Mendoza’s appeal as a travel destination hinges on its wine and food.
We searched for good foods at Mercado Central to take home and make our own meals. The fish market carried excellent (frozen) shrimp; asparagus was newly picked and the taste was unbelievably good; the spice seller gave us a minimum of oregano and wouldn’t charge us.
After a long walk through Mendoza we saw a very nice looking ice cream store, Helados Dante Soppelsa, and looked at each other. “Why not?” We checked their offerings and chuckled. Where else, but in Mendoza?
Another night, to continue the serious pursuit of tasting Mendoza wines, we arranged a visit to Wine Not. The co-owner, Matias, started off by pouring a Sauvignon Blanc produced by a biodynamic vintner; followed by a Rosé wine made from bonarda grapes, the second most highly produced grape in Argentina. The third offering was a full-bodied Pinot Noir. A lovely Cabernet Franc followed.
In the middle of the tasting, Brennan Firth, a local winemaker and owner of Cepas Elegidas, came in with a delivery of wine.
Black Noir 2012 is a blend of 85% tempranillo grapes (from 2 regions) and 15% bonarda grapes. The wine was aged in American, French and Hungarian oak barrels over 40 months and then blended together. We were very impressed!
A few nights later we watched the next episode in the documentary series, “Chef’s Table,” and were more than a little surprised that the episode profiled one of the great chefs of the world, the Argentinian, Francis Mallmann, who owns 1884 Restaurant in Mendoza – a good location for serious food and wine lovers.
Most places we’ve traveled have a number of sights to see and things to do. Dining well is an additional pleasure. In Mendoza, wine and food is what it’s all about.