De niña yo tuve un sueño que hoy se ha hecho realidad, poder sentirme a tu lado a traves del cocinar. Hoy estoy aqui en Palermo mezclo sabor y amistad. Veni, sentite en tu casa, podes entrar sin golpear! When I was a girl I had a dream that… Read More →
Michael Evans was a political consultant working with John Kerry and Rock the Vote, then went on vacation to Mendoza, Argentina in 2004. A year later, with co-founder Pablo Gimenez, he began Vines of Mendoza, a wine entrepreneurship program in the Uco Valley where owners, with help from Argentina’s most acclaimed viticulturalist Santiago Achaval, learn winemaking and create their own superior quality wine. In a few short years the project has grown to encompass a wine club, online wine store, tasting room in Mendoza, and soon a resort and spa.
I tend to travel home with lots of bottles. Rum, pisco, Cachaça, wine, etc. When I’m in Mendoza in particular, I tend to be stretching the limit of my legally allowed alcohol allowance. Also, considering if you are not buying from Duty Free and if you have a connecting flight in the United States, wine cannot be transported in your hand luggage. It has to be packed. Although I’ve never had a bottle brake in transit, I know it is coming.
Milanesas can be made with steak, veal, chicken, or even vegetarian with soy. The protein is dipped into eggs and then patted with the bread crumb crust and shallow-fried. Milanesas are often served with mashed potatoes, buttered noodles, or salad as accompaniments and make for quick, healthy lunches.
Aesthetically, I have come to appreciate O. Fournier maybe more than any other winery in Mendoza. The dramatic architecture, cutting edge technology, glass enclosed restaurant, and art filled wine cellar have made the bodega here one of the most recognizable in Mendoza. During a visit to their Uco Valley winery in 2010 I found the team there to be surprisingly down to earth and approachable. Co-founder Jose Manuel and his wife Nadia Haron, the executive chef, were out chatting with the guests. Their daughter helped wait tables. This combination of elements all becomes reflected in the wine they produce.
I have never been to Salta, but torrontés might change that. The white grape, which I first tasted in Mendoza last year, has quickly become my favorite white. It’s the one wine I pair with almost anything now: sushi, cheese, paté, duck, grilled shrimp, and even fish tacos. It serves as a cleanser and can calm down your palate with spicy Asian and Latin foods. On a sunny day, a chilled glass of torrontés – with its hints of grapefruit, elderflower, and apricot – is as smooth and refreshing as any wine I’ve ever had. It’s the same feeling as cracking open a frosty cold beer after an exhausting day.
Whenever I hear of a restaurant in a hip boutique hotel in an even hipper neighborhood, I expect something of a let down. I expect overpriced drinks and food that is big on hype but poorly executed. Hernán Gipponi in Buenos Aires’s Fierro Hotel, which opened in October of 2010, is a rare exception. It’s the only boutique hotel restaurant I’ve found in South America that is comparable is the Tcherassi hotel’s Vera restaurant in Cartagena, Colombia. The restaurant’s namesake, chef Hernán Gipponi, is one of the rare talents in Buenos Aires that can look beyond a superb cut of beef. Formerly of the Bilbao’s Guggenheim and Quique Dacosta in Denia, Valencia, Gipponi’s menu tends to be adventurous and his kitchen’s execution is spot on.
For more than 120 years Mendoza, Argentina’s Mercado Central (central market) has occupied the same place a few minutes from the center plaza. Not overly polished or touristy, it’s an inexpensive break from the slick eateries that dominate central Mendoza. There’s no glossy finish, just the raw, grit deal. Butcher’s chop up bloody innards. Spice stalls intoxicate. Old school yellers push fish or meat or slices of pizza.
n Torrontés, from Argentina (Wines of The Times) the New York Times proclaims that torrontés, one of Argentina’s other blossoming white wines (another is viognier) has begun to take the United States by storm. In 2004, less than 30,00 cases of torrontés were exported to the U.S. In 2010, that number ballooned to 231,000 cases, the Times reports via Wines of Argentina.
Malbec grapes grow in Argentina like nowhere else on earth; just as grass fed cows have no prettier place to graze than on the country’s endless plains. These are two iconic elements of the country. On their own they spin legends, but pair the two and this is where they form something special. Something only experienced in Argentina.