For #MalbecMonth, look to Argentina! Here’s Why and Six to Try

What’s a synonym for Argentine Wine? Malbec!

While yesterday was Malbec World Day, the entire month of April is #MalbecMonth, so you still have plenty of time to enjoy a Malbec from Argentina.

Why April? Malbec from Argentina is celebrated on April 17 because that is the day in 1853 when Argentina’s wine industry transformed by the invitation of French soil expert Michel Aimé Pouget who showed how to adapt French varietals, including Malbec, to Argentina. Malbec World Day was created by Wines of Argentina “to position Argentine Malbec as one of the most prominent in the world. Every April 17th, and throughout the whole month, different activities are carried out in the main cities around the globe to celebrate the success of our flagship grape.”

Five fun facts about MALBEC in Argentina:

  • 37.53% of the red wine grapes planted in Argentina are Malbec
  • 21.40% of the total cultivated area in the country is Malbec.
  • 163%  increase in plantings of Malbec since 2000 (equivalent to 26,653 ha / 65,862 acres)
  • 85% of Argentinean Malbec is grown in Mendoza
  • leader in volume, quality and exports of Malbec since 2011.

Argentina really is THE place in the world that’s dedicated to Malbec. And, as we show below and here, there is a Malbec from Argentina for every palate, budget, and event!

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Happy World Malbec Day! Toast with Rose of Malbec Sparkling Wine from Alma Negra and Gouguenheim


While Malbec is a wine to enjoy all year around and is grown all around the world, Malbec World Day on April 17 is THE DAY of the year to take a moment to appreciate Malbec, and specifically, Malbec from Argentina. To celebrate Malbec World Day, eight members of the Ventucky Wine Tribe gathered at Drummer Diane’s to pair Argentinean inspired cuisine with eight Malbec from Argentina: six red still wines and two rose sparkling wines! We started off with one rose sparkler and closed the evening with the other with dessert.

This post is about the two bottles of bubbles, and the next is about the six bottles of still red wine, plus five fun facts about Malbec from Argentina. Continue reading

Go Biodynamic this Earth Month with Syrah from Narrow Gate and Cab from Beaver Creek #WinePW


There was a lot Steiner and his compatriots did not know in 1924. What they did know was that the new chemical farming strategies that were taking over the world were destroying the land and our food. They may not have known why, but they knew something was wrong. At least they had the courage to seek a solution.

Our job as biodynamic farmers is to continue the experiments as he requested until we find why biodynamics works, which it does.

There is something clearly working here and in the face of climate change we better figure out what works.

Striving for Demeter certification is like a jazz musician practicing scales over and over again. It is only after they master their instrument that they can improvise and truly create something new.

So writes Craig Camp in his recent and evocative essay “Looking at Steiner in the Rearview Mirror”  — the Steiner in the title is the “father” of biodynamics, Rudolf Steiner.

April is Earth Month, and the Wine Pairing Weekend crew and I invite you celebrate the earth by going green with your wine selection — scroll down to see titles and find links to our suggestions!

And if you ask me, the best way to do that is by choosing biodynamic wines. Continue reading

For Earth Month, Go Biodynamic with Bubbles from Oregon’s Montinore #WinePW Preview

Sampling Montinore’s biodynamic bubbles in their Oregon estate tasting room near Portland

Monday April 22 is Earth Day, and the whole month of April is Earth Month.

So what should you be drinking to celebrate? How about biodynamic wine? We’ve got a bottle of biodynamic bubbles from one of the world leaders in biodynamics, Oregon’s Montinore Estate, that we recommend you toast with (see below).

I took this photo in the Montinore tasting room; for more info

I took this photo on a visit to the Montinore tasting room last fall; read more about the biodynamic calendar here

And The Wine Pairing Weekend crew is getting into the swing of Earth Month by searching out and writing about biodynamic wines of the world– and what to pair with them this month. Read the invite post here; in it I explain about biodynamics and share wo biodynamic reds from Mendocino’s Bonterra. Continue reading

Island Wines of Italy: 3 from Sicily paired with pizza #ItalianFWT

Most people know that Sicily is the ball at the tip of the toe of the boot of Italy. While only three miles separates the island of Sicily from the mainland of Italy, Sicily has long had its own separate culture — and

Sicily has 68% indigenous vines that thrive along the coasts and on the slopes of the most active volcano in Europe, Mount Etna, which set off a plume of ash on February 18, 2019:

As I learned during from Vinitaly’s Italian Wine Ambassadors course in Los Angeles this February, Continue reading

Matsu’s Tinta de Toro Honors Viticulturists #CesarChavezDay

Today, March 31, is the birthday of labor leader and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez. Long commemorated in California, where Chavez did much of his important work, in 2014 President Barack Obama named March 31 as a federal holiday honoring him for his service. Because this year March 31 is a Sunday, tomorrow Monday April 1 will be a holiday with some schools, federal offices, and other sites closed for the day.

mixed media portrait of Cesar Chavez by Dianne Bennet

Among his many accomplishments, Chavez founded the United Farm Workers, and he led marches and boycotts to bring national attention to the plight of the farm workers which led to protective legislation across the United States. The leadership, strength, and sacrifices by Chavez made people pay attention to farm workers who eventually gained many rights that otherwise they may not have achieved.
These three wines from Matsu pay homage to those working in the vineyards. The labels use real-life photos of the viticulturists to showcase and represent the essential character of the wines. While not certified biodynamic or organic on the label, these practices are prevalent in these 80-100 year old vineyards and Bodega Matsu chose these vineyards in the D. O. Toro for their age but also for

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March in Ventura County Vineyards: Clos Des Amis Bottling Day for Rose plus a conversation with Gretel Meys Compton #WomensHistoryMonth

Winter in the vineyard means pruning — it has to be done while the vines are dormant and before the buds break.

So now that the pruning is done and it’s spring, what’s next?

There’s much important work to be done in the winery as well as in the vineyard.

On a beautiful early spring day during the midst of an amazing wildflower season, friends gathered at the South Mountain Winery above Santa Paula, California, to help Clos des Amis winemaker Bruce Freeman and his partner Gretel Meys Compton bottle the 2018 rose Continue reading