A Word on Wine: Malbec
As you’ve been reading BrokeAss Gourmet, some of you have probably been thinking of wines that will work with the dishes you’re going to whip up on a budget. Well, as discussed before, there are plenty of cheap (it’s not a bad word!) wines that can work but don’t be afraid to be adventurous in your picks.
What does that mean? Try wines from countries that you haven’t explored or perhaps that you would like to visit sometime, try a varietal that is new to you or replace a well known type of wine with something similar but for less money.
Start slowly in your wine adventures and find a Malbec from Argentina (they have rightly become much more popular and available recently) rather than settling for that grocery store Cabernet that you might have picked otherwise. Malbec makes an enjoyable wine, distinguished by plummy dark-fruit flavors, subtle tastes of the earth and good acidity, all of which makes it a good food wine.
An example of a great Malbec on a budget is Valle Perdido from Patagonia, although most will come from the Mendoza region. It was a huge hit at The Wine Mine during a Malbec tasting a few weeks ago. It costs only $10 ($12 most places), has wide appeal and can be served on it’s own or with a variety of foods. It has deep but accessible fruit, due to only moderate tannins, along with some light barrel overtones of vanilla and cedar. Other good choices are Zolo Malbec for $8.99 or a Crios (by Susanna Balbo) for $11.99. Although it can sometimes be hard to find the specific wines mentioned in articles, just find a good wine shop that is happy to help and ask for something like it in price and characteristic.
Go ahead and bring out your newly found Malbec with some lighter appetizers – it will work fine. If you want to spend a fortune in time and $s you can then pair it up with some fancy Thomas Keller dish or, much better, serve Gabi’s Seared Steak with Red Wine Sauce or evenReal Mac and Cheese or Black Bean Burgers with Sriracha Aioli . You’ll be glad you did!