Argentinian wine is popular but not much understood. Alderman editor Paul Fishman asked Florencia Campicelli, a sommelier at Anuva Wines of Buenos Aires, to tell us something about it. In part 1, Florencia talked about the grapes, regions and wine styles of Argentina, while here she reveals how to drink Argentinian wine like a local—and provides a wine cocktail recipe.
You serve food at your wine tastings. Is this because wine is usually drunk with food in Argentina, as in, say, Italy? What should we eat with Argentinian wine?
Here in Argentina we do usually have a drink and eat at the same time, and I personally think that the best thing to eat when drinking is a picada, an assortment of cold cuts, cheeses, sauces and bread. Depending on the types of things you have to hand to chop and get onto a plate to share, you can pair it with red, white or even a rosé. Our favorite choices are Malbec, Bonarda, Torrontés or Malbec rosé to pair with this.
How is wine served in Argentina? What glasses, serving temperatures, etc would you recommend for the different types and styles?
Our wines are usually high in alcohol because we have a lot of sun in all of our wine regions, so the best thing is to serve the red wines slightly chilled. Depending on how complex and old the wine is, it can be served from 14 to 17° C. Younger, lighter and fruitier styles should be served cooler than more complex, full-bodied and aged wines.
White wines can be served at fridge temperature, around 10° C, and sparkling is usually enjoyed best when cold, around 7° C.
When it comes to glassware, I could recommend one style per wine, but the truth is that most of us don’t have that much space (or perhaps the budget) to get so many different ones. The large glasses are good for letting the aromas of the wine develop, but whatever you get, just keep in mind that the glass should be good quality and not too thick, and when serving white, serve to less than the line of the “equator”, so it doesn’t become warm before you finish.
You seem to enjoy wine cocktails, do you have a recipe for us?
Yes: the Cynblanc Julep. It’s a sweet and sour drink made with Cynar, now super-trendy in Buenos Aires. Cynar is a herbal bitters with artichokes as the base ingredient. [Editor’s note: Cynar is an Italian bitters and is now made by Campari; it can be used instead of Campari in the Negroni.] We would choose Punta Carmelo Sauvignon Blanc 2013 as the wine component in this one—a crisp and fresh white wine. Let’s see what else we will need for this one…
- a highball glass (or any large and tall one)
- 1½ oz Cynar
- 2 oz Punta Carmelo Sauvignon Blanc (or similar wine)
- four large basil leaves
- ½ oz basic syrup
- 1 oz grapefruit juice
- crushed ice
First, put the basil leaves at the bottom of the glass along with the syrup and a few drops of juice, then crush and mix with a mortar. Then place the crushed ice in the glass (slightly more than half of the glass capacity) and start pouring in the following order: Cynar, Sauvignon Blanc and juice. You can decorate with peppermint leaves and half a slice of grapefruit for garnish.
What would you say to our readers about the best way to drink wine?
The best way to drink wine is to enjoy it! It’s better in company from my perspective, although I know people who have a glass of wine and use it to take some time to reflect about the day. It’s up to the reader how they enjoy that bottle or glass, the point of it is to have a nice time.
About Anuva Wines
Anuva is an independent wine merchant (retail and wholesale), tasting venue, exporter and wine club based in Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina. Their founding principles include:
- hand sourcing great, limited production wines from South America
- community building and spreading knowledge—supporting small producers in developing countries and hosting small, intimate groups at wine tastings from their loft in Buenos Aires
Anuva’s team of sommeliers like to combine their expertise with simple enjoyment and plenty of humor in the pursuit of good drinking.