Featured Food & Drink

A Malbec National WINE Day

Malbec. “The inky grape with robust tannins has certainly made its mark in the wine world. Specifically in Mendoza Argentina where Malbec has taken reign as one of their leading varietals.” – Theresa Dillon

If you can’t find an excuse to open a bottle of wine then make one up. If you can’t make one up, I’m here to put a smile onto your face. The wine calendar has an array of days over selected different months purely for celebrating wine days on a national and international level. A much needed celebration and every wine lovers dream.

The Easter break, sliding in before the end of March, rather than the usual April, has lengthened the school termly break. And with that, any sassy wine lover would take an opportunity to celebrate. If you were one of the wine lovers that fell short of such an celebration, then “wine” not, as you’ve been given another moment to bask in the national wine day for Malbec, which falls on the 17th of April, each year. Luck and favour is upon us wine lovers, as we can doubly sip and enjoy the remaining days of April with a Malbec.

Malbec (MULL-BEK)
This grape variety is most known for being Argentina’s “signature” grape variety. It is a black grape variety that produces deep, dark, inky coloured wines. Once associated with “the black wine” of Cahors in France, though still grown there and other areas in France, its renowned success has moved to Argentina. And for the Bordeaux Blend Lovers, Malbec is one of the grape varieties permitted in this world famous red wine.

Argentina and Malbec
You cannot mention Argentina without including Malbec in the same sentence in the world of wines. It is here where the majority of the world’s plantings are found. Snugly found on the continent of South America, Argentina is dubbed as one of the most important wine regions on the continent, with the province of Mendoza stealing the limelight. As of 2017, Argentina was placed as the world’s ninth largest producer of wine (OIV – International Organisation of Vine and Wine).

Malbec in South Africa
South Africa is not one to be left out in the production of Malbec wines. It is made both as a single varietal wine and in the production of blends. In the Platter’s 2017 South African Wine guide, two Malbecs, namely Blake Blake’s boys 2014 and Kumala Swartland Reserve 2015, are awarded highly in the “Hidden Gems” category. Perhaps it’s time you took steps forward, wine lovers, and discover these “gems.” For the patient wine lover, who is always looking at drinking ahead, a Niel Joubert Proprietor 2013 categorically named as a “buy now, drink later” wine, should, without negotiation, be on your wine list.

A Malbec food and wine pairing
To awaken the foodie in you, Malbec has several classic dishes that it loves being intimate with. This wine makes for a perfect braai partner and I know most of “us” will be celebrating World Malbec Day and any celebration really, with our traditional “Zimbo” braais. Whether the spread includes our famous boerewors, steaks, pork chops or chargrilled chicken, you can all enjoy a glass of Malbec. For the vegetarians and those that choose casseroles, Malbec will surprise you with loving generously -lavoured leaner meats and tomato-based vegetarian dishes. Let Malbec shine, wine lovers, by creating your own pairings.

What are we drinking on World Malbec Day?

Blaauwklippen Vineyards Malbec


Our wine of the month is a good value Malbec, distributed by Latilla wines, available in Zimbabwe. With its silky tannins, this red wine can easily become your next best red wine. It is flavours re-loaded with an added dose of sensuous aromas. Warning: one sip can easily turn into one bottle.

Allow yourself to be whisked away this World Malbec Day. Join wine lovers in sipping and enjoying this generosity of flavours in a glass. Whether you’re in Zimbabwe, Argentina, France, South Africa, or anywhere else in the world, it’s all about Malbec. Join in, in this MALBECeous celebration, wine lovers. Until next celebrations, it’s cheers with a Blaauwklippen Malbec.

Lebbie is a qualified passion-filled Wine Consultant who spends quality time with wine through travel, study, talking wine chat and of course sipping on wines. Contact here at hanyirel@me.com.

Please Note: This article first appeared in The Standard Lifestyle Magazine, an insert in The Standard, a weekly publication.

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