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What you need Wining & Dining
IT IS COMMONLY known that Argentines, as a nation, eat more red meat and drink more red wine that any other group of people on Earth. Good thing then that they are the 5th largest wine producing country in the world. Even more significant when you realize that they drink 90% of all they make. Some 12 gallons (59 bottles) for every man, woman, and child in the country. And they drink the very best of it before it can hit the border.
in South America
The fire in the quincho (BBQ pit) is often tended by experts who use personal sauce recipes to flavor and season the meat, while sausages, empanadas, cheese, salads, and red wine get digestive juices flowing.
The tradition of locally preparing food is passed from generation to generation, and homemade food is seen as a way of showing affection. Sunday family dinner is considered the most significant meal of the week, and whose highlights often include an asado.
to know about
The premier Argentine wine is, arguably, their Malbec (considered a secondary grape in France).
Malbec can be considered unique to Argentina, since it developed superb characteristics in Mendoza, and no other country has been able to match the same quality.
South Americans all drink a lot of wine, and they drink red with most meals, whether it is cloven- hoofed creatures, fish, or fowl. The cost of a great bottle of Mendoza’s finest tinto (red) is quite modest, and native winos are appalled at the price tag on California wines.
The top Argentine beer, Quilmes, is the Latin American version of Bud. A good bar in Buenos Aires might have some good suds from Brazil, but the micro-brewery craze hasn’t yet hit south of the border.
Most local oenophiles agree the domestic tintos are much better than the blancos. Except one. The grape is the Torrontes, of Spanish origin, but which only develops its full potential in the high Andean Cafayete valley, about a hundred miles west of Salta.
Mike Greener photo
Torrontes wines are almost overpoweringly aromatic - more so than a good Gewurztraminer, and have a rich, gold color, a sturdy body, and a reputation as the fruitiest of Argentine wines.
Any excuse is a good excuse to drink wine in South America; and none is a better excuse than an asado, the traditional Patagonia barbecue. The Brazilian version is called fogo de chão or churrascaria. An asado is simple, centuries-old, Gaucho style, open-air cooking .
An asado is more than a meal. It’s a celebration of friendship and an experience often lasting well into the night. A freshly sacrificed lamb or kid (goat) is skewered with a cross-shaped asador, that is moved, turned, and tilted for hours near a bed of coals.
Beau Purvis photo
Argentine consumption of beef now averages 220 lbs/person per year (nearly 4.5 pounds per week, for every man, woman, and child). That consumption is down from 396 lbs/person, 55 years ago. It’s a Latin American Dr. Atkins diet.
Even the simplest snack or streamside lunch in South America requires wine as a companion

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