MALBEC CONFESSIONS: Lucia Galdona, UnTapped Fine Wines

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Welcome to the MALBEC CONFESSIONS where we catch up and talk to ‘those in the know’ about all things Malbec and more.

To kick us off, we catch up with the wonderful Lucia Galdona from UnTapped Fine Wines. Originally from Uruguay, she now calls Australia home.

Her intimate local knowledge of South America, wine, food and (let’s face it!), South American charm, is simply amazing. And… she can make a crochet empanada hat look cool, too.

We highly recommend making a beeline to the UnTapped Fine Wine stand on the day. Rumour has it they’ll have over 20 different Malbecs on tasting so you’ll get to know the variety in all of its forms.

OLÉ!

Tell us your story!

I hail from Uruguay, a South American wine-producing country between Argentina and Brazil. A place where we drink a LOT of wine and a lot of MALBEC! I joined the Untapped Fine Wines team in 2011 and moved to Australia three years ago to share my passion about South American and Spanish wines.

Coming from South America, is there one thing you miss over here?

Dulce de leche and a good barbecue!

Why Malbec?

Why not? Have you tried it? It is just amazing!

Can you remember your ‘first time’? With Malbec that is!

At a family wedding, I stole a bottle with my cousins when our family was distracted and we struggled to open it – we did not know how to uncork the bottle and we had to ask for help! Our older cousins opened it and we drank it out of the bottle. I thought it was great, but I can’t remember what happened later that night… We did get in trouble the next day!

Do you tango?

I love to tango but I am terrible at it! I went to a few classes in Melbourne when I moved to Australia as I was missing the music and thought it would be good to not lose that connection… I need to get better at it, though!

Finish this sentence; ‘Malbec makes me …’

Want to go swimming in the ocean in the middle of the night.

What can we expect from you on the day?

Definitely a big smile as I will have a glass of Malbec in my hand…

What do you drink when no one’s watching?

Maté (A south American drink)… if I do it in a public space, people think I am getting high with a weird drug that tastes funny.

SYDNEY: THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE

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Wow. Sydney, you guys know how to Malbec. Gauchito’s first visit to the city was an epic sellout. Who doesn’t love a sellout?

Was your face snapped by our sneaky photographer? Or just want to see what it was all about? Photos of the action are here for all your FOMO needs, and if you still need more, check out the crochet empanada escapades. Cripes you’re a good looking bunch, Sydney.

You, the people, have the final word on wine. You came. You tasted. You voted.
Said votes have been counted, and the winners of the PEOPLE’S CHOICE are….

THE MALBECS

1) Jed Limited Release Malbec 2013
2) Mairena Malbec 2013
3) Matchbox Wine Co. Malbec Joven 2014
4) Catena Malbec 2013
5) Vistalba Corte B 2012

The winner of the epic Plumm Flinders Decanter is the lucky KATE BROMLEY!

Gauchito says GRACIAS, SEE YA NEXT YEAR AMIGOS!

(If you can’t wait until next year, why not try the other red grapes at GAME OF RHONES)

Tom Egan, JED Wines

MELBOURNE: 2016 PEOPLE’S CHOICE

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Melbourne, you came, you drank, you ate and you voted.
We’ve counted all your votes, taken all your calls and read all your messages.
And the winners as voted BY YOU are…

THE MALBECS

1) ReWine – Three wise men – ‘the yearling’ Malbec
2) Catena Zapata Alta Malbec 2012
3) Jones Winery & Vineyard Malbec 2011
4) Catena Zapata Argentino Vineyard Malbec 2011
5) Jed Limited Release Malbec 2013

THE EMPANADAS

1) Piqueos: Lechona – marinated pork, crackling, rice, split peas and spice
2) The Mill House: The French Gauchito: Wagyu brisket 5 score, fois gras pochee, potatoes and truffle
3) Gertrude St Enoteca: Cumin spiced lamb empanadas with coriander chimichurri

The winner of the Plumm Flinders Decanter is the lucky Lucy Fitzpatrick.

Hasta next year Malbec lovers!

(If you can’t wait until next year, why not try the other red grapes at GAME OF RHONES)

Need More Malbec?

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Did you miss out on tickets for Gauchito Gil’s Malbec World Day in Sydney? Or just need another dose of Malbec in your life?

We’ve teamed up with our friends at The Keystone Group to bring you just what your ANZAC Day needs. Get along to The Gazebo for their signature feast of slow cooked spit roasts, wines and music, freely flowing your way.

Heaven.
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Cheese Making Legends: Yarra Valley Dairy

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Yarra Valley Dairy located just one hour for Melbourne is one of the best places to site see and sample the finest cheeses in Australia.

Majority of their cheeses are made in Italian and French styles… the best part?

THEY’RE BRINGING ALL THEIR CHEESE GOODNESS TO GAUCHITO GIL MALBEC WORLD DAY.

Say cheeeeeeeeeese.

Meet Yarra Valley Dairy

Tell us about your experience with Malbec

Malbec makes me tango.

I would do anything for Malbec, but I won’t do…

Soy Cheese.
(Fair call)

The worst thing I’ve ever eaten is…

Supermarket brand cheddar. That stuff hurts..

Aside from steak, what would you cook to go with Malbec?

Smokey (9 hour) lamb roast shoulder with Persian Fetta.

Where do you go for the most authentic Argentinean experience in Melbourne?

San Telmo.

Where do you go for the most authentic Argentinean experience in Sydney?

La Boca

What do you drink when no one is watching?

Merlot. I know, I know.

Golden Empanada Judge: Lee Chan

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We have TV royalty in the house yo.
Lee Chan made it to the grand final of My Kitchen Rules in 2011, then became a presenter on Coxy’s Big Break and if that’s not cool enough, she’s hosting her own travel/cooking show on National Geographic Asia.

This talented lady gets paid to travel, eat and drink her way around the world.

Lee’s recently started her own YouTube Channel (which you should totally subscribe to – do it now) LC Lifestyle, a video blog all about her life, her passion and the places she likes to visit in our home town of Melbourne. It’s ours, we share it.

Lee’s coming to blind sample all the empanadas we can throw her way.

And there’s a few to be thrown, eaten and guzzled with Malbec.

Meet Lee Chan, your THE GOLDEN EMPANADA JUDGE:

Tell us about your experience with Malbec

Malbec makes me tango.

I’m all for judging food. The only thing I’m not willing to put in my mouth is…

Salmon and goats cheese. Urgh!

Aside from steak, what would you cook to go with Malbec?

Slow roasted lamb.

Where do you go for the most authentic Argentinean experience in Melbourne?

San Telmo.
(Funnily enough, joining us this year!)

Where do you go for the most authentic Argentinean experience in Sydney?

Porteño.
(Who join us in Sydney)

What do you drink when no one is watching?

Whiskey.

Follow Lee and her food and travel adventures:
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Why Malbec?

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We thought you might be wondering why REVEL Director Dan Sims decided to do an event all about Malbec?

It’s a good question.

But before I answer, allow me to indulge slightly and tell you my story with this grape.

I’ll start by setting a scene some of you might be familiar with. It begins with my first visit to Mendoza, Argentina, and involves eating steak and drinking Malbec.

Now, meat cooked on an asado in Argentina is an experience not to be missed. Slow-cooked over coals, the resulting smoky protein screams out for red wine. Malbec especially.

I spent my career as a sommelier talking food and wine matching but in all honesty, the moments when wine truly harmonises with food are actually quite rare.

When you do find them, you can’t help but wonder what came first. Was the wine made to match the food or did they create the food to go with the wine?

It’s seamless.

Imagine you’re in Tuscany eating pappardelle con chingale and drinking a bottle of chianti overlooking the rolling Tuscan hills.

What came first? The dish or the wine?

But honestly, does it really matter, and do you care in that moment?

This is what it was like for me sitting in that restaurant in Mendoza, enjoying a steak, drinking a bottle of Malbec and staring at the Andes. What came first? Who knows, but I really didn’t care as the match was not only culinarily perfect, but culturally perfect.

I was hooked.

I didn’t realise it at the time, but that moment was the catalyst for a four-year project that saw me making Malbec in Argentina. But that’s a story for another time. With plenty of Malbec. *ahem*

Back to the question at hand.

Why Malbec?

For me, it’s both a wine for drinking and a wine for thinking.

There is an accessibility to the variety which I love. An unpretentiousness that is often lacking in other varietals. I could enjoy it without having to dissect it. Score or rate it. I just enjoyed it.

But then, maybe it was just the place. The Andes. The quest for the perfect empanada. The choripan I had on the side of a highway en route to the Uco Valley. Or perhaps it was the result of the significant amount of beef I ate. I don’t know, Malbec was always there and it was always delicious.

But all in all I guess it was the variation of style I enjoyed the most.

In the same way that Australian shiraz is often perceived overseas (that we only make one big, bold, fruit driven, heavy, high alcohol style) Malbec is sometimes seen in the same light. Now we all know that idea of Australia shiraz is bullshit as it’s produced across the country, and the subsequent styles are as diverse as the land itself.

Much like Malbec.

Mendoza is a vast area stretching some 200km north to south. Add in an altitude variation of anywhere between 400-1100 metres above sea level (care of the Andes), you’ll find a myriad of styles from the deep, rich, fuller flavoured examples in the lower eastern sub-zones of Mendoza (Maipu Valley), to lighter bodied, perfumed, almost ethereal styles in the higher zones further south (Uco Valley). And everything in between.

Add in the diverse mix of producers, international consultant winemakers, Spanish, Italian and French influences and, dare I say, clonal selections (urgh… wanker!), you have even more variation on the Malbec theme.

There’s one more answer to the question, too…

Tango, baby. Tango

Tickets for Gauchito Gil – Malbec Day are now ON SALE NOW!

Malbec Making Legends: Untapped Fine Wines

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Untapped Fine Wines
are the legends behind Australia’s leading source for estate-bottled wines from South America and Spain.

Their focus is on family-run, artisanal wineries whose passion and love for winemaking is revealed in the quality and taste of their wines.

They’ve got of 400 wines from Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and Spain.

They’re Australia’s South American and Spanish wine specialist, they also reckon they’ve got more wines than you can taste.
There’s a challenge if we ever heard one!

 

Meet Malbec Making Legends: Untapped Fine Wines

Why Malbec?

Argentina is the land of tango, soccer, passion, asado (BBQ), empanadas, friendship, stunning natural beauty and wine. Add a splash of elegance and you can smell and taste culture in a glass of Malbec!

If were all to make a trip to Argentina, we would head straight to…

Wineries of course! Not only do you get to sample unbelievable wines, most often it is accompanied by knock-out food and ALWAYS spectacular backdrops and scenery.

If not me, try…

We’ve got more variety on the tables than you may have time to try.
Mostly reds but don’t miss the chance to try some sparkling Malbec, some rosado examples and some killer blends.

Aside from steak, what would you cook to go with Malbec?

Anything that you can chuck on an asado (BBQ) os going to be heavenly but don’t overlook a hearty stew or some empanadas straight from the oven.

Where do you go for the most authentic Argentinean experience in Melbourne?

We are privileged to work alongside the great and good of Australia’s restaurants. It just wouldn’t be right to single out just one so we’re taking the fifth and suggesting you try a snack with El Alamo’s famous empanadas instead.

What do you drink when no one is watching?

Everything!

Get to know Untapped Wines before our Malbec fiesta:
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Empanada Contenders: The Mill House

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The Mill House is housed in the basement of Tomasetti House, a relaxed bar and eatery that knows how to fill a space.

They’re bringing their Peruvian chef Augustin Ortega to showcase South American cuisine that pairs perfectly with Malbec.

Peru’s close enough to Argentina, will they have the chops to take out THE GOLDEN EMPANADA TROPHY?

 

Meet The Mill House

Tell us about your experience with Malbec

Stuff love, I’d rather fall in to Malbec.
(Good answer)

I would do anything for Malbec, but I won’t do…

A prison Guard named Bubba.
(Fair call)

The worst thing I’ve ever eaten is…

A ham Sandwich…… we don’t eat crap 😉

Aside from steak, what would you cook to go with Malbec?

Beef ragu.

Where do you go for the most authentic Argentinean experience in Melbourne?

San Telmo.

Where do you go for the most authentic Argentinean experience in Sydney?

Porteño.

What do you drink when no one is watching?

Breezers.

Follow The Mill House and their drinking and dining adventures:

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Empanada Contenders: Piqueos

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Piqueos is a South American restaurant on Rathdowne Street in Carlton North.

Inspired by their travels through Peru and Argentina, the team have put together a menu of all things delicious in both regional and street dishes that best represent these two countries.

The best bit?

It pairs so well with Malbec.

Piqueos brings their empanada goodness to Melbourne, will they take one of THE GOLDEN EMPANADA trophies?!

Meet Piqueos:

Tell us about your experience with Malbec

My blood is of the Malbec variety.

piqueos2I would do anything for Malbec, but I won’t do…

it without an empanada.

Aside from steak, what would you cook to go with Malbec?

Beef short ribs, provolone cheese and empanadas.

Where do you go for the most authentic Argentinean experience in Melbourne?

Piqueos.
(We sense a bit of bias here… hey, no judgement)

piqueos3Where do you go for the most authentic Argentinean experience in Sydney?

Porteño.

What do you drink when no one is watching?

Sauvignon Blanc

Follow Piqueos and their empanada and Malbec adventures:

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