Dish

A Taste of Argentina

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Wine enthusiasts can make a brief getaway from the brown of spring and transport themselves to the warmth of Argentina. Now in its fifth year, A Taste of Argentina offers guests a selection of popular wines the country's become known for, as well as expertly paired hors d'oeuvres.

Guests can taste their way through the Argentinean vineyards with more than 150 wines that showcase the full-bodied, savoury nature wines of Argentina have become renowned for. The event features wineries such as Luigi Bosca, Enrique Foster, Luca and Zuccardi.

Jack Watt of Lanigan & Edwards, a wine agency that supplies wines from Argentina, says the event will feature multiple grape varietals, but will predominantly feature malbecs and some traditional Bordeaux blends including merlot and cabernet sauvignon. He adds that the Mendoza region in Argentina supplies 50 to 70 percent of the world's malbecs. As for white varietals, guests can sample chardonnays and torrontes, the signature white wine of Argentina.

“It is grown at very high elevations at the northern part of Argentina closer to the Equator and traditionally you can't grow good grape varietals in Equatorial regions because the elevation's so high,” Watt says. “If you can get cool nights, the wine ends up having a little bit more acidity and probably a little bit more minerality to it and that's what adds to the characteristic of the grape varietal. It's not grown in a region where it's super hot all the time because the wines end up having too much sugar and they shut down because of the hot temperatures.”

The success of Argentinean wines can be chalked up to two reasons, Watt notes. First, in terms of quality, they offer some of the best value in the world. Secondly, Argentinean vineyards do not suffer from any natural diseases, which means the grapes are free of pesticides and herbicides.

“The only thing they have to protect against is hail and they throw nets over the vines to canopy the grapes so they don't get damaged from hailstones,” he explains.

The evening also features a live and silent auction in support of the Edmonton Jazz Festival Society, which offers numerous initiatives for professional and aspiring musicians. Live entertainment will be provided by Edmonton's own Peter Belec Trio.

Thu, Mar 3 (7 pm)

The Sutton Place Hotel, $65

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