MENDOZA`S FREE MAGAZINE
Nยบ43 ABR / MAY 2010
bar hopping mendoza
w w w. w i n e - r e p u b l i c. c o m 1
25 de Mayo, Direct Flights from Mendoza Airport, Malvinas Oil
Bar Hopping Mendoza ..............................................................24
Drilling, Argentina Wine Awards, Learn the Local Lingo .................. 6
Club Underground Surfaces ..................................................... 28
Cooking from the Land ............................................................ 8
Dining Out .................................................................................. 30
The Origin of Crisis .................................................................. 10
MAPS & TIPS WINE
Useful Information: Emergency, Airport, Wine Shipping, Crime,
The Wish List...............................................................................12
Night Clubs and Taxi Services .........................................................32
The Winery Guide The best wineries to visit ................................14
Map of Maipu ..............................................................................32
The Heart of Argentine Wine ....................................................... 20
Map of Chacras de Coria .............................................................32
Spanish wine dictionary ............................................................ 22
Map of Mendoza City Center ......................................................34
CREDITS Issue April - May 2010 10,000 Copies Published by Seven Colors S.A. Mendoza, Argentina Tel. +54 (261) 425-5613 E-mail. email@example.com Editor: Charlie O’Malley Assistant Editor: Julia Allen Publicidad: Ana Laura Aguilera (155018874) firstname.lastname@example.org Design: Beattub, www.beattub.com.ar Printer: Artes Gráficas UNION Contributing Authors: Charlie O´ Malley, Julia Allen, Eric Osborne, Daniel Seifert, Amanda Barnes, Jenny Eagle, Eryn Snyder, David Miller Roberto Bertona Opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily the editorial opinions of Wine Republic.
news 25 de Mayo By Jenny Eagle Mendocinos will celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the first Independent Argentine government on the May 25th of with a national public holiday. The event reminds locals of the days leading up to May 25, 1810, when Buenos Aires Criollos (the direct descendants of Spanish immigrants) proclaimed the end of the Spanish colonial presence in the region, forming a unified federal government. When Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Spain in 1808, Buenos Aires demanded the resignation of Viceroy Virrey Cisneros. The Viceroyalty was then replaced with the Primera Junta, Argentina’s first national government. On the day of El 25 de Mayo, Buenos Aires and its Porteños join the rest of the country in celebration of these first steps towards independence.
Direct flights From Mendoza Airport By Jenny Eagle Time to fly? As of April 2010, Aerolíneas Argentinas will offer direct flights from Mendoza to Bariloche, Salta and Cuzco in Peru. There will also be an option for travellers to fly to Iguazú via Salta, with the second leg of the flight being operated by Andes airline. Aerolíneas Argentinas will operate the flights five times a week. In the future, the airlines has plans to include a direct flight from Mendoza to São Paulo, Brazil.
Malvinas Islands Oil Drilling By Jenny Eagle A heated debate has broken out between the UK and Argentina as British oil companies plan to drill for oil in the Malvinas other wise known as the Falklands. Argentina claims sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands. It invaded them in 1982, before the UK seized back control in a war that claimed the lives of 649 Argentine and 255 British service personnel. Argentina has protested to the UK about the oil exploration and wants all vessels sailing from its ports to the Malvinas to obtain a government permit. Leaders of 32 Latin American and Caribbean countries unanimously backed Argentina over the oil row and Argentina has asked the United Nations to bring the UK into talks over the sovereignty of the Malvinas Islands. 6
Argentina Wine Awards By Jenny Eagle The fourth Argentina Wine Awards (AWA) 2010 organised by Wines of Argentina and La Corporación Vitivinícola Argentina (COVIAR) were held at Piattelli Vineyards, in Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza. The panel of judges was formed by 12 Masters of Wine from eight different countries. The international group represents just how globalized Argentinean wines have become. This year, 650 wines were tasted over two days, a record high of participants for AMA. The awards included 18 trophies, 30 gold medals, 182 silver medals and 260 bronze medals. The winners included: Salentein Reserve Chardonnay 2009, Críos de Susana Balbo Torrontés 2009, Tapiz Torrontés 2009, Críos de Susana Balbo Malbec Rosé 2009, Santa Ana Reserve Bonarda 2008, Santa Ana Reserve Malbec-Shiraz 2008, Zuccardi Q Tempranillo 2007, Las Moras Gran Shiraz 2006, Bramare Luján de Cuyo Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 from Viña Cobos, Bodega Navarro Correas Structura 2006, Magdalena Toso 2006 from Pascual Toso, Fincas Rewen Petit Verdot 2008, Ruca Malén Petit Verdot 2008, Nieto Reserva Malbec 2009, Doña Paula Estate Malbec, Sophenia Synthesis Malbec 2008, Climax Malbec 2008 from Zorzal Wines and Famiglia Late Harvest Sémillon 2004 from Bodega Valentin Bianchi.
Learn the Local Lingo By Amanda Barnes The search for Spanish classes has been revolutionized by a new website called Catch the Lingo, www.catchthelingo.com. Here one can easily search for and book Spanish courses in Mendoza and other destinations in Argentina and Chile. After being spat out by the credit crunch disillusioned London banker Eammon McMahon decided to travel South America, volunteer and learn the language. After running into difficulties finding courses he set-up catchthelingo.com to help future travellers. The website also lists local volunteering programmes and has a destination guide for those bitten by the traveller bug.
Cooking Off The Land By David Miller
1.Prep the batatas
One of the things I love about cooking is the chance to experiment with local ingredients when I’m traveling, integrating new flavors into familiar recipes or sometimes creating something entirely original. Even in the modern world of globalized shopping, where it seems like you can find just about anything in your local grocery store, there is an amazing diversity of flavor out there that stays local. Here in Argentina, most travelers will recognize the produce they see at the local market (after all, much of it comes from here!) but there are still likely a few items that may whet your interest as well as your appetite. Here is a recipe that you may enjoy along with wine pairing suggestions to complete the experience. If you’re reading this on the plane home, don’t despair– while you can’t bring back produce (a big no-no at customs, trust me), you can definitely bring back the wine and reproduce this with domestic substitutes!
Batatas con aceite y romero
- 3/4 medum-sized batatas, peeled and sliced into discs - 1 large onion, sliced into half-moons - 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped - 1/2- 1 Tbs. coarse sea salt - 1 Tbs. black pepper, course - 1 Tbs. rosemary - 2-3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil Batata is the Spanish word for sweet potato, and the word comes from the language of the indigenous Taíno people who used it as a staple in their cooking. The Argentine version is very similar to the ones you might buy in your local supermarket, but with a slightly different color (white-gray versus orange) and a more starchy, less-sweet flavor. The key to preparing this dish is to complement the natural sweetness of the batatas with something interesting and distinctive. In this case, we’ll use rosemary (romero), olive oil (aceite) and salt (sal), which together give you a sharp herbal flavor up front, followed by the creamy sweetness of the potato itself.
Remember that just like potatoes, batatas require a bit more time to cook, so the thinner you slice them the easier it is. About 1/4 inch (1/2 centimeter) thickness should be fine. It’s up to you whether to peel the potatoes; the skin has some nice vitamins but it can also hold on to some residual dirt. If you keep the skins, give them a good scrub with the rough side of a sponge. As you slice them, put them in a bowl of cold water: they won’t taste any different, but they’ll look nicer if you keep them from oxidizing.
2.Fry on medium heat Add the olive oil to the pan and when it’s
hot enough to slide around rapidly, add the potatoes, onions and garlic. It will help to use a wok or a non-stick saucepan so you can have the space to stir. Use enough oil to coat the slices and keep them from burning, but not more. Cover the pan to seal in the moisture, and when the batatas are about halfway cooked (about 5 min), add the rosemary too. You can actually add the rosemary earlier, just be careful not to burn it as the flavor will change.
3.Serve and Enjoy
When the potatoes are cooked through and have a nice roasted glaze, add some of the rough sea salt and pepper. Go easy at first: I love salt in my food but you just want to bring out the rosemary flavor, not overpower it.
4.Wine Pairing What do you pair with a starchy vegetable dish? Just
about anything, actually. You can easily use a Chardonnay or Viognier– the rosemary pairs nicely with the crisp acids– or you can reach for a heavier red to play with the sweet potato side. Certainly a Malbec would work, but also look into a Bornarda or a Tempranillo– varietals that are becoming increasingly popular in Mendoza as winemakers experiment with the combination of land, grapes and sun. For whites, the Lagarde Viognier 2008 is a great choice: a fantastic floral embrace that really shows how the Argentine tierra can change the expression of a wellknown varietal. Mendoza of course has all sorts of great Chardonnays– but if I had to reach for one, I might find my fingers closing around a bottle of Luigi Bosca’s Finca La Linda Chardonnay 2009, a fresh and unoaked wine with notes of lemon and green apples. For reds, the Durigutti Bonarda 2007 is a great expression of the varietal with a heavenly nose of raspberries, herbs, and spice. Or, you could opt for the the recently famous Punto Final Malbec 2008 from Renacer, a hefty but not overwhelming Malbec that has become a standardbearer for the region. All of these can be found in local specialized wine shops (don’t bother looking at the supermarket), and are very reasonable in price (typically between $30 and $45 pesos). Any way you go, you’ll enjoy the experience of new flavors both for the food and the wine!
The Origins of Crisis Eric Osborne spells out the Argentine economic collapse of the 2001 With a cursory glance around Argentina, most would never guess that a scant eight years ago it was embroiled in a disastrous financial crisis. Things seem rather in order here. Businesses function well, tourism is booming, prices are relatively stable, and the government is a functioning democracy. However, the prosperity we see today is not a reflection of the way things have always been, and any Argentine will be quick to tell you that the next big downturn might be just around the corner; and for good reason. Argentina’s history has been rife with crisis, and the latest may have been the worst.
Origins The origins of Argentina’s economic crisis go back to the mid 1970’s to early 1980’s, when Argentina’s militant government acquired large amounts of debt with botched projects, corrupt political dealings, the Falklands War, and the state’s assumption of private entities. By the time democracy was restored in 1983, unemployment was skyrocketing, wages were dropping, and inflation was on the rise. Argentina simply didn’t have the means or adequate leadership to recover, and in 1989, with a declining gross domestic product (GDP) and inflation in excess of 5,000%, the economy collapsed.
Stabilization of the Peso Starting in 1989, new president Carlos Menem took the country in a different direction by introducing a gamut of new economic policies, the most significant of which was the fixing of the peso to the US dollar at a rate of one to one. In doing so, Menem hoped to ease the minds of international lenders who had been disenfranchised by 10
their currency’s hyperinflation, and who had begun to reject pesos as payment. Initially, it appeared as though this would be a successful endeavor, as the economy began to stablize and inflation immediately came to a halt. Also, as Argentines now effectively held dollars, they could afford to travel abroad, buy imported goods, and had access to credit at low rates for the first time ever. As a result, quality of life skyrocketed. “It was a time of plenty, and quite a change from what life had been like before,” Romina Yacabone, co-owner of Hostel Simplemente Mendoza, told Wine Republic. “It seemed like everyone was traveling, especially abroad. For the fiesta de quinceanera, which is our version of the sweet-sixteen, parents would send their daughters to Miami instead of throwing a party locally. That’s how inexpensive it was.” But despite the improvements, trouble loomed on the horizon. With no control over its monetary policy, Argentina’s economy was very vulnerable to external phenomena. Any shock or revaluations in the worldwide market had the potential to cause serious problems for their foreign exchange. So, unsurprisingly, when the dollar dramatically appreciated relative to the Japanese yen in 1996, the European currencies in 1999 and 2000, and the Brazilian real in 1999, the peso also increased in relative value. With 53% of Argentina’s total trade flows going to Brazil and Europe, Argentina’s export market evaporated. Inversely, with the low foreign exchange price, importers (both private and public) had an artificial inducement to buy. And buy they did. From 1990 to 1994, firms and consumers trippled the amount of imported capital goods they purchased; and from 1992 to 1999, Argentina amassed over $22 billion debt on imported capital alone. The effects were felt throughout the economy. With the notable exception of the service sector, the entirety of the economy immediately began to flounder. The manufacturing sector, which includes Argentina’s largest exporter, agriculture, was hit particularly hard.
Still, the government was reluctant to abandon the peg, and instead opted to tighten macroeconomic policy by reducing spending, increasing interest rates, and increasing taxes. The hope was that if they could hold out long enough, the peso would actually become undervalued, meaning the peso would increase in value when the peg was removed, thereby giving a further boost to price stability. This, however, would never happen; and when Argentina finally defaulted on its debt in December 2001, the $155 billion they left on the table was the largest sovereign debt default in history.
The End of Convertibility In January 2002, the one to one dollar peg was finally abandoned. In a matter of days, the peso lost significant value in the unregulated market, officially dropping to 1.4 pesos per dollar. This would usually suggest an increase in exports, but since the county was structured for an import heavy market, export income came slowly. Accordingly, the value of the peso continued to drop, bottoming out at approximately 4 pesos to 1 dollar. Export sluggishness also reduced tariff revenue and government saving, which caused inflation to rise significantly, reaching 20.2% in April 2002.
To avoid a run on the banks, the government proceeded to put a cap on withdrawls, which meant residents had no means of buying necessities. “A lot of businesses reverted back to a barter system,” Romina continued. “And even if you did have money, everything was rationed. They had to. Inflation was so bad that people wanted to purchase everything they could in the morning before stores raised their prices in the evening.” Further complicating matters, the Ministry of Economy required all bank accounts denominated in dollars to be exchanged into pesos at the official rate. Effectively, this meant that people’s savings were cut by 75% overnight. Nationwide, wealth plummeted, businesses closed, imported products became virtually inaccessible, and the unemployment rate soared to nearly 25%. “That was when things got really bad,” Romina explained. “Buses didn’t run, most other public works didn’t function, there were protests… People were so desperate that they started looting, but only at grocery stores and kiosks; they mostly left other stores alone. They just needed food.”
Efforts to Fix the Problem In response to these issues, the government began to promote their exports with subsidies and improved access to credit for export related industries. They’ve had some success too. Behind skyrocketing soy prices, Argentine exports eventually began to gain footing in international markets. In fact, between 2003 and 2008, Argentina has managed to amass a $77 billion trade surplus. Things have been looking up elsewhere, as well. GDP has grown since 2003, and the gap between the richest 10% and poorest 10% began decreesing after March 2005. “Things are certainly improving,” Romina concluded. “We couldn’t have run a hostel ten years ago. We’re actually pretty happy with the way things have changed. I think most Argentines are.”
THE Wish List Some wines to try while in Mendoza
Catena Angelica Chardonnay 2008 Zuccardi Q Malbec 2006 This wine evolves in the glass and bursts forth with flavors of plums, blackberries, cherries and dried figs. The oak aging gives it subtle hints of vanilla, coffee and leather. The tannins are sweet and the finish is strong. $130 AR
Fresh, light and smooth, this fruity Chardonnay has just a touch of oak and a subtle vanilla aroma but is dominated by a lush, refreshing ripeness. $75 AR
Cavagnaro Malbec 2004 Cavagnaro is a small operation producing a classic Mendoza malbec. Heady aromas of blackberries, plums and raisins are infused with solid structure and a pleasing finish. $65 AR
Huarpe MalbecCabernet 2004
Kaiken Ultra 2006
A velvety blend made from 80% Malbec and 20% Cabernet. We came across this beauty in the La Mega Degustaci贸n event and the whole Wine Republic team loved the intense peppery flavors with blackberry and spice. $150 AR
This dark, inky Malbec is a great value considering its complex layers of dark fruit, floral and coffee aromas. Definitely one to sit over on a balmy evening and indulge your senses. $70 AR
Renacer Punto Final Reserva 2006 Renacer specializes in Malbec wines and the Punto Final is a textbook example. Each batch is handpicked and made with the utmost care. The result is a juicy mouth-feel, rich with notes of berries, vanilla, chocolate and sweet spices. It is dense, complex and begs to be paired with a thick steak. $82 AR
The Winery Guide The Best Places to Visit
Overall Winery Experience Restaurant
Driving Time from Mendoza City
LUJAN DE CUYO Terrazas de los Andes
The fine wine sister of Chandon Argentina is a beautifully restored bodega with well-appointed tasting room. Try the famous Cheval de los Andes. Thames and Cochamaba, Perdriel. Tel. 488 0704/5 www.terrazasdelosandes.com
Great wine lodge Club Tapiz, high-end restaurant Terruño and an instructive wine tour that includes an invigorating horse and carriage ride and a tank, barrel and bottle tasting. Ruta Provincial 15, Km 32, Agrelo. Tel. 490 0202. www.tapiz.com
Old-style cellars contrast with high-tech production line. Tank and barrel tastings are conducted at this huge facility and the jug fillings on Thursday mornings are popular with the locals. R.P. 15, Km 23.5, Perdriel. Tel. 490 9700. www.norton.com.ar
This Chilean-owned winery creates the label Punto Final, one of Mendoza’s best value Malbecs. Small, modern operation with tour that includes a hands-on lesson in blending. Brandsen 1863. Tel. 261-524-4416/17. www.bodegarenacer.com.ar
Excellent food, great guiding and first-class wines. The pairings over lunch make for an unforgettable culinary experience. Generous tastings and gorgeous views of the vineyards and mountains. Ruta Nacional 7, Km 1059, Agrelo, Lújan de Cuyo. Tel. 562 8357. www.bodegarucamalen.com
Dominio del Plata
Argentina´s most famous female winemaker Susana Balbo is creating some rich and complex wines in the heart of Agrelo. Try their Crios and Ben Marco. Cochabamba 7801 Agrelo. Tel. (+54) 261 498 9200 www.dominiodelplata.com.ar
Cool minimalist design and rich complex wines make this a winery with finesse and style. Convenient to visit on way to Valle de Uco. Ruta 86, Km 6.5. Tel. 420 0800. www.pulentaestate.com
Old, family owned operation with lots of heritage, handsome cellars and a tasting room. Large selection of wines from low-end to highend blends. San Martin 2044, Mayor Drummond. Tel. 498 1974. www.luigibosca.com.ar
Owner of the oldest white wine in South America. Try the handcrafted sparkling wine made from 100 year old vines; best enjoyed in one of their many courtyards. Ave. San Martin 1745, Luján de Cuyo. Tel. 498 0011 Ext. 27. www.lagarde.com.ar
Expansive lawns and villa-style architecture make Nieto Senetiner one of the prettiest wineries in Mendoza. Fascinating underground cellar and old style tasting room. Wines to try include their brass-labelled Bonarda. Guardia Vieja (no number) Vistalba. Tel. 498 0315. www.nietosenetiner.com.ar 14
The original foreign investor, French-owned Chandon has been making great sparkling wines in Mendoza since the 1960s. RP 15, Km 29, Agrelo. Tel. 490 9968. www.bodegaschandon.com.ar
French-owned winery. The building is new with traditional design. The tasting room is a wooden gallery overlooking the barrel room. Refreshingly unpretentious. Roque Sanz Peña no number, Vistalba, Luján de Cuyo. Tel. 498 2330. www.domainevistalba.com
Tasting room where one entire wall is a subterranean cross section of the actual vineyard clay, roots and rocks. Houses French restaurant La Bourgogne. Roque Saenz Peña 3135, Vistalba, Luján de Cuyo. Tel. 498 9400. www.carlospulentawines.com 40 min
Belasco de Baquedano 15 min
Alta Vista 30 min
Showcase winery designed like a Mayan temple overlooking vineyards and the Andes Mountains. Rich, complex wines. Cobos s/n. Tel. 413 1100. www.catenawines.com
Great Malbec and gourmet lunches make Melipal one of the most exclusive wineries to visit. Ruta 7 km 1056, Agrelo. Tel. 524 8040. www.bodegamelipal.com.ar
Attractive, modern facility with spectacular views of the mountains from the cozy tasting room. Bajo las Cumbres 9003, Agrelo. Tel. 524 4748. www.decero.com
Charming boutique operation. A five minute walk from Chacras plaza. Great Merlot and excellent lunches. Monte Libano s/n, Chacras de Coria. Tel. 496 1285. www.closdechacras.com.ar
Architecturally impressive with a huge concrete and glass facade and a massive bottling line. They make some of Argentina´s best bubbly. Ruta Nacional, Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo. Tel. 498 5164 www.bodegaseptima.com
Cavas de Cano
Micro-winery set in a beautiful, colonial building. Lunch is a spectacular buffet with every type of delicacy. Av. San Martin 2488, Luján de Cuyo. Tel 498 7283. www.cavadecano.com
Mendoza’s most famous garagista. Carmelo Patti himself is often there to show you around (in Spanish). Try his famous Cabernet Sauvignon from the barrel. San Martin 2614. Tel 498 1379. 17
An old style winery ran by one of Argentina’s most famous winemaker dynasties - the De La Motta family. Terrada 1863, Mayor Drummond. Tel. 524-1621. www.mendel.com.ar
Hacienda del Plata Clos de Chacras
Makes the highest scoring Argentine wine. Modern boutique close to Mendoza riverbed. Big concentrated wines. Calle Cobos 2601; Perdriel, Luján de Cuyo. Tel. 488 1131. www.achaval-ferrer.com
Mendel 40 min
Masterful mix of modern and traditional. Tasting includes distinctive Torrontes or single vineyard Malbecs. Álzaga 3972, Chacras de Coria, Luján de Cuyo. Tel 496 4684. www.altavistawines.com
Achaval Ferrer Melipal
Gleaming modern facility with fascinating aroma room and restaurant with Andean view. Cobos 8260. Tel. 153 023 491 www.belascomalbec.com
A lovely winery in a pastoral setting. It offers one of Mendoza’s most up close and personal tours with the owners themselves offering up tank and barrel tastings. San Martin 4871. Tel. 496-0900. www.haciendadelplata.com.ar
VALLE DE UCO Salentein
Designed like a temple to wine, this ultra-concept winery includes a modern art gallery, lodge, and chapel set high in the Andean valley. R.P 89 s/n, Tunuyan. Tel. 0-262-242-9500. www.killkasalentein.com
Most architecturally innovative winery with rich, concentrated wines. Excellent lunches in the modernist visitor center. Their guides are always well-informed and enthusiastic. Los Indios s/n, La Consulta, San Carlos. Tel. 02622/ 451 088. www.ofournier.com CATENA ZAPATA
The wines are faultless and the location stunning. A French operation producing excellent Torrontes and Malbec. Ruta 94 km 21, Vista Flores, Tunuyán. Tel. 441 1134. www.bodegalurton.com
Simple, small production winery with not so simple Malbecs and Merlots. R.P 89 s/n. Agua Amarga. Tupungato. Tel. 422 175 www.bodegalaazul.com.ar ZUCCARDI
Finca La Celia
One of the valley’s oldest wineries. They conduct excellent tours and tastings. Av. De Circunvalacion s/n, Eugenio Bustos, San Carlos. Tel 451 010. www.fincalacelia.com.ar
Clos de los Siete
A fine modern winery set in the rural lanes of southern Maipu. The rooftop terrace ovelooks the vineyard. Great Pleno label. Perito Moreno 572, Maipu. Tel. 481 3501. www.tempusalba.com
Visit three wineries in one and try rich, complex wines surrounded by state-of-the-art architecture and wine-making technology. Calle Clodomiro Silva s/n. Tel. 02622/ 422 054. www.clos7.com.ar
Benvenuto de la Serna
Charming, family-run operation making a very decent Sangiovese under the Mil Piedras label. Carril Los Sauces s/n, VistaFlores, Tunuyan. Tel. 420 0782. www.benvenutodelaserna.com
A professional, far-sighted operation. The guides are always enthusiastic, knowledgable and eager to please. Attractive restaurant amidst the vines, famous for its asado-style lunches and generous wine pourings. Ruta Provincial 33, Km 7.5, Maipu. Tel. (0261) 441 0000. www.familiazuccardi.com
Rutini / La Rural
A red barn-like winery which faces a lovely adobe-style restaurant doing excellent lunches. Las Vencedoras, Tupungato. Tel. 155 080 261. www.altusdetupungato.com.ar
Well-stocked museum with invaluable antiques such as cowhide wine presses and buckets. Giant oak tanks stand in large, cavernous halls whilst side rooms hold Victorian era pumps and bottle corkers. Montecaseros 2625, Coquimbito, Maipu. Tel. (0261) 497 2013 ext.125. www.bodegalarural.com.ar
The old-world style tasting room looks upon dramatic views of vineyards against mountains. Have a glass of the cabernet, their best wine. Ruta Provincial 89, Km 11, Gualtallary, Tupungato. Tel. 429 9299 ext 113. www.andeluna.com
Popular, old-style winery with handsome tasting room close to Maipu plaza. Ozamis 375, Gral Gutiérrez. Tel. 481 1091. www.bodegaslopez.com.ar
Flichman 90 min
A down-to-earth, family-run affair with good wholesome Malbecs. España 1094, La Consulta, San Carlos. 02622 / 470 0379. www.aconquija.com
Steeped in history and tradition. Charming, pink-hued, colonial-style bodega, set in the leafy vineyards of southern Maipu. Recommended is the top blend Dedicado. Munives 800, Barrancas, Maipú. Tel. (0261) 497 2039. www.flichman.com
Familia Di Tommasso
Modern, French winery making rich, organic malbecs. Ruta 89 S/N Km 7, Tupungato. Tel. 261 155 274 048. www.jeanbousquet.com
Argentina’s biggest winery is a mix of old and new, traditional and industrial. Mitre s/n. Coquimbito. Tel. 520 7666. www.trapiche.com.ar 18
Officially the oldest winery in Mendoza and still run by Argentine hands. Their charming and rustic restaurant looks onto the vineyard, just two steps away. Urquiza 8136 - Russell. Tel 261 5878900 www.familiaditommaso.com
Carinae 30 min
Small, charming, French-owned winery offering personal tours and well-honed wines. Surrounded by vineyards and olive trees. Videla Arande 2899, Cruz de Piedra, Maipú. Tel. 499 0470 www.carinaevinos.com
The Heart of Argentine Wine Julia Allen takes a wine tour in Lujan de Cuyo Believe it or not there are at least 800 wineries in Mendoza, a bewildering number if you have just arrived and wish to drop by and try a few. The question is, which ones? Three hundred of them take visitors but the reality is only a core 20 to 30 wineries are worth visiting in the sense they have good wines, knowledgable winery guides and beautiful locations. The vast majority of these wineries are located in Lujan de Cuyo, the heart of Argentine winemaking. Lujan is located 30 minutes south of the city, out into the vineyards and close to the mountains, and those are what make Mendoza’s winelands look so stunning. When it comes to winery types, Lujan has everything, big and boutique, modern and historical, foreign and Argentine owned. You are sure to find something to your taste and its relative proximity means you can see more wineries and try more wines. The question is how you get there? Public transport is minimal and renting a car risks a DUI. Also there is the nagging fact that all wineries require pre-booking. I opted to skip the jail time and messy details, and went straight to Mendoza’s best, English-speaking, wine tour company, Trout & Wine. It didnt take much convincing to sign me up for their Lujan de Cuyo tour which involves four wineries. The next morning the van picked me up at my hotel and we set out to experience the wines of Lujan de Cuyo. Our first visit was the quaint, family-run winery Hacienda del Plata. It is owned by Pablo Gonzalez and as we drove up the gravel path one of his children greeted us at the entrance. Hacienda del Plata’s vines are over 80 years old and reside in the regions of Chacras de Coria, Lujan de Cuyo and Junin. They keep the production size small so each barrel gets the personal attention the family desires.
Our tour guide was an expert about the process of wine making and in a fun interactive lesson we sampled wines from three barrels during various stages of development. I could distinctly taste how the wine evolution from grape juice to woody oak to wine vinegar, and it made me appreciate the final result all that much more. After our tasting we tromped off to the family house for story time. There our guide regaled us with the legacy of the Gonzalez-Pinto family while illustrating her monologue with charming family photos hanging on the walls. I jokingly asked if there is room in the family for one more. Our guide laughed and said, “No but you can always bring ours home with you. It’s in every bottle.” Next Stop, Terraza de Los Andes. The grounds are reminiscent of an Italian villa, with a central fountain, large grassy yards and Mediterranean-style architecture. The name Terraza de Los Andes derives from the way they grow their grape varietals; each is planted in the optimum altitude for maximum flavour and quality. Their tasting room is on the upper floor and looks onto the stainless steel holding tanks below. In the center of the table little bottles filled with distinct aromas were placed to aid our undeveloped noses. They proved to be very helpful when defining the notes of the Torrontes 2008, bursting with sweet pear and pineapple. I couldn´t help but buy a bottle, a steal at $45.75 pesos. The Terraza’s Cheval del Andes 2006 (a $300 peso blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Petit Verdot) was the next in my tasting line-up. On my tongue the tannins attacked with lead-flavoured vengeance, but what do I know? Wine Advocate gave this wine 96 points!
what a Renacer enologist might be thinking while consorting with his grapes. Soon after Tania Piaggi, Ranacer’s Public Relations & Hospitality Professional, came down to meet us. Within moments we were enthralled with her high energy and incredible passion for wine. She toured us through the grounds and up to the tasting room overlooking the gardens.
My stomach began to voice its concerns about my two wine breakfasts and I was getting a little tipsy from the generous pourings. Just in time our vibrant guide Marcela whisked us to Bodega Ruca Malen for the five-course lunch. She informed us that the owner of Ruca Malen demands that his wines not be paired with the food but that the food be paired to his wines. Whomever is highlighting what I was not concerned, just glad to be eating!
We started with a little lesson in wine blending. Once educated, the wine-making was in our hands. I measured out my ratios of Malbecs and blend them into one. The activity was entertaining but I don’t think I’ll be getting any credentials from Robert Parker. In the tasting we started with the Punto Final Clasico 2007. It is young with intense berry flavors and was the favourite Renacer wine of the majority in our tasting party; from there the Punto
What was on the menu? 1) The caramelized leek and carrot skewers with a citrus emulsion paired with the Yauquen Sauvignon Blanc 2008. An excellent pallet cleanser. 2) A savoury sweet and sour pork empanada paired with a Yauquen Cabernet Sauvignon 2009. 3) A very unusual pumpkin terrine with sun-dried tomatoes, Merlot sediments and plums, paired with a Ruca Malen Merlot 2005. The texture reminded me of pumpkin pie but with a Final Reserva Malbec 2006, Enamore 2007 (a blend of Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Bonarda) and the Renacer Malbec Gran Reserva 2006. My vote was won over by the Enamore 2007 with its soft, honey sweetness and bold notes of dark fruits and raisins. We took a group photo to document a day well done and sauntered into the air-conditioned van. I would recommend this tour to anyone who visits Mendoza. The tastings are superb, the wineries beautiful and the guides informative and cheerful. The Valle de Uco tour is next on my list. With great tours, wine, sun and fun, it´s not hard to love Mendoza! hearty, roasted flavor. 4) Succulent grilled beef tenderloin on a vegetable medley paired with the Ruca Malen Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 and the Kinien Malbec 2007. 5) For dessert, a deliciously refreshing Chardonnay, lemon and rosemary granitee and heavenly dulce-de-leche panna-cotta with fresh fruit. All topped off with a cafe con leche, leaving me delightfully stuffed and relishing in hedonistic consumption. We finished the day at Renacer, a Chilean-owned boutique winery. As we came through the gate my eyes feasted upon the Frenchstyle garden of ponds, hanging vines and rose bushes. I found a shady spot looking onto the grape vineyards and tried to envision
Trout & Wine conducts dailyl tours to Lujan de Cuyo, which conduct tasting at four wineries. Espejo 266, Mendoza. (261) 425 5613. www.troutandwine.com. Price $135 US per person.
Wine Survival Dictionary Don’t let the language barrier keep you corked up. Pop the top on any coversation with OUR wine dictionary below.
By Julia Allen with contributions from Roberto Bertona of Finca Decero Bottle Botella
Nose En nariz
1. Acid Acido
Nutty A nueces
2. Bitter Amargo
Oaky A roble
Corkage fee Descorche
3. Salt Sal
4. Sweet Dulce,
Glass of wine Copa de vino
Powerful Agresivo, complejo Quality Calidad
Harvest Vendimia House wine Vino de la casa
TASTE AND SMELL DESCRIPTORS
Acidity Acetaldehido, acidez
Rough/Rustic Mal sabor
Aftertaste Regusto, sabor residual
Stainless Steel Tank
Tanque de acero inoxidable
Alcohol Alcohol (the h is silent)
Balance Buen equilibrio,
Precio de la degustación
Thin-bodied Poco espeso, liviano
Black fruits Frutas negras
Bodega subterránea de cava
Wine grape Uva de vino
Wine maker Enólogo
Wine shop Vinoteca
Finish Acabado, final
Dried fruit Frutas secas
Flat Sin sabor
GENERAL WINE TYPES
Full-bodied Con cuerpo
Champagne Champán, Champaña
Gone bad Picado
Red fruits Frutas rojas
Red wine Vino tinto
Green/Tart Acerbo, ácido
Rosé Vino rosado
Heavy/ thick Espeso
Sparkling wine Vino espumante
White wine Vino blanco
Legs Lágrimas (tears)
Bar Hopping Mendoza
By Daniel Seifert and Amanda Barnes
Centre La Reserva
Aristides Villanueva Known simply as ‘Aristides’ to the locals, this long strip of eclectic bars, restaurants and clubs is the most well-known nightlife spot in the city. Thanks to the proximity of hostels the area is always packed with foreigners. If you’re a gringo, your nights will usually start here.
Antares The best beer in town. If you swing by on a Tuesday you can jam to a live band playing jazz, reggae or international covers. If it´s not Tuesday, stay anyway for the selection of rich beers. Bonus points if you mange to sample each of their five light and dark ales. Aristides 153
PH The pre-party spot to the “gente linda” a.k.a beautiful people before they migrate to PPTH (see below). It has a great drink list, classy decor and long tables that can fit all of your friends. Aristides 282
Parapithecus Evolutionbar (PPTH) The place to see and be seen and one of the only proper clubs on Aristides. Downstairs is for drinking and upstairs is for dancing and flirting. After 2am prepare yourself for a stampede of crowds. To get upstairs men have to be 23, women 21. Aristides 264
Por Aca Noisy and bubbly, this bar/club is massively popular for late night partygoers. Late-teens to mid-twenties trend-setters prowl the dancefloor and upstairs lounge. It is crowded, boisterous and everyone there knows how to have a good time. Aristides 557
Itaka Hostels like this are great places to hang because they´re always filled with travelers. Order a beer and play the “where are you from?” game with dozens of backpackers. Mendocinos come here to practice their English. It´s a great place to make new friends. Aristides 480 25
This gay club is small and intimate but still packs a punch, thanks to their weekend drag shows which always get the crowd going. Also their skilfully-mixed drinks light up under the UV lighting, which we think is very cool. Rivadavia 32
Liverpool Pub Homesick Brits should pop by here. It’s a shrine to all things Beatles-related and the place to catch live sports on TV. Ave San Martin 1002
Bar Uvas Located in the 5-star Hotel, Park Hyatt Mendoza, Bar Uvas offers one of the best wine lists in Mendoza. The wait staff will not keep you waiting and the cocktail list reflects the expectations of the upper-class. Live music from ThursdaySaturday includes Jazz and Bossa Nova. Chile 1124
Not an exact replica of that famous place in Springfield (for example there is no bar but a series of round tables crammed together). Nevertheless it´s a great place for an early crowd and seems to always be full and loud with conversation. It´s very central and popular with students. Catamarca and San Martin
Petrol stations Imbibing by gas pumps is popular here in the early evenings. Many stations have little outdoor drinking areas, right by the pumps. Though the surroundings aren’t exactly classy it’s how many locals relax after a day of work or before heading out to the bars. Asked why they choose to drink in a gas station, most people shrug and reply with the classical every-man maxim: “because it’s there”. You can even smoke, but try to avoid stubbing your butts in a pool of gasoline. Shell Station on Av. Colon and Espana
Soul Café Foot-tapping live tunes on Jazz and rock weekdays. On Sundays groups of all levels salsa and tango. It attracts an eclectic crowd of rhythm-loving locals. San Juan 456
Queen This club is your connection to the gay scene in Mendoza. Party alongside transvestites and other members of the alternative scene. 25 de Mayo 318
Gutierrez Long Long Bar The owners sell this place as an ´after office partying, dinner, drinks and music´. The checker-floor interior and Warhol-style wallprints draw in a bohemian, artsy crowd. Gutierrez 453
Believe Irish Pub Mendoza´s best and only Irish pub. It´s a great place for foreigners to find new friends, especially on the Monday ‘International Night’. On weekends local girls flock to the pub looking for hot, exotic guys. May the luck of the Irish be with you. Colon 241
San Martin Sur Godoy Cruz This long stretch of San Martin further out of town is where the locals go to hang loose. The bars aren´t packed together like in Aristides, so unless you have a car, pick a place and stick with it for the night.
Juguete Rabioso An alternative bar famed for its board games and books strewn all over the place in case the cheap drinks don’t get you talking enough. Arizu 502
De La Ostia A great roof terrace makes this bar a popular choice in the Summer (and even winter when the outdoor heaters allow). With a trendy decor and a good list of pizzas this is a nice choice for Godoy Cruz to sit back, listen to some relaxed music and try and focus on the stars. Corner of San Martin and Estrada.
A popular rock joint where beer is more popular than the local juice. San Martin 1701
exclusive air stems mainly from the high entry prices ($40 for chicos, $25 for chicas), so you’ll end up staying a while. Vistalba s/n Camino Boliches Chacras.
Who misses the 80s? For a bit of nostalgia you couldn´t do better than to visit this calamity - karaoke and bowling rolled into one big flourescent package. San Martin Sur 1200
Geo A disco-junkies dream! This club has a great resident DJ who plays hit tunes, backed by hypnotic light shows. The crowd is fairly young and the atmosphere enthusiastic. Get up and dance! This is not a place for wall-flowers. San Martin Sur 576
Iskra If you don’t want to spring for a $20 peso cab all the way to Chacras, this fashionable boliche is closer to town. It has a massive dance floor in the biggest of its three rooms and two bars. The music is a mix of rock and reggaeton with the occasional cuarteto song. The cover is $20 and ladies get in free. San Martin Sur 905.
Apeteco This trendy spot is a happening place to be on the weekends but even Thursdays can attract a sizeable herd. It`s a club for dancing, with an 18-25 local crowd. The music is a mix of electronica, regaeton and a little cumbia. There are a few different bars inside but they are usually crowded. The cover charge is $15 pesos and ladies get in free. San Juan and Barraquero.
If you like a cheesy night out, this is where to head. For all you undiscovered crooners out there, this karaoke joint allows you to showcase your creative notes. Go with a big group though, because everyone else does. It´s also a grill restaurant so you can fill up on an asado before you get musical. While it may not be very `cool` thanks to the number of families and kids, Macunba is enjoyable and cheery. Darragueira 558.
Kamikaze Bar There are four bars here and a 3D lightshow accompanied by electronica music - ergo it´s a feast for the senses. Ravers and candykids kick-it to hardcore tunes amists glow sticks and blacklights. Nightly drink promotions. Ruta Panamericana and Corredor del Oeste.
Boliche Optimo Newly-opened and incredibly popular, Optimo is a place the well-dressed clientele go to be `seen`. It´s a fusion of Malbec Restaurante & Sushi Bar and B.U Dance. So you can sip a cocktail, down some Salmon sashimi and boogie all at once. Friday is the night to go. Vistalba s/n Camino Boliches Chacras.
Boliches (Clubs) of Challao Club Underground
Boliches (Clubs) of Chacras De Coria At about 2 a.m., after warming up in their bar of choice, the real party goers head to Chacras. It is the ultimate clubbing area and located about twenty minutes away from Mendoza city by cab.
Al Sur This chic club has a tranquil garden area and a cosy dancefloor, so you can migrate between both as the mood strikes. Its 26
Travellers and locals alike flock to underground for the duel music options and laid back atmosphere. Indie rock and Euro pop serenades dancers on the indoor dance stage and local music jams outside. They frequently have drink specials and the regulars there are friendly and fun. (see pg 28 for full article). Rotonda del El Challao.
Scanner This boliche is always full, and is popular for a reason. A huge Bhudda statue watches over revelers as they enjoy live tunes (bands and DJ´s) and they serve an impressive variety of drinks. Try their perfectly-mixed caipirinha by the poolside. El Challao.
Alameda Mendocinos in the know say that Aristides is the place to be seen, but for those less concerned with social hierarchy, Alameda is the drinking area to hang. It’s a spread-out strip more relaxed than Aristides, where you really don’t have to worry about being dressed to the nines. On weekends live music floats through the air and couples tango in the streets, giving it a charming, bohemian atmosphere.
Long Play It’s been around for a few years but people still rave about this funky watering hole. The drinks are varied, creative and delicious. It´s owned by architects who gave the walls an artists touch, so come for the funky interior design, stay for the fruity cocktails. Remedios de Escalada 2023.
Club Coyote Well-known to students who kick back and listen to the live music. There are no frills at this place, but the ambience is relaxed and cheerful. Local bands jam for friends and strangers alike. San Martín and Beltrán, Paseo Alameda.
Blah Blah Bar Another long-staying institution known for its effervescent late-night atmosphere. Cocktail lovers flock for the great long drinks. It´s hard to find a good gin and tonic in Mendoza but these guys have nailed it. Paseo Peatonal Alameda, Escalada 2301.
La Casa Usher This bohemian bar specializes in art shows, food and drinks. It is a great place to listen to jazz or slug a beer. The inside is decked with retro photos (which make for excellent conversation starters). Because of its arty connections, Casa Usher attracts a more upscale, intellectual customer. Av. San Martin 2259, Alameda.
LubiluBar This a gourmet restaurant and bar regularly alternates betwen art exhibitions, theatrical and musical performances and fashion shows. Milonga Mondays are followed by Tango Tuesdays and theatrical Wednesdays. The rest of the week live music rocks the house. Most of the events are free of charge and best enjoyed with a drink. Av. San Martin 2279.
Club Underground Surfaces Daniel Seifert mines Underground and strikes gold records Upon entering Underground the air-conditioned grotto takes me back to my university days in the UK. The first notes of ´99 Luftballons´ blasts over the speakers and after hearing the same five songs at every club in South America, I nearly break down into tears of joy. With cheap beer and pizza in hand I realize, tonight, yeah tonight is gonna be a good night. Like many of the clubs in Mendoza located outside the city, Underground´s main area is an alfresco garden, so that people can mingle and drink in the cool night air. A tunnel-like entrance leads to the dance floor, grotto and indoor bar. The deceptively high ceilings, pipes and stone walls clearly provided the inspiration for the underground theme. It´s reminiscent of the London subway system if the bums were replaced with fog machines and instead of putrid smells there were techni-colored lights. However one thing is clear, this is one train you don´t want to miss. The owners of Underground are very gringo-friendly, so it´s no surprise that the club is too. “Foreigners are fun, they´re always on holiday,” grins Gonzalo Rodriguez. “When they come here they bring a good atmosphere,” he says, gesturing to the dance floor behind him. I take a glance and can´t disagree. Dozens of tourists are belting the words to Bohemian Rhapsody and dancing like Lady Gaga. The recentlyopened club (boliche) came from the collaboration of three successful nightlife institutions in town: Por Aca, Believe Irish Pub and Casa 3. As such Underground is a well-run, ambitious spot that aims to be a main player in Mendoza’s nightlife. A central idea of the club, Gonzalo says, is to play music that tourists enjoy. He knows that the songs locals like aren´t necessarily what will get a traveler´s heart pumping. “So we have two different dance floors. One plays rock and britpop. The other is reggaeton, local stuff.” 28
By answering the not-so-simple question, what should we play, Underground seems to have cornered the market. “When tourists come to Mendoza they like to hear their own music – so why not play both local and international tunes?” reason Gonzalo but Kelly, Gonzalo´s wife and part-owner, assures me that finding the right balance was not easy. “You would be amazed at how many bad DJs there are. We went though three just to find someone who would play the songs we wanted. Now we have it down. The vibe is good. The music is right and everyone is having a brilliant time.” Each night has a distinct theme. Friday caters more to rockers, and Saturdays pump out electronica and laser light shows. The result is a club that is rammed every weekend with fun-loving partiers from all over the world. Additional information Address Rotonda del El Challao Minibuses for foreigners run from Believe Irish Pub (Ask for Kelly or call 429 5567) from 1:30am and costs $5 per person. Alternatively a taxi from downtown Mendoza costs roughly $20. Hours 11:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. The entrance policy is over 21 for chicas and over 23 for chicos. $20 and $30 pesos respectively with a drink. Prices Smirnoff & Speed (2 drinks) $25, 750cc bottle of Budwiser $15, Campari and Speed $15. Every week there is a special promotion, for example; 2 for 1 Campari & Orange before 3am. A Bottle of Novecento with 2 Speed energy drinks $48 Dress code: None, but don’t overdo it and come in a swimsuit... or do?
dining out mendoza city flora
Ladies and Gentleman, Flora has expanded. Originally in Chacras, this culinary fusion of Argentine and European cuisine has now reopened in Mendoza city center. The décor of beautiful carved wood and high ceilings makes Flora the perfect backdrop to any special evening. Upon visiting, the wait staff went above and beyond normal service standards and patiently accommodated the indecisive nature of my group. On beautifully set tables, our salads were served fresh alongside homemade breads and delectable spreads. You’ll have trouble choosing between the gourmet entrées such as glazed chicken, rack of lamb, sandwiches, and grilled fish in paper; all fit to be paired with a wine from their extensive wine list. For dessert I recommend the tasting platter, which presents a sweet bite or two of all they offer. Come hungry because this is the type of place you want to partake in all the courses. Belgrano 1069. Tel: 261420-4322. Mon-Sat 11:00am - 15:00pm and 18:00pm - 01:00am. Avg. meal cost: $40.00 pesos
kitchen through the restaurant,heralding all of the savory flavors to come. The restaurant has two main spaces: the interior and the exterior, “El Deck.” The internal concept is of tranquility and slow cooked meals, whereas “El Deck” is more laid back and ideal for fast plates, like tapas.On the menu you’ll find savory dishes of thinly sliced raw deer (carpaccio de ciervo,) smoked salmon (charqui de salmon) and crepes of spider crab and shrimp (crepes de centolla y camarones). Tempting desserts like the Baileys parfait is fit to follow. It’s impossible to ignore the extraordinary quality and the cozy ambiance. Perú 1192. Tel. 261423-2387. Monday - Saturday, 20:30pmclose.
Beautifully renovated from a large, colonial style house, Ocho Cepas casually exudes elegance and culinary expertise. The dominant concept on the menu is asado, for which head Chef Max Casá is famous. The smell of meat smoldering over live coals wafts from the 30
ocho cepas la sal
After a stint in Thailand, French-Argentine owner Emmanuel Smith came to Mendoza with a handful of ingredients and some big ideas. A few months later Wasana was born,a two-storey restaurant with a swanky artist’s vibe and food that boasts the uncommon Argentinean adjective, healthy. Out front, a sea of red couches are situated in front of walls of bamboo and stone. It’s a great setup to chill with friends at Happy Hour, where you’ll soon be grinning with the buy-one-getone-free drink special. Inside mellow lighting of orange, yellow and red mingles with funky music and bold art work. The home-style architecture, separated into rooms, makes this large restaurant intimate. For couples I recommend requesting a spot on the outdoor deck upstairs. The food is a Mendocinan´s
version of Thai, not too spicy with tender meats. Special efforts are made to give patrons beautiful plate presentations using garnishes of complementary colours. I had the Ensalada Tibia de Cerdo and the Masa Maan Nua which were unavoidably similar in flavour but both very tasty. For dessert the Platano Crocante and Mascarpone are delicious! Their in-house sommelier can give you a great suggestion from the 50+ bottle wine list and if you like what you hear sign-up for their Sunday wine classes. Aristides Villanueva 785. Tel. 261425-6762. Tuesday-Sunday, Bar 18:30Close, Kitchen 20:30-1am. Happy Hour from 18:30-20:30 & 24-1:30 12pm-1am. Avg. Meal cost: $50 pesos
Located in the elegant Park Hyatt Mendoza, Grill Q serves up traditional regional cuisine at a Five-Star level. Wood floors and cowhides combine with expansive windows and sky-lights to create a welcoming, modern atmosphere. The restaurant aims to provide visitors with an authentic Argentinian dining experience. Key features, include the original artworks of Mendocina painter, Laura Rudman, and a “parilla a la vista” grill that allows patrons to view the chef at work. They´re famous for their grilled meats and vast selection of regional wines. Other exceptional options include traditional favorites such as locro, a classic stew that hails from Argentina´s
“Independence Days.” Personally, I would suggest coming with a friend and ordering the “Parilla for two” with a pairing of Trumpeter Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2008. Conclude your meal savoring a quince and cheese terrine, this establishment´s gourmet take on a unique regional desert. Chile 1124. Tel. 261-441-1225. Wednesday - Saturday 12:30pm - 3:30pm, 8:30pm - 1:00am Sunday closes at 1pm. Executive Lunches are offered Wednesday-Friday and include your choice of entree, glass of wine, and your choice of a desert or starter, $70. Full buffet on Saturday nights for $90 and Sunday brunch for $85. Avg. Meal cost: $80 pesos.
de portobello (pastry piled with mushrooms and walnuts), to melt-in-your-mouth salmon al limon and trout, produces an unavoidable bout of indecisiveness. The Anna Bistro staff swear by the T-Bone steak and local Malbec combo. End the feast with a Blackberry Cheesecake and glass of bubbly on the sunken sofas for a quick trip to nirvana. Av. Juan B. Justo 161 Tel: 261-425-1818. Everyday 12pm - 1am. Avg. meal cost: $45.00 pesos
Best friends Gustavo and Charlie have realized their dream of opening a restaurant together with this hip eatery on Aristides Villanueva. They pride themselves on being the only restaurant on Aristides Avenue with traditional Argentine bbq asado. Although this rustic style restaurant specializes in beef, its menu also includes salads, sandwiches,pizzas and a unique selection of papas fritas (French fries). Everything is freshly cooked so prepare to have a bit of patience. There is a good wine list and outdoor seating on the lively sidewalk. The lounge in the back is filled with antique furniture and perfect for chatting over a drink. The plates are big, the wait staff is friendly, and the location is central to the best nightlife. *Look for their coupon inside the magazine! Aristides Villanueva 495. Tel: 261- 425-0420. Everyday, 11:00 am- 3:00 am. Avg. meal cost: $25.00 pesos
For a romantic evening outdoors Anna Bistro is unsurpassable. Carved wood tables adorned with candles are nestled between exotic flowering plants and hanging vines. Couple this with soft lighting and tranquil jazz, and any mundane evening is transformed into a memorable event. Gazing at their menu of delectable dishes, from ceviche and cesto 31
If you’re after mariscos (shrimp) Praga is undoubtedly the best restaurant in town, specializing in creative seafood dishes such as sea urchin, Spanish octopus and shrimp chop suey. Each item is primed to be partnered with a vino from their spectacular wine list, the bottles of which are stored in an air-conditioned side room, aptly named, “Farmacia.” No wonder it´s a popular hangout for many of Mendoza’s prominent winemakers. The restaurant opens up to a scenic plaza lending Praga the romantic charge of a Parisian tryst. Inside is an atmospheric courtyard framed in wood timber. The delightful, Boterostyle paintings that hang on the pale yellow walls are the original works of the owner’s wife, Lucía Arra, and are available for purchase. Desserts of crème brulée and chocolate crepes with orange will have you swimming in AphroditePoseidon bliss. Leonidas Aguirre 413. Tel: 261- 425-9585. pragamarisqueria.com.ar. Monday - Saturday, 20:00pm-1.30am. Avg. meal cost: $50.00 pesos
outside city center Terruño-Club Tapiz Resort
Tucked away among the sprawling Maipu vineyards lies Club Tapiz Resort and its lovely restaurant Terruño. This handsome eatery boasts an elegant interior, excellent service and a wine list that is sure to please even the most finicky of wine snobs. Their chef compiles a tantalising menu that includes top notch lomo steaks, a rotating range of salads and a savory ginger/honey chicken dish that is second to none. If you like what you see and taste, book a room in one of their seven Renaissance-style villas. Don’t forget to call ahead for dinner reservations! Ruta 60 s/n 5517 Maipú. Tel: 261-496-0131. tapiz.com. Lunch, everyday, 12:00pm-15:00pm. Dinner, Sunday-Thursday, 20:00pm-23:00pm, Friday & Saturday ‘til 24:00pm. Avg. meal cost: $45 pesos
Casa de Campo
For rustic charm and traditional dishes visit Casa de Campo; A 15-minute taxi ride from Mendoza city center. Think welcoming casa with wooden beams, intimate tables and a small but lively verandah. Locals flock for the mouth-watering Argentine fare. Appetizers come in a taster’s collection of home-made goodies, from bread, prosciuttio and olive oil to sausage, pickled eggplant, cheeses and olives. Save some room for their clay oven specialties of succulent rabbit and suckling pig. “Grandma´s Menu,” the dish of the day, is made from in-season, locally grown produce. Complement this with a bottle from their extensive wine list and the result is a flavor combination of gourmet quality. A picturesque stroll to Rutini La Rural bodega, just ten minutes away, is a wonderful way to conclude the afternoon. Urquiza 1516, Coquimbito, Maipu. Tel: 26481-1605. casadecampomza.com. Everyday 12pm-18pm. Avg. meal cost: $35.00 pesos
Police, Fire Department and Emergency Medical Dial 911 Bus Terminal Tel: 431-3001 Av. de Acceso Este and Costanera. Bus Routes: Maipu, Linea 10 N° 171, 172, 173, Rioja street and Garibaldi. Chacras, N° 115 or 116, 25 de Mayo and Montevideo. Airport Tel: 448 0017 Accesso Norte s/n. El Plumerillo. Shipping Wine Ordinary post will not ship wine and a courier can cost at least $12 US a bottle. The most economical way is send it with your checked luggage in a special styrofoam wine box, available at most wine stores or at Trout & Wine, Espejo 266. Crime Be alert. Mendoza does have crime. Hold on to purses on the street and at restaurants. Avoid carrying valuables. Hostel lockers are not safe. Danger spots: bus terminal and internet cafes. Bike Tours in Maipu The most economical way to do a wine tour in Mendoza. Take bus (see above) to Urquiza street where you’ll find several bike rental companies. Some are notorious for dodgy bikes. Check and double check you get a good mount as a puncture can cause a mini nightmare. Head south, as north of Maipu is urban and not pretty. Recommended wineries: Rutini, Tempus Alba, Di Tommasso and certainly Carinae. When returning have a late lunch at the excellent Casa de Campo. Nightclubs In most nightclubs you have to queue twice for a drink which can get slightly exasperating as the night wears on. It is wise to buy several drink tickets at once for an easy, unimpeded flow of alcohol. Bathrooms are usually ill equiped so bring your own toilet paper. Many nightclubs are 200 light years away in Chacras which can cause problems getting home. Clubs rarely get going before 2am. Taxi Services Taxi Godoy Cruz Tel: 427-0055 - Radiomóvil Guaymallén Tel: 445-5855 - Mendocar Paraná 250 Tel: 423-6666 - La Veloz del Este Alem 439 Teléfono: 423-9090 Mendoza Expats Club An organization which enables Expatriates to meet each other. www.mendozaexpats.org. Hair Dresser English speaking and eccentric hairdresser Haisley from Delite will do your hairdo right. Aristides 429. (261) 429-9124