Definition: Originating from the Bordeaux region of France, this grape is among the "big six" for red wine grapes. However, with the exception of Cahors, its fame and fortune in France often end there, as Malbec is generally a grape used for blending, with very little vine being devoted to its improvement or success. The story in Argentina is quite the opposite. Malbec has found both fame and glory in the sun-drenched climate of Argentina. This is Argentina's signature grape and it is quickly making a new name for itself with red wine lovers. South Africa, Australia, Chile and the U.S. also successfully grow Malbec though not to the same capacity as Argentina.
Malbec Flavor Profile:
Malbec is typically a medium to full-bodied, dry red wine with plenty of acidity and higher tannin and alcohol levels. Dark, inky purple color profiles and ripe fruit flavors of plums, black cherry and blackberry can give this wine a decidedly jammy character. Smoke, earth, leather, wild game, tobacco and white/black pepper along with a slew of high profile spices can make for an interesting medley of aromas and flavors, adding to layers of complexity and unique food pairing profiles.
Definitely a red meat wine that is adaptable enough to stand up to spicy Mexican, Cajun, Indian, Thai or Italian fare, with preference given to barbecue, spices and hard to pair meat-driven dishes, Malbec is extremely food-friendly and ultra accommodating. Consider giving Malbec a go with a wide variety of beef, game, lamb, chili, stews, mushrooms, sausage and barbecue sauces. Learn more about Pairing Malbec Wine with Food here.
Malbec is typically sold as a dry, red wine varietal and labeled as such, though it is also found in blends (often to add color), as a rosé and even sparkling and dessert Malbecs can be found with a little effort. Our Malbec Wine Recommendations and Reviews will give you a jumpstart on delicious, well-distributed, wallet-friendly Malbec wine finds. With a reputation for providing exceptional quality to price ratios, this red wine varietal is on the rise in international markets, but the U.S. is by far the number one Malbec importer.
Key Malbec Producers to Try:
Don Miguel Gascon
Altos Las Hormigas
Also Known As: Also known as "Cot" in France