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Top 10 Food and Wine Pairing Menus in Argentina

Exsus Travel

If food and wine – particularly the matching of the two – is your thing, then there is nowhere in the world you need to go more than Argentina. This vast country produces its own superb red and white wines, and produce is always fresh and local. In no particular order, here are ten of the best and most famous places to sample food and wine pairings in Argentina. Sip, taste, and enjoy!

The vineyards of Mendoza

1. Cavas Wine Lodge, Mendoza
Set in a 55-acre vineyard south of Mendoza, the team here ensures that their food is all grown organically and harvested in the most eco-friendly way possible. The whole lunch time and evening menu changes every few months to suit the seasons, and can all be served with matched wines for each course. Enjoy dishes such as squid stuffed with sweetbreads, confit suckling pig and steamed salmon in fig leaves. You can also take a cooking lesson in which you pair the chef´s food with Mendoza´s top wines.

2. El 23, Mendoza
This sunny courtyard restaurant in pretty Mendoza has an attached wine store, in which the varietals have a room each. It serves up lots of seafood and steak. There’s a huge range of wines served by the glass, making this a god spot for some wine matching experiments of your own.

3. Familia Zuccardi, Mendoza
The winemakers in the region do some classically gorgeous pairings in their Mendoza restaurants. A favourite includes humita (sweetcorn paste with onion and bell peppers), with a pumpkin and carrot purée, matched with their self-produced Chardonnay or Viognier.

4. Casa Mun, Buenos Aires
Argentinian wines don’t just have to be paired with Argentinian food. At Casa Mun, Korean chef Mun Kim matches the country’s wines with Asian cuisine. He’s been a convert ever since he started experimenting with pairing sushi with varietals from Bodega Patritti in Neuquén, in the northernmost region of Argentina’s Patagonia. Matches include smoked yellow fin tuna and sweet shrimp with Casarena’s 2011 Reserva Pinot Noir, and tender Kobe beef served with Casarena’s 2010 Reserva Malbec.

5. I Latina, Buenos Aires
Two brothers from Columbia, one a chef and one a sommelier have brought their excellent food and wine pairings to this relaxed setting. Every Tuesday to Saturday evening, they offer a six-course tasting menu paired with the best Argentine wines. Meals include caramelized prawns with spicy pineapple and fennel, salmon tartare, Nikkei-style ceviche with avocado, canchita and sweet potato, and passionfruit and hibiscus pannacotta.

6. Kaupe, Ushuaia
At the time of writing, the tasting menu at this restaurant at ‘the tip of the Earth’ features kind crab and spinach chowder, seabass in papillote, and lemon ice cream in a champagne sauce. There’s a vast wine collection, and the emphasis on the freshest of seafood is enhanced by the fantastic selection of dry whites and light reds. Huge picture windows look out from the restaurant to the Bay of Ushuaia – beautiful.

7. Enofilos, Corrientes
Near the border with Paraguay, this smart restaurant draws in a lot of wine fans – the meaning of enófilo is, in fact, a wine-lover. This is a very traditional provincial restaurant but the food and wine is of the highest quality. The wine is displayed in the centre of the room and local ingredients such as surubí river fish are the things to try.

8. Casimiro Biguá, El Calafate
There are 180 Argentine wines on the vinoteca’s menu here, and the chef mixes up a mixture of local and European cuisines including dishes such as pasta, risotto, lamb stew, and grilled trout and steak.

9. Estancia Colomé, Salta
The estancia’s on-site winery, just 200 metres away from the building itself, produces the wines that will be served with your meals here. Most ingredients for the Andean and regional cuisine comes from the vegetable garden and farm, where agro-ecological practices are used to get products that are organic and packed with natural flavours and textures. These vineyards are the world’s highest, sitting between 2300 and 3111 metres above sea level. The iconic wine here is the Colomé Reserva, but if you’re a guest here, you’ll get to sample wines produced only for residents as well as other local wines.

10. Raíces, Formosa
This small, rural hotel and restaurant boasts a great wine list for somewhere so far off the beaten track. The décor is classy and modern, and diners will enjoy sampling the selection of local surubí dishes.

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