Happy Malbec World Day! Malbec, a purple grape that produces inky and robust wine, is a noble grape. That is, it’s one of the 6 grapes allowed in the production of red Bordeaux wine. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are also permitted and have, for quite some, kept the spotlight away from Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Carménère, the rest of the noble grapes. However, the popularity of Argentinian Malbec shoved the varietal into the limelight. The grape is a source of national pride in Argentina, as it should be. The wines produced in the country are stunning examples of Malbec.
France and Argentina aren’t the only players in the Malbec game. They may be the best known but other countries picked up the grape and have been running with it for years. America, specifically California (and even more specifically the Napa, Alexander, and Sonoma Valleys and Paso Robles), Washington and Oregon, has been producing Malbec for red blends and standalone wines for quite some time. Argentina’s neighbor Chile uses the grape mainly for Bordeaux-style wine blends, and Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Italy, South Africa, Bolivia, and Mexico also grow Malbec.
Raise a glass of Malbec with your guests and celebrate this wine varietal properly. Pair it with steaks and other foods that can stand up to its intensity. Some of the best Malbec is produced in the high-altitude region of Mendoza in Argentina, so look for bottles from Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley. You can, of course, put French Malbec on your menu but keep in mind these wines tend to be more tannic.