Wine: The Argentinian connection
Argentina attracted over five million people from Europe between 1860 and 1930, developing a palate for the wine and gastronomic flavours of the settlers. A small sample of grape varieties from French immigrants are featured in this week's wine selection, including Italy's Bonarda and Spain's Tempranillo.
Meanwhile, Argentina shares a special bond with Ireland. Their country's liberation from colonial control in 1813 was chiefly inspired and delivered by a 36-year-old from Co Mayo, Foxford-born native, William Brown. Admiral Brown became the founder of Argentina's Navy and his extraordinarily heroic life is still revered in Argentina today.
Amongst the 500,000 Argentinians who claim Irish ancestry was Che Guevara, born in Buenos Aires to Mary Lynch from Galway. The first man to hoist the tricolour on the GPO in 1916 was an Argentina-born Eamon Bulfin, whose father, William, was editor of the Southern Cross, the oldest Irish newspaper in the world outside Ireland. Not surprisingly, Argentina was one of the first countries to recognise Ireland as an independent State in 1922. So this week, discover an Argentinean wine; they're almost one of our own.
1) Finca Sophia Malbec & Tempranillo 2013, Bodegas O Fournier 14pc
Perfumed with black pastille fruity scents. Delicious blackberry flavours with a subtle French oak spice and silky smooth tannins delivering a very classy wine. Delicious with duck confit.
€16.49 at Marks & Spencer nationwide
2) Malbec, Bonarda Petit Verdot 2011, Kaiken Terroir Series, Mendoza 14.5pc
Polished oak bouquet. Wine with the wow factor. A full-bodied wine with intense and spiced blackberry flavours with an attractive leather note on the finish. Serve with a hearty beef goulash, heavy on the paprika.
€16.99 at Callan's, Dundalk and in Dublin: Drink Store, Stoneybatter; Red Island Wine, Skerries and Donnybrook Fair.
3) Pinot Noir Reserve 2013, Trapiche, Mendoza 14pc
Lightly spiced berry aromas. Full-bodied with fleshy ripe strawberry lifted by white pepper and nutmeg from oak barrel ageing. Match with an earthy steak and kidney pie.
€11.99 at Dunnes Stores nationwide. In Dublin: KCR Londis, Kimmage; Higgins, Clonskeagh; Holland's, Bray; Jus de Vine, Portmarnock and Baggot Street Wines
4) Shiraz 2013, Osaado, San Juan 13.5pc
Perfumed with blackberry coulis. Medium-bodied and very fruity with a classic Shiraz blackberry palate and some gentle tannins. Try with hoisin duck.
€9.99 in Dublin at the Vintry, Rathgar; Drinkstore.ie and Coolers, Swords.
5) Black Edition 2013, Dona Paula Estate, Lujande Cuyo 14.1pc
Chunky and chewy blackberry fruits supported by firm tannins and a black pepper finish. Needs a peppered steak.
€12 reduced from €18 for July at Tesco nationwide
6) Bonarda 2013, Finca La Linda, Mendoza 13.5pc
Bright aromas of fresh red cherries that follow through to the palate. Tasty and fresh with gentle tannins. Ideal with grilled lamb cutlets.
€12.00 at select independent off-licences including Ardkeen Stores, Waterford and Manning's, Skibbereen
7) Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Luigi Bosca, Mendoza 14pc
Oaky fragrance. Full-bodied and concentrated black fruit with peppery spice. Will continue to improve and mellow over the next couple of years.
€17 - €18 at Joyce's, Galway and Next Door, Raheen, Co Limerick