Waiter! I've made my decision

30 May, 2008

Carl Emberson, general manager of the Grand Hyatt in São Paolo, is an Australian who lived and worked in Argentina for more than 15 years.

"While I try other wines, I mainly drink Argentine wines and love them," he declares. Among his favoured combinations are "DV Catena Zapata Chardonnay - I love this with a pear and goats cheese salad with a light honey vinaigrette or when I cook Chinese stir-fry fish and seafood".

Emberson also recommends "Enrique Foster Malbec with Argentine empanadas, or a gourmet meat pie if you can't find an empanada in your local area, or anything red off the barbie".

He adds: "With a good piece of beef nothing goes better than Crios 2004 Syrah Bonarda by Susana Balbo - a great drop indeed.

Malamado by Zuccardi replaces port and is a great fit with cheese."

Ricardo Rebelo, vice president of Finca Flichman, is originally from Portugal, but has been living in Argentina for around seven years. "I like to combine different flavours from my home with my favourite tastes of Argentina," he says.

"I love food - from the basic sandwich to a sophisticated fish dish, my perfect meal can be inexpensive street food or a lavish restaurant meal. When I'm on the go, there's no better snack than a sausage sandwich, the delicious

choripan from Argentina, with a glass of Finca Flinchman's Shiraz/Malbec.

"For an indulgent sit-down dinner, I'd like to start with fresh, creamy

burrata cheese with an Argentine Shiraz. I


Portuguese-style fish, so I'll follow this with Bacalhau à Gomes Sá (salt cod) with a tasty Argentine Malbec."

But it doesn't just have to be about Argentine food. Juan Lo Bello of Argento says: "All travellers who set foot in Argentina want their holidays to continue forever. They see in the

customs authorities evil men that stop them from filling their backpacks with juicy empanadas from Salta."

To "compensate for the disappointment and avoid the confiscation of your bife de chorizo", he offers the following suggestions:


pasty with Malbec

rosé: "The best substitute to empanadas the UK can offer. Gently spiced pasties work wonders with the heavy weight of the Argentine rosé. The light, tannic edge in the wine will complement the meat and the good acidity will clean your palate, leaving you asking for the next bite."

Malbec with

burgers: "When a big juicy bife de chorizo is not at hand, Malbec is a burger's best friend, especially one with soft, ripe tannins and a gentle touch of oak (around £6 in any supermarket). If you go extra posh and fancy some bacon in your burger, a Malbec from Valle de Uco (1,000m to 1,500m) will be the best choice. The high altitude provides an extra level of acidity and freshness that matches the extra fat of the bacon."


rosé with


tuna and


kebabs: "Rosé is definitively a foodie wine that people should consider for their barbecued fish. Chunky grilled or pan-fried tuna is perfectly matched by the volume in the palate of Malbec rosé, and the gentle fruity character does not overpower the fish. I


any seafood

that has seen some charcoal action

can be great with this type of rosé."

Torront és of Salta with

chicken Thai green curry: "Our unique varietal is the answer to Alsace when complementing spicy food. The aromatic edge and medium-bodied palate of those from Cafayate (Salta) balance very well the chicken and the creaminess of the curry. But surprisingly, as opposed to Alsatian wines, the finish of Torrontés is always dry, so it relieves the spicy pain with a nice refreshing touch."

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