On Malbec

Malbec is a Bordeaux grape, but interestingly, their winemakers shun Malbec in favor of blending Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. Actually, not that much Malbec currently grows in France. Never fear though – Malbec has found a welcome home in Argentina.

Thriving in the dry, hot wine regions of Argentina, Malbec is a full-bodied, dark wine delivering many flavors for red wine enthusiasts as bold, dry, intense, complex, some tannin, rustic, and fruit. In other words, Malbec is a wonderful wine for dishes featuring red meat or barbecue!

Although buyers can find Malbec wines from Chile, France, and California, Argentine Malbecs are the most readily available, tasty, and found in a wide price range. The following brands provide good options in the $8-12 range: Alamos, Norton, Trapiche, Altos, and Don Gascon; but Ocaso is my absolute favorite in this price range. (Tim, a must for you to try.)

I encourage anyone desiring a hearty red win to start trying different Malbecs to find the one that delivers the taste that pleases their palate. Since numerous choices are also available for anyone desiring to go higher in price, I suggest doing your research or talk to a knowledgeable wine merchant.

Cheers … and enjoy not only this glorious fruit of the wine, but also the video below about touring the Mendoza region of Argentina. It’s an ad, but fun to see for those enjoying travel. Besides, the tango music is a plus.

48 thoughts on “On Malbec

  1. Ah, Astor Piazzolla’s Tango… and wine and Argentina… These are so beautiful… so beautiful. I love to drink wine, but I haven’t tasted this one… This should be so nice… Thank you dear Frank, this is magic… with my love, nia

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      • I am sure it is availabe… There is so many famous restaurants in here and some of them like a wine address… But I am also sure it should be very expensive too. On the other hand we have our own wine names too. But to be honest I don’t know so much about wine… But it is my one of best drink… You are welcome, and Thank you, have a nice day, with my love, nia

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        • Nia,
          Many thanks for your answer. In general, New World wines have to travel many miles to you, so that will be part of the pricing. Meanwhile, local/regional wines typically fit the cuisine! Thanks again and have a wonderful rest of the day.

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    • Alex,
      With “Yes, Yes, Yes!!” … I know this post was a winner … plus I know you have good taste. I know you have lived in many places, and for some reason, I’m thinking Argentina was one. If so, now there’s the reason for the “Yes, Yes, Yes!!”. Thanks for commenting.

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  2. Such a nice post. I am a big fan of wine… although I can no longer drink alchohol thanks to my gall bladder having to be removed. Anyways, I do miss it. I wrote an article about Malbec for Wine Mutineer magazine several years ago. This brought back memories… thanks.

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    • Vina,
      Oh my my … how crushing … that is to be a wine lover and not being able to partake in the joy. Then again, one has to do what one has to do. Glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for visiting and commenting.

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    • Mags,
      The video was a good one as it had something for all – that is not just about wine. The ballroom dance side of me also liked it (and one of my fav songs from Shall We Dance). Thanks for commenting.

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  3. We don’t see too many wines from Argentina in this neck of the woods but we are able to buy wines from Chile and we find them very good. I’ll look out for these Malbec wines and let you know if I come across any xx

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    • Spiced,
      Chileans are huge exporters of wine, but I will be interested to see if Argentine wines come to Australia. I have had a Chilean Malbec, but it was more earthy than those from Argentina. Meanwhile, I hope you find some! Thanks for commenting.

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  4. Thank you for the Malbec post. I have tried the French Malbec but must admit I LOVE South American wines. In addition to the Malbec my other fav’s are the Tannat, Carmenere and Bonarda varietals. If you have the opportunity and come across a 2008 or 2009 LAMADRID “Reserva” Malbec [$15-18.00] I suggest you give it a try. It is by far my favorite.
    Regards,
    Ernest.

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    • Ernest,
      Welcome first-time commenter and many thanks for the recommendation. As soon as I read this, I checked the online stock of my favorite local establishment. Good news is that they carry Lamadrid. Bad news is that your recommendation is out of stock … but their single vineyard 2010 Malbec is available. So I will try it and watch for the other! I enjoy Carmenere and Bonarda as well – especially when I like to try wines that are more regional and not as widely produced. Many thanks for stopping by and sharing.

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  5. i’ll drink anything red, preferably cabernet, but i’m not picky. my father is going to be 80 in september. he’s had a glass of red with dinner every day since he was about 13. his father made his own wine, and there’s family land in italy on which grapes are still grown. the 80-year old is in dance competitions about twice a month and rides his bike every day. based on that, it seems i’ve got the right genes, but i need to keep feeding them with the red wines.

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  6. Not really a wine expert, but the Wollersheim winery just won a bunch of prizes for wines made here in southern Wisconsin–very bizarre. It has been in our papers. Some kind of San Diego competition, that you may be aware of.

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  7. Malbecs are good…sometimes. But I’m finding that the hunt takes effort. My wife and I were picking up a nice bottle of wine for a birthday gift and tried BevMo’s 5 cent sale. We bought two bottles of Pinot Noir and two Cabs. The cab was barely drinkable and the pinot was vinegar.
    The challenge is–when you find something you like for a good price, finding it again!
    Good post and subject.

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    • Les,
      Great point about finding something one likes at the preferred price point. When asked about 2-Buck Chuck (Charles Shaw in some states), I respond by saying it is a value. It tastes like a $5 wine at a cheaper price. Then again, a $15 bottle tasting better than a $25 bottle is also a value.

      Agree – finding it again is also a story in itself. Just because 2008 Cab from Les’s Vineyard is great doesn’t mean 2009 will be the same. Then again, once they are gone, they are gone.

      Thanks for sharing good info! FYI: Another Buddy Miles on the upcoming Opinions in the Shorts.

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    • Kay,
      Well thank you for the kind words. And the info may come in useful when you want to get a bottle of wine as a gift. Meanwhile, pairing wine and food is an skill itself. Keep of all the flavors involved with food … wow .. thus the challenge. Thanks for commenting.

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    • Lynn,
      Glad to see another one who appreciates Malbec. I wonder if some shoppers scoff at the thought of a wine from Argentina. If so, the treasure that they are missing. 🙂 Thanks for commenting.

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    • Rosie,
      Cheers to another who appreciates Malbec. No sure about “light” as a descriptor, but it surely goes well with steak! Thanks for visiting and commenting … plus I hope all is well.

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        • Rosie,
          Touche …. Comparisons are relative as compared to what. That is an elephant is both large and small. Malbec would be put in the full-bodied wine category with cab. Because it seems you enjoy cabs, get a recommendation of a good, full Malbec … and you may be in for a treat. Then again, maybe not … taste in wine is all about the one drinking it! Cheers!!!

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    • Robin,
      In terms of Malbecs, Catena is a very reputable label priced in the upper teens.

      Tango music is a plus … and that one is one of my favs – from Shall We Dance, Santa Maria. Enjoy … and thanks for commenting.

      Like

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