PEOPLE’S CHOICE: WINE 2017

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Wow, people. Just wow.

Over 1400 people, 2500+ empanadas, 90+ Malbec … and let’s not forget the tango dancers. This truly was Australia’s BEST Malbec event, and we have you to thank for it. So, THANK YOU!

Thanks also to the Argentinean Embassy for coming down and spreading the Malbec love.

You may remember that on the day we asked you to vote for your favourite producer on the day and below is the results of both the overall votes and individual cities.

But at the end of the Tango, there can only be one winner and, for the second year in a row, the title goes to JED WINES!

BRAVO!

NATIONAL Top 10
  1. JED
  2. Yarra Yering
  3. Aluvion
  4. Man o War
  5. Terrazas de Los Andes
  6. Catena Zapata
  7. Taylor Made
  8. Bremerton
  9. Acordeón
  10. Mendel

Maybe it had something to do with the costume?

SYDNEY TOP 5
  1. JED
  2. Aluvion
  3. Tied between – Yarra Yering, Taylors & Man o’War
  4. Bremerton
  5. Terrazas
MELBOURNE TOP 5
  1. Yarra Yering
  2. JED
  3. ReWine
  4. Terrazas de Los Andes
  5. Catena Zapata

Melbourne’s 2017 GOLDEN EMPANADA Winners

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Each year at Gauchito Gil’s Malbec Day in Melbourne, five restaurants battle it out for the coveted GOLDEN EMPANADA trophy. This year, the competition was tougher than ever, with San Telmo, CHE, The Mill House, Elyros and Gertrude St Enoteca x Little Latin Lucy vying for the prize. Here’s how it went down. 

San Telmo took out the professionals’ choice category in this year’s Golden Empanada competition for the third year running, decided by a group of Melbourne’s top food critics, from Broadsheet, Good Food, the Weekly Review and The Australian. Empanadas were brought into the judges’ chamber, blind – the judges didn’t know anything more than what was inside them – and then scored on the quality of the pastry, quality of the filling, consistency, and, most importantly, their overall deliciousness.

It’s hard to say whether there’s an advantage in being among the first empanadas to be tasted, or the last. On one hand, when you’re hungry, everything tastes good. On the other hand, if you can find room in your stomach for something when you’re completely full, then it must be seriously great. The standard across the board was the highest it has ever been since this competition’s inception – every single empanada was considered for the prize. But there’s no beating San Telmo. Not only did it win first place with its beef empanada, it also took our second place with its corn and mozzarella empanada. Elyros restaurant came third, with its sheep and goat cheese kalitsounia.

The judges Kristoffer Paulsen, Emily Paulin, Hilary McNevin, Anna Webster, Leanne Clancy (missing; Sofia Levin).

Once again, the professionals and the people disagreed. The winner of the People’s Choice Golden Empanada trophy was newcomer CHE, with its smoked beef brisket empanada. CHE is by the team behind Pastuso, and it was the first time Melbourne had had a taste (the restaurant doesn’t open until the end of May). A pretty good way to start, we think.

Thank you to all who came, ate and voted! Until next year, Melbourne.

MELBOURNE – Your Malbec Wine List is here!

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So here you go. Your Malbec Wine List for Gauchito Gil’ Malbec Day and boy, it’s a doozy. In fact, just under 90 different Malbec’s will be on tasting.

So the question is now, where do you start?

Regardless of your wine knowledge, navigating your way around 90 odd wines at any event can be a little daunting so here are a few tips to help you navigate your way through the day.

Malbec is Wine with Altitude.

Think of the variety the same way as you would with Australian Shiraz. We grow it virtually everywhere here but as we all know well, the variations are endless with where it’s grown playing a vital role as to subsequent style. Warmer regions (like Barossa for example) can often produce bigger, richer styles of shiraz. Cooler regions, like the Yarra Valley, are often more in the medium bodied spectrum and generally show a little more spice.

Same ideas can be applied to Malbec. The lower the altitude, the warmer it gets hence a more fuller flavoured style. The higher the altitude, the cooler it gets so you tend to see more floral and perfumed examples.

Make sense?

All in all, you’d be hard pressed to find a bigger range and broader selection of Malbec anywhere and we can’t wait to see which is your favourite producer on the day!

OLÉ!


ARGENTINA

Untapped Fine Wines
Achaval Ferrer Malbec Mendoza 2014
Achaval Ferrer Quimera Blend 2009
Caelum Malbec 2013
El Porvenir Amauta I Inspiración Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon Syrah 2011
El Porvenir Laborum Single Vineyard Malbec 2007
Enrique Foster Venetia Sparkling Blanc de Noir Malbec NV
Enrique Foster IQUE Malbec 2016
Enrique Foster Reserva Malbec 2012
Mauricio Lorca Fantasia Malbec 2016
Mauricio Lorca Opalo Malbec 2012
Mendel Lunta Malbec 2014
Mendel Unus Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Mendel Finca Remota Malbec 2009
Mi Terruño Uvas Malbec Rosé 2016
Mi Terruño Uvas Malbec 2015
Mi Terruño Expresión Malbec 2014
Mi Terruño Reserva Malbec 2014
Mi Terruño Mayacaba Malbec 2009
O. Fournier Alfa Crux Blend 2004
Maquis Malbec Rosé 2014
Maquis Malbec 2012
Tamaya Reserva Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon Syrah (1500ml) 2012

Jed Wines
Jed Malbec, Uco Valley, Mendoza 2014.
Jed Limited Release Malbec, Uco Valley, Mendoza 2013.
La Posta “Paulucci” Malbec, Lujan De Cuyo, Mendoza 2015.
Bodega Noemia “A Lisa” Malbec, Patagonia 2015.
Bodega Colome “Estate” Malbec, Salta 2014.
Bodega Colome “A

Artisan Malbec Club
Finca Agostino Malbec
Bressia Monteagrelo Malbec
Marcelo Pelleriti Grand Selection
Mythic Estate Malbec
Viniterra Select Malbec
Serie Terra Malbec
Marcelo Pelleriti Reserve Malbec
Marcelo Pelleriti Sol Fa Sol Malbec
Luigi Bosca Malbec

Bodega Catena Zapata
Alamos Malbec 2015
Tilia Malbec 2015
Catena Zapata Catena Malbec 2014
Catena Alta Malbec 2013

Red Wax Wines
Vina Las Perdices, Malbec Rose 2015
Mevi Bodega Boutique, ‘San Gimignano’ Malbec 2015
Vina Las Perdices, Malbec 2015
Familia Blanco ‘Mairena’ Malbec 2013
Mevi Bodega Boutique, ‘San Gimignano’ Malbec RSV 2012
CarinaE, ‘Finca Deneza’, Single Vineyard Malbec 2014
CarinaE, ‘Hommage’, Malbec Gran RSV 2010

Winetraveller
Acordeón Malbec Mendoza 2015

Argento
Argento Classic Malbec 2015
Esquinas Malbec 2014
Argento Reserva Malbec 2014

red+white
Fat Bastard Malbec Mendoza 2016

United Cellars
Bodegas Salentein ‘Paso’ Selected Red 2015
Bodegas Salentein Portillo Malbec 2015
Finca Flichman ‘Gestos’ Malbec 2014
Finca Flichman ‘Expressiones’, 2014
Trumpeter Malbec 2014
Rutini Encuentro 2014
San Felipe Roble Malbec 2015
Perez Cruz COT 2013

Terrazas de los Andes
Terrazas Reserva Malbec 2015
Terrazas Single Vineyard Malbec 2011

 

AUSTRALIA

Yarra Yering – Yarra Valley
Yarra Yering Malbec 2016
Yarra Yering Agincourt Cabernet Malbec 2015

red+white
Brothers in Arms Side by Side Malbec Langhorne Creek 2013
La La Land Malbec Murray Darling 2015
Cullen Mangan Vineyard Malbec Preservative Free 2016

Bremerton – Langhorn Creek
Bremerton Special Release Malbec 2015

Jones Winery – Rutherglen
Jones Winery & Vineyard Malbec 2015
Jones Winery & Vineyard Malbec 2013
Jones Winery Rosé 2016

Taylor Made by Taylors Wines
Taylor Made Clare Valley Malbec 2015

ReWine – Heathcote
ReWine Malbec

Brown Brothers – Heathcote
Brown Brothers Vintage Release Malbec 2015

 

NEW ZEALAND

Man O’ War Vineyards – Waihiki Island
‘Pinque’ Rosé 2016
‘Death Valley’ Malbec 2014
‘Warspite’ 2013
‘Gravestone’ 2013
‘Valhalla’ 2016

FRANCE

La Mosaique – Cahors
Chateau Combel la Serre AOC Cahors Malbec 2012
Chateau Combel la Serre Pur Fruit AOC Cahors Malbec 2014
Domaine Saint Etienne Rouge Barrique AOC Quercy 2012
Domaine Saint Etienne Rouge AOC Quercy 2015

Mas del Périé | Fabien Jouves – Cahors
Fabien Jouves ‘Haute Cot(e) de Fruite’ Cahors 2015
Mas del Périé ‘La Roque’ Cahors 2015
Mas del Périé ‘Amphore’ Cahors 2014

BUY TICKETS HERE!

SYDNEY – Behold your Malbec Wine List!

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So here you go. Your Malbec Wine List for Gauchito Gil’ Malbec Day and boy, it’s a doozy. So the question is now, where do you start.

Regardless of your wine knowledge, navigating your way around 90 odd wines at any event can be a little daunting so here are a few tips to help you navigate your way through the day.

Malbec is Wine with Altitude.

Think of the variety the same way as you would with Australian Shiraz. We grow it virtually everywhere here but as we all know well, the variations are endless with where it’s grown playing a vital role as to subsequent style. Warmer regions (like Barossa for example) can often produce bigger, richer styles of shiraz. Cooler regions, like the Yarra Valley, are often more in the medium bodied spectrum and generally show a little more spice.

Same ideas can be applied to Malbec. The lower the altitude, the warmer it gets hence a more fuller flavoured style. The higher the altitude, the cooler it gets so you tend to see more floral and perfumed examples.

Make sense?

All in all, you’d be hard pressed to find a bigger range and broader selection of Malbec anywhere and we can’t wait to see which is your favourite producer on the day!

OLÉ!

ARGENTINA

Untapped Fine Wines
Achaval Ferrer Malbec Mendoza 2014
Achaval Ferrer Quimera Blend 2009
Caelum Malbec 2013
El Porvenir Amauta I Inspiración Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon Syrah 2011
El Porvenir Laborum Single Vineyard Malbec 2007
Enrique Foster Venetia Sparkling Blanc de Noir Malbec NV
Enrique Foster IQUE Malbec 2016
Enrique Foster Reserva Malbec 2012
Mauricio Lorca Fantasia Malbec 2016
Mauricio Lorca Opalo Malbec 2012
Mendel Lunta Malbec 2014
Mendel Unus Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Mendel Finca Remota Malbec 2009
Mi Terruño Uvas Malbec Rosé 2016
Mi Terruño Uvas Malbec 2015
Mi Terruño Expresión Malbec 2014
Mi Terruño Reserva Malbec 2014
Mi Terruño Mayacaba Malbec 2009
O. Fournier Alfa Crux Blend 2004
Maquis Malbec Rosé 2014
Maquis Malbec 2012
Tamaya Reserva Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon Syrah (1500ml) 2012

Jed Wines
Jed Malbec, Uco Valley, Mendoza 2014.
Jed Limited Release Malbec, Uco Valley, Mendoza 2013.
La Posta “Paulucci” Malbec, Lujan De Cuyo, Mendoza 2015.
Bodega Noemia “A Lisa” Malbec, Patagonia 2015.
Bodega Colome “Estate” Malbec, Salta 2014.
Bodega Colome “A

Artisan Malbec Club
Finca Agostino Malbec
Bressia Monteagrelo Malbec
Marcelo Pelleriti Grand Selection
Mythic Estate Malbec
Viniterra Select Malbec
Serie Terra Malbec
Marcelo Pelleriti Reserve Malbec
Marcelo Pelleriti Sol Fa Sol Malbec
Luigi Bosca Malbec

Bodega Catena Zapata
Alamos Malbec 2015
Tilia Malbec 2015
Catena Zapata Catena Malbec 2014
Catena Alta Malbec 2013

Red Wax Wines
Vina Las Perdices, Malbec Rose 2015
Mevi Bodega Boutique, ‘San Gimignano’ Malbec 2015
Vina Las Perdices, Malbec 2015
Familia Blanco ‘Mairena’ Malbec 2013
Mevi Bodega Boutique, ‘San Gimignano’ Malbec RSV 2012
CarinaE, ‘Finca Deneza’, Single Vineyard Malbec 2014
CarinaE, ‘Hommage’, Malbec Gran RSV 2010

Winetraveller
Acordeón Malbec Mendoza 2015

Argento
Argento Classic Malbec 2015
Esquinas Malbec 2014
Argento Reserva Malbec 2014

red+white
Fat Bastard Malbec Mendoza 2016

Aluvión Vineyards
Aluvión Vineyards Malbec Reserva “Cooper’s Pick” 2011
Aluvión Vineyards Malbec Reserva 2012

United Cellars
Bodegas Salentein ‘Paso’ Selected Red 2015
Bodegas Salentein Portillo Malbec 2015
Finca Flichman ‘Gestos’ Malbec 2014
Finca Flichman ‘Expressiones’, 2014
Trumpeter Malbec 2014
Rutini Encuentro 2014
San Felipe Roble Malbec 2015
Perez Cruz COT 2013

Terrazas de los Andes
Terrazas Reserva Malbec 2015
Terrazas Single Vineyard Malbec 2011

Exclusive Vines
Tomero Malbec 2015
Serbal Malbec 2015
Catalpa Malbec 2014
Vistalba B 2014
Arturo Malbec 2013
Arido Malbec 2014
Altamira Navigato Family Selection 2009

 

AUSTRALIA

Yarra Yering – Yarra Valley
Yarra Yering Malbec 2016
Yarra Yering Agincourt Cabernet Malbec 2015

red+white
Brothers in Arms Side by Side Malbec Langhorne Creek 2013
La La Land Malbec Murray Darling 2015
Cullen Mangan Vineyard Malbec Preservative Free 2016

Bremerton – Langhorn Creek
Bremerton Special Release Malbec 2015

Jones Winery – Rutherglen
Jones Winery & Vineyard Malbec 2015
Jones Winery & Vineyard Malbec 2013
Jones Winery Rosé 2016

Taylor Made by Taylors Wines
Taylor Made Clare Valley Malbec 2015

 

NEW ZEALAND

Man O’ War Vineyards – Waihiki Island
‘Pinque’ Rosé 2016
‘Death Valley’ Malbec 2014
‘Warspite’ 2013
‘Gravestone’ 2013
‘Valhalla’ 2016

 

FRANCE

La Mosaique – Cahors
Chateau Combel la Serre AOC Cahors Malbec 2012
Chateau Combel la Serre Pur Fruit AOC Cahors Malbec 2014
Domaine Saint Etienne Rouge Barrique AOC Quercy 2012
Domaine Saint Etienne Rouge AOC Quercy 2015

Mas del Périé | Fabien Jouves – Cahors
Fabien Jouves ‘Haute Cot(e) de Fruite’ Cahors 2015
Mas del Périé ‘La Roque’ Cahors 2015
Mas del Périé ‘Amphore’ Cahors 2014

 

GOLDEN EMPANADA JUDGE: EMILY PAULIN

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Familiar with a little online publication known as Broadsheet? Well, this Gauchito here is a huge part of how you get your city’s goss. She’s the Social Media Manager (NATIONAL!!) so runs all its Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts, and does a freakin’ great job doing it. Her intimate knowledge of our country’s best restaurants makes her a perfect GOLDEN EMPANADA judge.

Tell us about your experience with Malbec

I’d get the stuff IV’ed in to my veins if it wasn’t going to damage my liver

I would do anything for Malbec, but I won’t do…

Tasting notes (I’ll come undone).

I’m all for judging food. The only thing I’m not willing to put in my mouth is…

A mocha hot cross bun.

Aside from steak, what would you cook to go with Malbec?

Slow-cooked pulled pork. Or salt and vinegar chips (not cook, just open a packet).

Where do you go for the most authentic Argentinean experience in Melbourne?

San Telmo

Where do you go for the most authentic Argentinean experience in Sydney?

Porteño

What do you drink when no one is watching?

A bottle of Baileys

Follow Emily’s food adventures here:

instagraminstagram

MALBEC MAKERS: Daniela Penno, Artisan Malbec

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More MALBEC MAKERS but we prefer to call it Malbec Confessions!

Here we catch up with Daniela Penno from ARTISAN MALBEC who be showing you a proverbial BUCKET load of brilliant Malbec from Argentina.

Yes, she’s 100% authentic Argentinean so we will be calling her in for the empanada judging we’re sure!

OLÉ!

Tell us your story!

Authentic from Argentina, I was born in Santa Fe, the place to eat the best asados (Argentine BBQs) in the country. Working to promote Malbec during the last 10 years in Australia I decided to create together with my partner Germán, Artisan Malbec, an exclusive wine club dedicated to Malbec lovers. We are dedicated to bringing the Malbec of the world to the ever-growing number of Australians who have embarked on a love affair
with this remarkable grape.

Why Malbec?

Malbec is a way of life for me. This wine has played an incredibly important role in so many vital occasions – it has been there for countless special moments with family and friends, it was there to toast our decision to migrate to Australia and it’s been part of our work and exciting business challenges for many years.

What has been your most ‘classic’ Argentine experience?

A classic argentine experience is that moment with a group of friends, many people talking at the same time, loud music, some empanadas to start, fire, smoke flavours and a fantastic piece of meat, all of this matched by a glass of a good Malbec. This is the way we party in Argentina, it’s all about sharing, dancing, getting together and celebrate food and wine.

Malbec is wine with Altitude. Discuss.

One key fact illustrates this: in only the last 10 years, some 15,000 hectares of Malbec have been planted above 1,000m and some as high as 3,000m. Some of Argentina’s best Malbecs are now coming from high altitude vineyards With the current yields for quality wines, the numbers are easy to see: some 100 million bottles whose spirit is marked by the coolness and freshness of altitude, offer the consumer a lively Malbec, full of fresh fruit and juiciness.

Can you remember your ‘first time’ with it?

Honestly, I don’t remember the first time I tasted malbec, maybe my grandma shared with me a sip during a family Sunday lunch while she was cooking her famous Italian spaghetti.

But I do remember the first time I said, “I want Malbec to be part of my life and get Aussies to know this variety”, and that moment was watching a fantastic sunset in Gualtallary, overlooking the Andes, at one of the most beautiful lounge hotels in the area, with my lovely husband, while drinking a perfect 2008 Malbec from the region.

Do you tango? Have you ever tried?

I used to, many years ago when I was the presenter of some tango shows in Argentina, but I don’t practise anymore. 

What can we expect from you on the day?

We will be presenting our portfolio of boutique wineries and exclusive malbecs featured or to be featured on our wine club. Limited editions, wines from well-known winemakers in Argentina, top malbec blends and some traditional wines too. Whether you’re rediscovering this remarkable grape first produced in the South of France, or taking your initial sip of a varietal now thriving in vineyards around the world, each glass of Malbec will take you on a unique journey.

What do you drink when no one’s watching?

Japanese Whisky.

Gauchito Gil: Who Even Is He?

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We talk a lot about Gauchito Gil, but seeing as you’re an Aussie not an Argentine, there’s every chance you have no idea who we’re referring to. So here you go.  

In short, Gauchito Gil was a nineteenth-century Robin Hood-type character, who lived life as an outlaw after refusing to fight in the Argentine Civil War. He spent his time relieving the rich of their possessions and, er, redistributing them among the disadvantaged. He was also rumoured to have miraculous healing powers.

The legend goes that he was caught by police who tortured him, strung up by his ankles over a fire. Just before he was executed for desertion and thievery, Gauchito Gil said to the sergeant: “You are going to kill me now, but you will arrive in [the town of] Mercedes tonight at the same time as a letter of my pardon. In the letter they will also tell you that your son is dying of a strange illness. If you pray and beg me to save your child, I promise you that he will live. If not, he will die.” The jerk sergeant laughed, and killed Gil anyway.

When he got home, it was as Gil predicted: his son was dying, there was a letter of pardon waiting. Desperate, the sergeant did what the dead gaucho said, and his son was saved. To assuage his own guilt, the sergeant gave Gil a proper burial and erected a red cross as a shrine over his grave.

It’s unclear how much of this story is fact and how much is fable, but what is certain is how revered he is among Argentines despite not being recognised by the Church as a true saint. His death day – January 8, 1878 – is celebrated every year with feasts, and more than 100,000 devotees flock to his hometown of Pay Ubre. Every roadside in Argentina is punctuated with blood-red monuments (see above image), and (perhaps unsurprisingly), thieves and robbers pray to him before committing crimes, believing he’ll understand. As such, he’s become the Patron Saint of Thieves.

As the spiritual home of Malbec is Argentina, it makes sense for us to honour his memory the Bottle Shop Concepts way. We’ve also updated our branding (you may have noticed) to match.

MALBEC MAKERS: Bradley Ross, Red Wax Wines

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More MALBEC MAKERS but we prefer to call it Malbec Confessions!

Here we catch up with Bradley Ross from RED WAX wines. He’s showcasing a bunch of awesome Malbecs on the day, so we thought we’d pin him down and extract some juicy insights about all things wine.

 

OLÉ!

Tell us your story!

The short version is that I was travelling through South America, got to Argentina and fell in love with Malbec. But the foundations were laid sometime before that. I was on the cusp of opening a bar in Perth, around the time of changes in small bar licensing laws in WA. I didn’t end up opening the bar, but the process taught me a bit about the liquor industry. Then I went travelling and ended up in Buenos Aires, bingeing on meat and Malbec. By chance, I happened to meet some key industry people while I was over there and it all came together from that. I now work with a local team in Perth, and we have built what we consider is the best portfolio of family-owned bodegas from Argentina. What started as an interest on a holiday in Argentina turned into a hobby, became a passion and is now an obsession.

Why Malbec?

Come to Gauchito Gil and find out!

Malbec is uniquely associated with Argentina and really evokes a sense of place. For the uninitiated, it appeals to the Australian palate because it is similar to the style of wine we grow – and drink – so well here, in particular Shiraz. It is generally fruit-driven with a bit of spice, without being overly tannic or acidic. It also has a romance about it that Argentina’s 200 plus years of winemaking history manages to bottle up and capture so well.

What has been your most ‘classic’ Argentine experience?

For me, it’s always about wine and food. Perhaps eating at a parilla while drinking Malbec.  A recent trip to Mendoza involving great food and wine with friends while overlooking the vines and the snow-capped Andes as a backdrop was pretty classic too.

Malbec is wine with Altitude. Discuss.

This is where the nerdy stuff comes out! Altitude is a winemaker’s friend.

Let’s start with the sun: The grape is closer to and gets more of the sun. This makes the skin thicker, which is where most of the flavour, colour and tannin come from.

The altitude also means that the air is purer and there is less humidity and a lower nighttime temperature.

Then the water: Uniquely, in Argentina (Mendoza specifically), the Andes block the clouds and rain from the Pacific Ocean and basically act to capture all this water for the winemaker to use.

Finally: The higher the vineyard, the lower the incidence of bugs and pests, which makes Malbec from Mendoza one of the most natural wine making processes in the world.

We like being high.

Can you remember your ‘first time’ with it?

I’d just arrived in Buenos Aires after the long haul from Perth and the first thing on my “to do” list was to try the winning combination of Argentinean meat and red wine I’d heard so much about. The restaurant closest to where I’d dropped off my bags was all dark wood and low lighting. I’ll never forget it. My first time!  I spent the rest of the week in Buenos Aires in a haze of Malbec.

Do you tango? Have you ever tried?

No. I tried and failed. Wish I could. I enjoy watching the passion of the dance.

What can we expect from you on the day?

A number of Malbecs from Mendoza which show a balance between the character of Argentine wine and the tastes of the Australian palate, so that we are able to provide Australian wine drinkers with an experience that is exotic yet accessible. The wineries we work with are mostly family-owned and show real passion from the cultivation of the grapes through to the production of the wine, with the result being unmistakable quality.  I’ve worked with these particular vineyards for many years and the wines really speak for themselves.

Finish this sentence .. ‘Malbec makes me …’

…justify my life choices.

What do you drink when no one’s watching?

Whisky.

Five minutes with… Tom Egan from Jed Wines

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Give us the short version of your story.

We’re three Aussies producing wine in Mendoza, Argentina. After study winemaking together and working vintages overseas, we discovered Malbec and Argentina and decided to have a crack at producing wine there.

Why make wine in Argentina? Wouldn’t it be easier in Australia?

Initially it was because we were blown away by the value for money that you could get with wine from Mendoza. But eventually we fell in love with the country, the people, the culture, the beef… and the Malbec.

What has been your most Argentine experience in Mendoza?

A toss-up between a family dinner that ended at 4:30am, and shopping for a barbecue and being told that we’d need to cater 750 grams of meat per person.

Malbec is wine with altitude. Discuss:

Yes, higher equals more UV light and more colour and aroma and silkier tannins. But it’s not just “the higher is better” it is that there are so many different combinations of altitude and longitude which creates potential for so many different expressions.

So, why Malbec?

When in Mendoza, what else are you going to do?! Plus, there is still SO much to explore with this variety in terms of production techniques, regions and styles. And it goes well with beef.

Can you remember your first time with it?

Honestly, not really. A bit like my other “first-time”…

Do you tango? Have you ever tried?

I have tried it, although I don’t think you could call what I was doing the Tango….

Finish this sentence: “Malbec makes me…”

….have purple teeth

What can we expect from you at Gauchito Gil’s Malbec Day? 

We’ve made some special “Malbec merch” for the big day, plus we’ll be showing a range of Malbec that we produce and import from across Mendoza and Argentina. Wine that we think best represents the regions, the people and the place.

What do you drink when no one’s watching?

Ummmm, that’s an easy one: BEER!

WE’RE BACK, MALBEC!

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HOLA!

That’s right, amigos, Gauchito Gil’s Malbec World Day is back for another year.

Gil has been busy scouring the globe for the finest, purest, most delicious Malbec he can find, and he’s bringing it all to you late April.

Here’s how the party will unfold:

SYDNEY

Rock up to Cell Block Theatre from 1pm on Saturday April 22nd. We’ll give you an epic Plumm wine glass (to keep, valued at over $30) which you’ll use to taste and drink over 60 different Malbecs.

Porteno will be there frying empanadas, and Alfamores selling alfajores stuffed with dulce de leche. There will also be Argentinian beers, and, of course, lots and lots of tango.

MELBOURNE

Head over to Meat Market from 1pm on Sunday April 23rd. Collect your glass, then drink and dance. We’ve got Rockwell and Sons, Chicken-Helados-Empanadas, San Telmo, The Mill House, and Gertrude Street Enoteca on food, and because we love competition as much as you love pastry-wrapped meat, you’ll get to vote for your favourite empanada.

We’ve also got a team of professionals (food critics and editors from Good Food, delicious., Broadsheet, The Weekly Review, and more) ready to award the Golden Empanada trophy to their favourite, too.

A fun, full day of eating, drinking and dancing. Tango dress optional.

See you at the bar!

PS. Did we mention the Argentine Ambassador is coming???
P.P.S. Yes, the Crochet Empanada will be back as well!