Friday, January 24, 2014

Weekend Wino: Argentine Malbec & Picadillo Rice

This week my friends at Wine Chateau, a major online retailer of wine and libations, and I have decided to feature the recently popular Argentine Malbec!

Malbec is a regular visitor in my home and last summer, as you may remember, I was asked to review the documentary, Boom Varietal, from First Run Features.  Boom Varietal, took a look at how the Malbec grapes, originally from France (used in Bordeaux), immigrated to South America and flourished in the hot days and cool nights of Mendoza-the central region of Argentina.  

A few years ago, Shiraz's popularity caused producers to begin mass producing to keep up with demand. Wine lovers became disenchanted with the lack of quality suddenly being put into Shiraz (and at the same price!) and began searching for something new-finding the lovely Malbec awaiting its discovery.

People found the Mendoza Malbec to be a good wine at a lower price than Shiraz and wine lovers quickly began spreading the word.  If you havent heard of Malbec prior to reading this article-you will be amazed on how often you see it now.

THE WINE: Luigi Bosca Malbec Reserva 2010

The Luigi Bosca Malbec was a pleasure beginning to end.  A medium bodied wine with little tannin, makes the Malbec easy for anyone to palette.

The fruitiness and balance allow for this Malbec to be enjoyed alone or with a meal-another reason for its popularity!  

TIP: Look for the name 'Mendoza' on the label to ensure you're purchasing an authentic Argentine Malbec.  Argentine wines contain 100% of the grape on the labels-so don't worry about getting a shady blend.

Fun Fact: Today, Mendoza (approximately the size of Germany), has over 600 wineries, covering 350,000 acres.*

Other types of dishes that would work with the Malbec: Beef is heavily consumed in Argentina and pairs well with Malbec.  I also find dark meat chicken to go well with this type of wine.

*Resource: Kevin Zraly's Windows on the World: Complete Wine Course.

Picadillo Rice
Serves 4

1 lb ground pork
2 small yellow onions - diced
1 green pepper - diced
1 small tomato - chopped
2 cloved garlic - minced (separated)
2 cups water
1 cup rice (not instant)
1 13oz can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon butter
black pepper
olive oil
Garnish (optional): fresh cilantro, avocado or sour cream.

In medium saucepan cook 1 small onion in olive oil until soft.  Add rice, water, canned tomatoes, butter, pinch of salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons of cumin, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne.  Cook according to rice directions.

As the rice is cooking, in skillet, brown pork and onion.  Once cooked through, add garlic, green pepper, tomato, large pinch of salt, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, 3-4 turns of black pepper.  Cook through.

Once rice is finished, dish into bowl and top with beef mixture.

Garnish with cilantro, diced avocado or sour cream.


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