Pairing dishes with Argentine wines is a study of contrasts: big flavors and unique subtleties. The country’s distinctive terroir brings mountain minerality into almost every glass, lending a crispness to the Whites and taking the Reds into earthy richness. Thankfully these features bring welcome clarity to food and cheese pairings.
The best Argentine Whites are typically dry and crisp, slightly tropical with that lovely minerality peeking through in the mid-palate or emerging proudly in the clean finish. Dishes with a sweet heat are the perfect mates here. Think Thai barbecue and green curries. The kick of Jamaican Jerk Chicken opens in a new tab with caramalized scallions is an ideal pairing for the cool tangerine-citric crispness of the Crios Torrontes.
To pair cheeses with Argentine whites, think creaminess and nutty roundness – perfect matches include goat cheeses, double creams and goudas. You want a cheese that coats the mouth, allowing the wine’s florals and acidity to build and mellow. Smooth-textured, semi-firm Parrano, for example, brings notes of creamy almond and subtle bite to the apples and ripe lime found in Doña Paula Los Cardos Sauvignon Blanc.
Dark Fruits, Red Meats
Black cherries, dark plums, earthy leather, cigar box – just a few of the deep luscious flavors that tell you you have your hands on an Argentine Red. The best Reds from Argentina have a bold backbone and demand dishes and cheeses that can match them step for step. It’s no surprise that a country renowned for its steak grows wine grapes destined to fill glasses by the grill. Charred skirt steaks and sirloins pair perfectly. Another great meat option is lamb. The earthiness in Braised Lamb Shanks opens in a new tab builds on the roasted nut flavors and chocolatey tannins in the malbec from Bodega Tamari Reserva.
When choosing a cheese for an Argentine Red, pair strong to strong. Salty, semi-hard cheddars rise up to meet the tannins, then give room for these proud Reds to finish in their own style. Blue cheeses also do well – Cambozola Black, a gently-veined blue with a delicate but nicely persistent flavor, encourages Achaval Ferrer’s Malbec-Cabernet Sauvignon Blend to darkly-fruited mahogany heights.
The best couples play to each others’ strengths - nudging, complimenting, guiding and encouraging - and Argentina sets the table for some seriously satisfying match-making. Ready to take it to the next level? Read up on all the Argentine wines you’ll find at Whole Foods Market opens in a new tab.
Any pairings you’ve discovered during your exploration of the world of Argentine wine? Let us know!