Originally used as a blending grape in France’s Bordeaux region, Malbec has found its true home in Argentina’s Mendoza region.

February 01, 2008

There, the grape produces darkly fruity wines with hints of black pepper and leather—like a traditional rustic country red, but with riper, fuller fruit. Malbecs are often very affordable, too, and go wonderfully with steaks and roasts, hearty stews and grilled sausages.

Summer Wine Recommendation: Pair with Grilled Steak

Ultimate Summer Wine Guide

  • (Star Selection) »
    Argentine winemakers Pepe Galante and Mariano Di Paola joined forces a few years ago to create their Mapema brand, which focuses on affordable, delicious wines like this espresso-scented red.
  • 2007 Altos Las Hormigas Mendoza ($12)
    The vibrant purple hue and intense black fruit signal the youth of this lush Argentine red.
  • 2007 High Note ($13)
    American-based importer Peter Click and Argentine vintners José Rodrigo Calatayud and Laura Catena teamed up to create this smoky, blueberry-rich Malbec from Argentina’s Uco Valley region.
  • 2005 Tiza Mendoza ($19)
    Oak barrels add distinctive spice notes to the plummy flavors of this cuvée made for wine importer Fran Kysela.
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Rustic, Peppery Malbec

Spicy Steak Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing

Top Bottles

  • Terrazas de los Andes (Argentina)
  • Bodega Catena Zapata Catena (Argentina)
  • Altos Los Hormigas (Argentina)

The following wines pair particularly well with grilled steak:

Recipe Pairings

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