Words: Kirsten Durward Photos: Monica Tindall
We are a little belated in the celebration, but April 17 is designated as world Malbec day. And who is going to turn down an opportunity to taste some of this Argentinian flagship red wine variety? Certainly not us!
World Malbec day commemorates the date in 1853 when president Domingo Faustino Sarmiento of Argentina tasked Michel Aimé Pouget, a French soil expert, to bring over new vines to boost the developing wine industry. While the Malbec grapes flourished with adaptation to Argentinian climate and soil conditions, a Phyloxia plague engulfed the Rhone region of France, decimating the varietal in that area. From this time Argentinian Malbec has been considered superior to it’s country of origin, Today Argentina is the main producer of Malbec in the world.
A fabulous wine to accompany carne asada direct from a parrilla in the Argentinian style, the variety has an intense, dark cherry red colour, which can look almost black. A dense and slightly sweet wine, the overtones are spicy and full of mineral notes. It’s also great to sip on a mellow evening with friends, such as we enjoyed in Qba tonight. We are here at the kind invitation of the Argentinian Ambassador, the delightful Maria Isabel Rendon, and the evening is full of taste and entertainment, Argentinian style. A talented couple showing of an Argentine Tango, while music romps in the evening air, the doors flung open to the patio and treats sizzle on the outdoor grill.
There were several wines for the sampling, spanning the range of flavours that the Malbec varietal has to offer. Some favourites, like the Trapiche had already disappeared with those in the know. However we were able to take a sip or two of three wines that were certainly worth a taste.
|A Few of the Wines for Tasting|
Finca La Linda 2012 is a medium bodied wine, quite peppery on the front of the mouth on first tasting then softens to a mellow dark chocolate spice on the back of the throat.
Finca Flichman Gestos 2013 is lighter in texture, with shades of morello cherry, smoothly rolling over the tongue.
|More Malbec? Yes Please!|
Santa Julia 2013, slightly fuller in body, hits the back of the throat with resonance, clearing the palate with smooth mellow tones. We taste the characteristic peppery spices of the varietal, rounded out with black fruit flavours.
It has been a delightful evening, and really, where better to have spent a couple of hours sipping on iconic wine and chatting to fellow aficionados than the charmingly traditional environs of Qba at the Westin? Visit Qba to try a glass of Malbec or other South American wine from their extensive list of boutique wines. Yum Listers also know that their rum collection is fairly impressive too. KLer’s may remember from 10 years ago when Qba was the happening Latin ‘place to be.’ Well watch this space for Alfredo is back with the reigns and if the yumilicous snacks we tasted tonight are anything to go by then the new menu could be something worth a try: duck empanadas, chorizo with cheese, spicy ceviche, quesadillas, and slivers from the barbecue.
|Some Latino Finger Food to Accompany the Wine|
|Snacks from Qba|
Qba, Latin Grill & Bar
The Westin Hotel Kuala Lumpur
199 Jalan Bukit Bintang
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia