Written by: Vanessa DaSilva
ICC Wine Studies Coordinator
Chef & Sommelier Pablo Ranea is as warm & welcoming a presence as the diverse wine from Mendoza that he represents. Chef Pablo has the unique experience of being both a Chef & Sommelier in the heart of Mendoza; and being so, Chef Pablo knows better than most the great diversity that Argentinian wine has to offer.
1. Spicy empanadas with 2015 Filus Torrontés, Salta IG
Torrontés is a white grape variety that is most often found in the Salta region of Northern Argentina. Its tropical aromas of ripe peach, lychee and honeysuckle balance spicy flavors & its refreshing acidity contrast well with the crispy texture of the fried dough.
2. Grilled octopus with 2013 Corazon del Sol ‘Luminoso’, Uco Valley IG
This red wine from the high altitude vineyards of the Uco Valley (over 1,00 meters) is a blend of Grenache, Mourvedre & Syrah, grapes commonly found in Rhone Valley blends. The high altitude vineyards give an almost light body & beautifully balanced characteristics to this wine with flavors of cured meat, ripe plums, and just a touch of cigar smoke, those gamey smoky qualities will make a lovely pair with grilled octopus and the round acidity from the Syrah grape will cut through the fattiness of the Octopus.
3. Chocolate Tart with 2013 Gauchezco ‘Oro’ Malbec, Mendoza IG
This is not your typical Malbec! This single vineyard wine is reserved & complex with notes of ripe blackberries, toasty nutmeg, savory tarragon, and potpourri. You read that right, we’re suggesting dessert with this red wine! Try a bitter chocolate tart with berry coulis, a rich chocolate flourless cake, or red wine poached pears with lots of spice. The fruitiness of this wine will help it to compliment the sweet aspects of the dessert, and the soft tannins will make the bitter chocolate taste even sweeter, keep the dessert on the savory side & it should be a beautiful pair.
4. Lamb & grilled endive with 2014 Gascón Malbec Reserva, Mendoza IG
This malbec has 3% Petit Verdot giving a ripe wine with aromas of plum & jammy blackberry firm structure and lovely aromas of violets & freshly turned earth. The gamey nature of lamb & smokiness from the grilled endive will contrast the ripe nature of the wine while also complimenting the more earthy tones. A great pair for grilling on a warm night.
5. Goat Al Asador with 2014 Rutini Cabernet Sauvignon / Malbec, Mendoza IG
This wine from the Tupungato region of Mendoza is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon & 50% Malbec. It is warm, full & complex with tones of purple flowers, smoky tobacco, cloves & cured meat. Chef Pablo told us about the traditional method of cooking goat ‘Al Asador’ where the animal is stretched out & roasted slowly over an open flame. This slow roasted gamey meat will pair beautifully against the soft tannins & complex nature of the wine.