Mon | Jul 23, 2018

Come celebrate Malbec World Day

Published:Thursday | April 17, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Jason Clarke, Wine contributor
1
2
3
4
5

By Jason Clarke, Wine contributor

Today is a day you should always mark on your calendar. At least I do. Today we celebrate the superstar of wine - Malbecs. Today, all over the globe, is a celebration of Argentina's Malbecs and is an actual holiday in Argentina.

In speaking with the Argentine Ambassador Ariel Fernandez and Deputy of Missions Juan Nunez, there is a deep sense of national pride and love for Malbecs which is genuine. Malbecs are my absolute favourite, so I am particularly happy to indulge in this Argentine holiday.

History

Not to sound too much like a lecturer in university, but one can't help but speak about its history, which gives significance to why I love and enjoy Malbecs so much. So while you may elevate your feet, recline your seat, and have a glass in hand, don't fall asleep.

The year was 1853 on the fateful day of April 17 when Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, who later became president, submitted a bill to Argentina's legislature calling for the creation of an agricultural school, similar to our very own CASE. He then sponsored the French professor Miguel Pouget to plant grapes in Mendoza.

It was at this time that the emergence of Malbecs was marked in Mendoza, a province of Argentina.

Malbecs were fast being considered to be a dying varietal until its resurgence in Mendoza and San Juan in Argentina. Its popularity increased until it reached the ultimate recognition of winning a number of awards at a French wine competition.

One hundred and twenty-four years later, in 1977, we see the birth of a superstar, filled with whit and fortitude, standing toe to toe with some very well-recognised French winemakers who are considered to be the experts on winemaking. One could not ignore their global presence any further.

It is with this that the Argentine government dedicated this day to Malbecs, to recognise the hard work and dedication to make this varietal stand on its own as a major global competitor. It is this balance of quality and refinement, coupled with the fraction of the cost of French wines, why I love Malbecs so, not to mention the numerous awards and accolades received.

What is a Malbec?

Malbecs could be considered a full-bodied wine and described as fruit forward. Fruit forward, meaning that it has deep, rich aromas of cherry, black currant, plum and blueberry. It has a delicious sense of humour that likes to tickle your palate. Then, when aged in oak, it picks up nuances of vanilla, which makes it heavenly.

Food-wise, Malbecs pair well with foods I enjoy most, mushrooms! It is perfect with poultry like duck, but I enjoy it most with red meat. There is nothing like a lamb burger and a great Malbec to send you off to a state of bliss. As for cheeses, Malbecs seem to be a perfect with funk and stink of blue cheese. I suppose the ultimate match in heaven for any griller is a beef burger with blue cheese.

Malbecs to taste

There are quite a number of Malbecs on supermarket shelves that are supremely delicious. Trivento Reserve Malbec and its premium Golden Reserve Malbec are heaven in a bottle. I first had the Golden Reserve at my wine club a few months ago, smooth and delicious. This clearly behaves better with age.

Picture the 1950s when gloves were worn and made of velvet. Think of it gently stroking your hand and think of it on your tongue. Heaven! Based on the price, I would definitely hold this for a celebratory kind of moment. But you could definitely enjoy the Amando Sur Malbec as an everyday drinking Malbec.

History lesson in a bottle is the Trapiche Oak Cask Malbec from one of the oldest wineries. Its colour is simply remarkable that makes one wonder if Victoria may have got her secret from it.

As I listen to DJ Private Ryan, the visual of a gorgeous frame dancing comes to mind. Supple, round and full is how I would describe the Catena Malbec. A typical Malbec that has fruit-forward aromas and only one word will do it justice: Delicious!

This week, we have partnered with Select brands to taste a few Malbecs and join in on the more than 72 events globally, across 37 countries, to celebrate Malbec World Day, at Bin26 at Devon House today between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. with the Argentinian ambassador. If you can't make it, visit CPJ Market in Kingston and Montego Bay to taste a Malbec or two. Let's celebrate Malbec World Day!

I am not an expert, merely a wine enthusiast sharing my thoughts and experiences. Feel free to share your own experiences at wineenthusiastja@gmail.com.