This month I am hosting the World Wine Travel group as we go Beyond Malbec in Mendoza. I told the group: "Let's focus on Beyond Malbec from Mendoza. That can mean (1) a Malbec from elsewhere in Argentina or (2) a different variety from Mendoza. You decide! And if you can't find anything in either of those two options, feel free to pair any Malbec or just make an Argentinian-inspired dish to wait with any wine. I'm flexible."
Here's what the group is sharing this weekend...
Bleu Cheese Sliders + 2019 Pasarina Malbec from Patagonia by Culinary Cam
East of the Andes in Mendoza: Zuccardi’s High Elevation, High-End Chardonnay + some bonus bubbles by Wine Predator...Gwendolyn Alley
Food and Wine of Patagonia by A Day in the Life on the Farm
More than Malbec, more than Organic - Argentina’s Domaine Bousquet by Crushed Grape Chronicles
Stuffed Chilean Peppers with a Patagonian Malbec by Our Good Life
As I usually do for these wine events, when I have time, I track down as many bottles as I can to dive into the topic. In the vein of the second option - a different variety from Mendoza - I picked up a bottle of Domaine Bousquet Cameleon Cabernet Sauvignon.
In My Glass
1990 the Bousquet family took a family vacation to Argentina from their hometown of Carcassonne in the South of France. The family had been winemakers for four generations. Jean Bousquet fell in love with Argentina, specifically the Gualtallary Valley, a remote, arid terrain high in the Tupungato district of the Uco Valley in Argentina’s Mendoza region, that lies close to the border with Chile. There was not a grapevine in sight! With altitude of up to almost a mile above sea level the Gualatallary pushes the limits of Mendoza's viticultural zone.
Flashforward more than a decade, Bousquet's daughter Anne and son-in-law Labid Al Ameri joined Bousquet full-time to build the winery and, in 2011, they assumed full ownership of the estate in 2011.
Domaine Bousquet Cameleon Cabernet Sauvignon honors its namesake who embodies the ability to adapt to its environment to the point of complete camouflage. This is a single varietal - 100% Cabernet Sauvignon - that is fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks.
The wine pours a bright purple color with ample fruit aromas, both red and black. On the palate, those red and black fruits abound with the addition of mineral and spicy notes. This medium-bodied wine is round with supple tannins.
On My Plate
Smashed Potato Tacos. I have been making this for several years. Sometimes I make my own tortillas. But on the day that I made these, I just used store-bought corn tortillas.
5 to 6 medium potatoes
1/2 cup onion, peeled and diced
2 organic tomatoes, cored and diced
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
salt and pepper to taste
Also needed: oil for frying (I like to use coconut oil)
For serving: salsa, guacamole, sour cream
Wash potatoes and cut into cubes. Please them in a pot and cover with at least 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil, then cook until easily pierced with a fork, approximately 18 to 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and place in a large mixing bowl. Smash the potatoes while leaving them a bit lumpy.
In a large skillet, add 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil and heat until melted. Sauté the onions until they are softened and beginning to turn transparent. Stir in the tomatoes and spices. Cook until the tomatoes soften and begin to lose their shape, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the potatoes and mix until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper as needed.
Heat a griddle or a large skillet on high heat. Grease your pan; I used coconut oil. Place your tortillas on the griddle and spoon 2 to 3 Tablespoons of filling on one half of the tortilla. Fold the tortilla in half and lightly fry each taco until crispy, approximately 1 to 2 minutes per side.
Repeat until you run out of tortillas or filling. Serve immediately with sides of salsa, guacamole, and sour cream.
All of the group's posts will be live between Friday, the 24th and Saturday, the 25th. I will host a Google Meet on Saturday the 25th at 8am Pacific. If you care to join the conversation, here's the link. It's open to anyone. Just click and join. Cheers!