“We started ALMAlbec [alma means soul in English] in order to create a festival and event that brought the festivities of Malbec World Day to a local level,” explains Alicia Sisteró, co-founder of ALMAlbec. “So we made a festival that had Mendocineans taking part too. It is also a great excuse for tourists to be tempted to visit us and enjoy our emblematic grape variety and gastronomy as well.”
Malbec for every kind of soul food
At the heart of this festival is putting Malbec on every restaurant table during three weeks with special wine pairings and promotions. Whether it is a sushi restaurant or a steak restaurant, there’s a Malbec pairing to be had and showing the great versatility of the variety is part of the goal.
“We want to show the diversity of Malbec: the different styles it has, the different types of food it can pair with and that you can find a Malbec for every budget,” adds Alicia. “The Malbec gastronomy experiences start from as low as $100 pesos ($2USD) with a plate of nibbles and a glass of Malbec, and range up to haute cuisine with special pairing menus in wineries! The idea is to inspire people to visit all the different restaurants and wineries in Mendoza for a different food experience while getting to know Malbec.”
Bringing people closer to Malbec and showing its many different faces was the reason that ALMAlbec won the Great Wine Capitals award for the most innovative wine experience this year, and next year’s festival is set to be the biggest yet.
ALMAlbec 2020 starts on 12th April it will last three weeks until 3rd May. There’s ample opportunity to try out the special pairings during the festival, as it incorporates over 100 different Malbec labels in Argentina which are made available in over 50 different restaurants, bars and wine shops. Now there’s an even better excuse to indulge in Malbec while in Argentine wine country!
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By Amanda Barnes