Asado is the national dish of Argentina, and the word represents two separate meanings: first, a broad range of techniques associated with cooking barbecue and the traditional dish that ensues, and second, the actual barbecue event. Though the country is known for its rich carnivorous traditions, Argentina is also the producer of stellar wines—and both go hand-in-hand. Terrazas de los Andes recognizes this perfect pairing. The culture of the land infuses the final product: a series of dynamic, flavorful wines that can be consumed at any time—though resonate perfectly with summertime barbecues.
Gonzalo Carrasco, Terrazas de los Andes' Winemaker was born in Mendoza, Argentina—just four miles from their vineyard. After leaving the region for many years to work at wineries across the globe, Carrasco returned to Terrazas in 2002. According to Carrasco, "Everything [at the vineyard] is linked to the Andes. Our climate is warm during the day and cool during the night. Erosion coming from the mountains, pushes the minerals into the valley where we are. The water also comes from precipitation on the Andes." Each of these elements directly impacts the unique wines, beginning with the grapes. And while the local geography can be quite extreme, it hardly overshadows the Argentinian passion for winemaking, which is perfectly met with traditional French techniques, brought over in the 1950s by Moët & Chandon who selected the region for its profound terroir.
"Great meats, salmons and tunas—they all pair perfectly with our wines," Carrasco continues. "We have different styles and concentrations. The Malbec and Cabernet, our entry level wines, are fruiter and medium bodied—easier to drink. There's more concentration and even great structure in our more advanced wines, however there's an elegance to them all." The Reserva Malbec is very round, jammy with strong tannins. The Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon is quite ripe, but gentle with softer tannins. Both compliment roasted and oven cooked meats, and slightly spicy dishes.
The single vineyard iterations are the next level up of each version, with furthered complexity amid plums and even floral notes. The collection of reds is meticulously rounded out with a blend known as the Cheval des Andes, a wine powerful enough to hold its own against the spiciest of foods, including chili peppers.
With so many wines gracing the shelves of shops, it can be challenging to find one you like, and also one that fits the occasion. With BBQs popping up every weekend, these wines are a happy discovery, at an affordable price.
Visit Terrazas de los Andes' online, where the Malbec sells for $20. The rest of their range of reds and whites are available at various stockists with prices starting at $17. Terrazas de los Andes also maintains a helpful site, complete with additional information, perfect pairings and even recipes.
Images courtesy of Terrazas de los Andes