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Source: MetroNews Vancouver
By: Peter Rockwell

Visiting a wine producing country for the first time is a lot like finally meeting a celebrity you’re crazy about.

What you hope against hope is that they’ll live up to your expectations in person. Well, after a week in Argentina last month I can officially tell you that the land of red wine (and whites too), red meat and amazing empanadas more than lives up to its liquid reputation.

The province of Mendoza is ground zero for great vino. There malbec is king and tasting a series of wines with Daniel Pi — chief winemaker for Trapiche —brought that fact home loud and clear. If you don’t know the grape Trapiche’s 2007 Malbec ($8.85 - $11.99) is the place to start. Not too spicy or juicy; its ripe core of bright black fruit is easy to drink and barbecue-friendly.

One of the most original wines I tried came from the minds at Masi. The Italian wine producer set up shop in Mendoza’s Tupungato Valley to blend malbec with corvina (a grape originally from Italy’s Veneto region). The resulting Masi Tupungato 2007 Passo Doble ($13.95 - $17.99) is a beef-loving, new wave South American with Old World roots.

Prices reflect the range across the country. Some products may not be available in all provinces.

– Peter Rockwell is the everyman’s wine writer, working in the liquor industry for more than 25 years and travelling the globe looking for something to fill his glass and put into words.

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