the best for last, however… They presented a nice, fatty Trivento Golden Reserve Malbec to pair with the Valrhona Chocolate Tart. The wine and dessert played off each other, with the rich, ripe fruit flavours of the Malbec harmoniously complimenting the chocolate dessert.
As a special treat for the evening, they also featured the super-premium Trivento Eolo. As Trivento’s Brand Ambassador Sophie Kitouni explained, Eolo is named after Aeolus, the Greek god of winds. The 100 year old vines used to make the fine Malbec grapes of Eolo benefits from altitude (a key principle in Argentine winemaking), poor soils**, and of course, the winds that consistently regulate the temperatures in the vineyard. These conditions produce wine so breathtaking, I could drown myself from inhaling every minute detail of its scent.
Needless to say, I now have an idea as to which Malbec I’m stocking up on for Malbec day.
What’s your favourite Argentinian wine? Cheers!
* Tip: I personally prefer Torrontes young (under 2 years old) because of its freshness
**I always say during my wine lectures that grapes, particularly those used to make wine, are like people. The more adversities they face (having to grow in poor soils, for example), the better the character they have once they fully ripen.
Trivento wines are available through BestWorld Beverages, Unit 1504, The Centerpoint Building, Julia Vargas Avenue, corner Garnet Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City
Telepone: (+632) 637-8491 to 94
Special thanks to Ms. Edna Diaz