Malbec World Day 2017!

150 years ago, a French botanist named Michel Aimé Pouget, was tasked with establishing a new home for the Malbec grape in Argentina. Over time Malbec has become the flagship varietal responsible for bringing Argentina to the world stage as a producer of quality wine. To commemorate this achievement, Wines of Argentina established April 17th as Malbec World Day, a global party dedicated to Argentina’s famous grape. We are ready to toast Malbec and join in the fiesta!

Malbec’s ancestral home is the Cahors region of France, where it is known as ‘Cot’. It was brought to the new world by French and Italian immigrants and quickly adapted to the varied terroirs offered by Argentina’s unique geography. A quick glance at a map of Argentina reveals that the vineyads of Mendoza lie in the rain shadow of the Andes mountains, essentially an arid dessert high up in the clouds. True to it’s adaptive nature, Malbec thrived in this new environment and took on a new unique persona. Early Argentinean  Malbec pioneeers pushed this grape outside of it’s traditional character. Today, Argentinean Malbec is known as a wine full of complex black fruit and raspberry aromas, savoury leather and tobacco, spiced with black pepper, chocolate and violet notes. To the world, Malbec is celebrated as an affordable, food friendly wine and the global ambassador of Argentina’s wine industry.

Being as Malbec is known as the ‘heart of Argentina’ and that BBQ is considered the national dish, we felt a pairing to capture your heart was in order.

Behold the holy trinity:  Malbec +  Steak + Chimichurri =  Exquisito !

Chimichurri + Flank Steak

Each chef has their own recipe for chimichurri. It is usually a combination of parsley, cilantro, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper and touch of chilies for heat. It is bold and flavourful and compliments anything grilled or roasted.

Lighting the grill for the first time….so satisfying after a long winter of cooking indoors. The whoosh of the flame, the smell of char and the ear-pleasing sizzle and crackle. What better way to start the celelbration!

for the chimichurri 

  • 1 bunch flat leaf parsley leaves, washed
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro leaves, washed
  • 6 sprigs oregano
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seed, toasted and ground
  • 1/4 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp Sherry vinegar
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil

 

for the steak 

  • 1 flank steak, about 3 lb. trimmed
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • kosher salt and pepper

Method

  1. Roughly chop the parsley, cilantro and oregano
  2. In the bowl of a mortar place the garlic cloves and salt. Using the pestle, pound the two into a paste.
  3. Add the cumin, chili flakes, black pepper and the chopped herbs
  4. Mix together, grinding the herbs up into smaller pieces
  5. Add the Sherry vinegar
  6. Add the olive oil, stirring to incorporate
  7. Depending on how thick you want the chimichurri, you may not use all the olive oil
  8. Check for seasoning
  9. The chimichurri may separate so just give it a good old stir before serving
  10. Preheat the grill
  11. Pat the flank steak dry and then rub both sides with olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper
  12. Grill the steak about 6 minutes per side for medium rare
  13. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes.
  14. Holding your knife at a 45-degree angle, slice the steak across the grain.
  15. We enjoyed our steak piled on homemade tortillas, loaded with chimichurri sauce and a squeeze of lime….all washed down with a glass of Malbec!

 It is fitting that when selecting a Malbec for this post we chose a wine from the high elevation, grape-growing pioneer himself, Nicolas Catena. Catena’s winemaking roots go back to the beginning of the 19th century, after his family immigrated from Italy to Argentina and established Malbec vineyards in 1902. By the 1980’s, grandson Nicolas Catena, was pushing Argentinean wines onto the world stage and bringing the Mendoza region front and centre as a wine growing region that produces great wines. He took his vineyards up into the foothills of the Andes to 1, 440 m in the Uco Valley.  At first, everyone thought he was nuts…..like Icarus flying too close to the sun. At these heights it was thought too cool to grow grapes. However, the poor soil and intense sunlight at this soaring elevation turned out to be an ideal combination and created grapes of improved flavour and aromatics. 

By setting new quality standards, controlling yields, ageing wine in premium French oak and implementing new and cutting edge winemaking techniques, the wines of Catena helped to change the game for Argentinean wine.  Since then Nicolas Catena has been called Argentina’s greatest visionary and in 2009 he was named Man of the Year by Decanter.By setting new quality standards, controlling yields, ageing wine in premium French oak and implementing new and cutting edge winemaking techniques, the wines of Catena helped to change the game for Argentinean wine.  Since then Nicolas Catena has been called Argentina’s greatest visionary and in 2009 he was named Man of the Year by Decanter.

So cheers to Nicolas Catena and cheers to Argentinean Malbec.

We hope you all join in the festivities and raise a glass!

‘Malbec…the heart of Argentina. The deepest wines are born of the deepest longings of their peoples. those who reside in the heart. Malbec is the heart of our industry and continues to be our global ambassador’

 

 

All photography, food styling, recipes and pairings are our own creations.

All photography, food styling, recipes and pairings are our own creations.

Thanks for stopping by our blog.

Salud! 

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This