In this blog post, we are going to learn about the Malbec grape, that is the source for what else? That's right junior Malbec wine. Malbec wine is considered a red wine. And though I am no expert on wine, I do know some very basics, like when I used to wait tables out of high school, the floor manager always said, "If your customers are gonna order a Steak Diane, it's a red wine. If they are gonna get the Mahi Mahi, it's a white wine, got it?" Yeah easy man! But there's more to just that. I mean, I've read up one wine experts saying, "This Chard goes well with fish, lobster, as well as a lean beef cutlet." What? Wait a second. Is this dude on drugs? Chardonnay with beef cutlet? I swear I read that somewhere. OK, my latest studies once again produced the unusual. Malbec, which is a red, will do well with roasted chicken. Hmmm. Chicken, is good with whites right? Is this nuts? Is this confusing? It sure is confusing. I was taught, that whites goes with poultry. Unless however, the guy that wrote the blog meant, roasted dark meat of chicken. Now that makes more sense. You take the Chardonnay, or Sauvignon Blanc, and serve it with the lean chicken breast. And you take a Malbec or Cabernet Sauvignon, or Merlot and serve it with a chicken leg, the dark meat.
Malbec hanging from the vines in Argentina
A bottle of Malbec
The Malbec from what I understand isn't a top red, it's like the wounded cousin of all the so-called better reds, like higher priced Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah. However this information I'm getting states Malbec is a full-bodied red that grows big time in Argentina. Malbec originated from France, but it couldn't stand the weather, its resistance was weak. Now it flourishes in Argentina, where Malbec is grown exponentially. Let's just say Argentina is Malbec, or Malbec is Argentina.
FRUIT FLAVORS: Black Cherry, Pomegranate, Plum, Raspberry, Blackberry, Blueberry
OTHER AROMAS: Cocoa, Milk Chocolate, Coffee, Mocha, Molasses, Leather, Black Pepper, Gren Stem, Gravel, Tobacco. (Gravel? Really?)
OAK AGING: Vanilla, Dill, Coconut
SERVING TEMPERATURE: Slightly Cool 69 deg. F.
SIMILAR VARIETALS: Syrah, Merlot, Dolcetto, Touriga Nacional, Petit Verdot, Petite Sirah, Lacrima, Nero d' Avola, Mourdevdre (mower, vedd drah)
BLENDING: Blended commonly in Right Bank Bordeaux with Merlot and Petit Verdot. In Argentina, Malbec is occasionally blended with Bonarda, a regional red grape originally from Italy.
Other basics: Malbec does well in higher elevations, it does not thrive in lower elevations, in lower elevations, Malbec does not produce enough acidity. Wines need acid so it can age longer.
Why is acid important in wine? Acid is an important component in both winemaking and the finished product of wine. They are present in both the grapes and the wine, having influences on the color, as well as the balance and taste of the wine. Other factors are the growth and vitality of yeast during fermentation, and to protect the wine from bacterial growth. Now we wouldn't want that crap in a bottle do we?
About alcohol: Alcohol occurs during the wine making process, when yeast breaks down the sugars into alcohol. Some wine makers will add additional alcohol if some of the grapes haven't broken down, these wines are altered and called 'fortified' wines. These wines generally have a longer shelf life. Some examples of fortified wines are Port, Sherry, Madeira, Marsala, Vermouth.
The alcohol also affects the taste of the wine. The Malbec's ABV is about 14% (from what I've read, and spoke to other wine junkies haha!)
A long time ago, I talked to Hawaii Sommelier Chuck Furuya, and I asked him all about wines. And he basically told me, if you like the bottle, no matter the price point, just enjoy it. So that was cool. But if you're going to be a salesperson in a fine wine shop, you need more in depth knowledge, or if you're going for your sommelier medal. Hey, it's a trip. Just like all the different varieties of marijuana. Haha.