I’m in Argentina for the next few days taking part in the Masters of Food and Wine, a glitzy showcase for the Argentinian wine industry. Today we’re in Buenos Aires, tomorrow we fly to Mendoza for two days of tastings and dinners. None of which is exactly conduicive to thoughtful reporting so forgive me if some of the next few days posts are written more in the style of a blog
Earlier today I got into training with a lunch at what else but a steakhouse called Don Julio in Palermo Soho, one of the most fashionable neighbourhoods of BA. We were presented with a platter of their six or seven different cuts which included ojo de bife (ribeye), bife de chozo Angosto (strip sirloin) and vaclo (flank), a cut so huge that they actually offer half a portion. Which is of course the same size as a full portion back home.
I ordered a medium rare (jugoso) ribeye which was on the menu for an quite incredible 30 pesos (6), cheaper than pork, chicken or sweetbreads.
We had two Malbecs with it - a deliciously sweet supple La Madrid Gran Reserva Malbec 2005, full of rich dark cherry fruit and a more austere, slightly tighter wine called Ruca Malen - the 2006 vintage.
Predictably they tasted different with the steak - and with the accompanying chimichurri salsa, a punchy combination of parsley, onion and garlic. The La Madrid was the most immediately and obviously appealing but the Ruca Malen really came into its own with the meat and was more refreshing as the meal went on.
My first thoughts are that I would go for the La Madrid style with a more heavily charred steak and the Ruca Malen style with a less charred one but these are early days. There will undoubtedly be more steak and more Malbec so I’ll let you know how my researches go.