Do you enjoy the smokiness and rich flavor of Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah? Do you find that a glass (and especially a bottle) of either of these full-bodied wines costs you more than you care to spend? If your taste buds fancy these flavors, you may be looking for a cost-friendly alternative that will please your taste buds and your wallet.
Malbec wine is a type of wine that is often forgotten. It tends to slide right beneath Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, most likely due to the familiarness of the names of both of those red wines. However, Malbec wine is a great choice for a rich, full-bodied red wine that pairs nicely with a variety of foods.
You will never forget about Malbec wine once you give it a try! Let’s take a closer look at some of the interest facts about Malbec wine and how you can enjoy it in your life.
What is Malbec wine?
As the name suggests, Malbec wine is made from the Malbec grape. The Malbec grape is originally from France. It was actually created as a cross between two other grapes from two different regions in France. Today, you can find a majority of Malbec grapes growing in Cahors, France.
Unlike some other types of grapes used to make wine, Malbec grapes are found in other parts of the world. For instance, you can find malbec grapes in Argentina, thanks to a French botanist who two a grape from France and planted in the late 1800’s. Now, you can find malbec grapes in France and Argentina.
What are the different flavors of Malbec wine?
Many sommeliers would agree that Malbec wine on its own can be quite intense. Some people prefer intense wines, while others prefer to mix this intensity with other types of wine. In those cases, winemakers typically mix malbec wine with Cabernet Sauvignons and Merlots. This tends to cut down on the intensity but allows you to get the full taste of such a delicious flavor.
Some of the fruity flavors you will most likely encounter with malbec wine are:
- Black Cherry
These are the only fruit flavors you may come across, but these are the most common flavors.
The acidity of Malbec wine is regarded as being medium as well as the amount of tannins. You should also serve this wine at a semi-cool temperature of around 69 degrees.
As noted previously, Malbec grapes are commonly blended with other grapes to give them a less intense flavor and make the wine more enjoyable.
Some of the most common blends are with the following:
- Petit Verdot
- Bonarda (in Argentina)
Of course, these are not the only blends possible. Winemakers tend to agree that these combinations and blends create the most appealing and satisfying experience for your taste buds.
The Best Food Pairings for Your Malbec Wine
Whether you choose to delight yourself in Malbec wine or a blend of Malbec grapes, finding the perfect pairing in regards to food will leave your taste buds screaming for more.
Knowing the perfect food pairings for your Malbec wine is important. Let’s take a look at the variety of foods you can pair your Malbec wine with for an optimal tasting experience.
- The Best Vegetables
Mushrooms, Onions, Beets, Black Beans, Lentils, Red Bell Peppers (and more)
- The Best Cheese
Goat’s Cheese and Semi-firm to Soft Cow’s Cheese
- The Best Meat
Lean Red Meat, Dark Poultry, Buffalo, Pork, Duck, Lamb (and more)
- The Best Spices
Rosemary, Juniper, Clove, Garlic, Shallot, Barbeque Sauce, and any other earthy or
smoky flavored spices
While you can blend malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon, one way that Malbec wine is different (and better for some cases) is that it does not have a super long finish. This means that the taste of the wine will not linger on your taste buds. Depending on the particular type of food you are eating, having a wine with a shorter finish is actually more ideal.
If you enjoy wilder flavors such as cumin, blue cheese, mushrooms, or gamey meat like ostrich or leaner cuts such as venison or moose, you will find malbec wine to be the perfect pairing for your meal.
Fun Facts about Malbec Wine
- It is believed that Argentina actually saved the Malbec grape. How? It is thought by many wine historians that the Malbec grape was on its way out of the wine industry before the French botanist took the grape to Argentina. It was there that he brought the grape back to life and helped bring it back to the top 18 noble grapes list. Now, Malbec grapes are grown all over the world.
- Malbec grapes love back and forth weather. They also really thrive in higher elevations. Therefore, you will most likely find that malbec grapes grow well in higher elevated areas where the weather is warmer in the day and cooler at night. This helps them achieve their acidity level that is needed to bring the unique flavor out of the grape and into the wine.
- The longer malbec wine oak ages, the more costly it will be. This is quite a commonly known fact, but for malbec’s typically inexpensive price tag, it is important to know what you’re looking for when you buy. If a Malbec wine has been oak aging for 18-20 months, you can expect the price tag to hover around $24+. While this is not the most expensive wine option, it is quite pricey compared to other malbec wine options.
Malbec Wine Recommendations
Here are 4 of the best malbec wine brands you can try today for under $20:
- Trapiche Medalla Malbec – 100% made in Argentina
- Septima Obra Malbec – Dark and spicy
- Columbia Crest Reserve Malbec – blend with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec
- Padrillos Malbec – Aged in liter oak barrels
Malbec wine is one of the best underdogs on the wine market. Give malbec a try and see what the wine-lover inside of you has been missing!