malbec is a gypsy rose lee grape: overlooked, underappreciated, and lost in the bordeaux chorus line.  neglected by france for years, she took it on down the road, straight into argentina’s bronzed, welcoming arms (much as i hope to do someday.) thick-skinned and ample-tannined, she flourished, rose to international prominence, and lived happily ever after in my wine glass.

finding an affordable (read: under $12) good argentine malbec is hard, but i’m on a mission. i can’t get enough. a nice malbec is like the pop-rocks of wine, and i mean that in a complimentary way. it does crazy things to my tongue, and i like that. insert a nice cut of rare steak, you got a party goin’ on in there.

wine people and bottle lables describe malbec as “velvety” and “plush,” with “aromas of tobacco and raisin,” which i mean, ok. i know what you’re trying to say. it’s heavy. call it inky if you’re feeling poetic. but in general, wine descriptions kind of annoy me.  maybe i need to amp up my viticultural self-education to find out how fermented grapes can taste like raspberries or leather, or something. i don’t know.

what i do know is this:

in the amount of time it takes you to identify notes of violet and arugula with deep vienna sausage undertones topped off by a bright dingleberry finish, you could have drank an entire glass and poured the next. or eaten a wheel of smoked gouda.

that’s how i roll.

~ by marcella on January 14, 2010.

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