I’ve been a white wine drinker for a number of years now. In fact, I even tend towards the sweeter end of white wine. Riesling being my absolute favorite. My mother in law told me once, that eventually, I would likely make my way towards the red end of the wine spectrum. I wasn’t sure about this, but figured if it turned out to be the case I would gradually over the years adjust to the flavor of red wine.
Well, my mother in lLaw was certainly right. The strange thing is that, rather then the gradual change, I abruptly, over the course about a month, decided I like red wine, and my favorite Rieslings had become… well a bit too sweet for most occasions. I was drinking a sweeter red for about a week, and then next thing I knew I was picking up the subtle nuanced flavors in a Pinot Noir!?
So, as I haven’t been drinking red wine very long, I’ve been doing a lot of exploring. Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet, Malbec, I’ve been trying it all; and I figured I could share my explorations with you my foodie friends!
I’ve tried a number of different reds now. I worked on Pinot Noir for a while, and have come to the conclusion that the good ones are quite lovely, but the so-so can be kind of watery. Does any one else find this? I’ve also found Merlot to have the same property. I haven’t sampled too many Cabs at this point, so I’ll decline to make any broad generalizations until I taste a bit more. I just started working on Malbec.
Which brings me to today’s wine. Durigutti 2012 Malbec
Out of all the reds I’ve tried so far this is my absolute favorite. In fact I enjoy it so much, I’ve decided it will be my house’s “house wine” and I’m planning to always have a bottle on hand for unexpected visitors.
As you might imagine a Malbec wine comes from the Malbec grape. The grape is also sometimes known as Auxerrois, Côt Noir, or Pressac. At one point it was an extremely popular grape in France, particularly as it is one of the six grape types that are permitted to be used in Bordeaux. However, in 1956, 75% of the crop in France was killed off by frost, and planting declined. Malbec grapes are particularly susceptible to climate changes like frost, grape diseases, mildew, etc, which also probably more generally contributed to the decline in it’s use in France.
However, the grape has become extremely popular to grow in Argentina. And though the grapes planted there are a bit different then those grown in France, they produce wines that are a deep color, and have intense fruity flavors. (Think blackberry, black raspberry, black cherry, and blueberry among other flavors…) In my personal opinion, Argentinean Malbec grapes produce a mighty fine wine!
One of the nice things about Malbec is that it generally pairs well with many different types of foods. Malbec can generally handle and compliment anything from a steak, to heavily spiced dishes, to pizza and pastas.
Today’s Durigutti 2012 Malbec, that I’m so in love with, has the characteristic rich red Malbec color. It’s rich and flavorful without being overwhelming, with hints of blackberry, plum, and strawberry. It also has been rated 88 by the respected Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar. And it certainly pairs well with everything I’ve tried from meats to pasta, making it a perfect “house wine” in my opinion. I highly recommend picking up a bottle for your next meal!