You don’t have to go all the way to Mendoza to taste great Argentine wines!!!
We’d heard good reviews from friends who’d done tastings of Argentine wines here in Buenos Aires with Anuva Wines and had been meaning to do it for months. When Ryan’s sister came to visit and we thought we wouldn’t have time to visit Mendoza, we decided to book a tasting with them ($40 per person when we did it). Due to Ryan’s sister’s obsession with Argentine malbecs, we requested to do a malbec-only tasting, and Sarah from Anuva ordered in a few special wines for us from Mendoza.
Anuva’s tastings used to be held in owner’s home in Las Canitas, but they recently moved them to a trendy new hotel in Palermo Hollywood (the Rendez-voux Hotel) because the neighbors were starting to wonder at all the random people coming to the building every evening and leaving drunk and happy. We were a little disappointed when we first found out that they’d moved, because we’d planned to go to dinner in one of the many great restaurants in the Las Canitas neighborhood afterwards, but we ended up loving the location in Palermo (and Palermo’s not exactly short on great places to eat). The hotel looks brand new and is decorated in a cool modern design. The tasting was held in the the hotel’s lounge/cafe area, with bright orange upholstery – sounds weird, but it worked – see?
It might have been strange if hotel guests were using the lounge area, but for our tasting it was just us so worked great. We arrived at the hotel and were greeted by Sarah, who I’d emailed with beforehand and who was hosting our private tasting. Sarah had the table beautifully laid with an assortment of Anuva-branded tasting glasses at every seat (we like seeing lots of wine glasses waiting for us . . . means lots of wine).
The wine tasting experience:
We started with a tasting of a sparkling wine (the only non-malbec of the night), paired with a green apple/Roquefort cheese bruschetta (may sound weird, but it was really good!!). Our next wine was a malbec rose, followed by 4 traditional red malbecs. It was a great selection of wines – all with their own distinct personalities, all from different boutique Argentine wineries that we had never come across. The wines were paired with quite a plate of munchies – as I recall, a massive carne empanada, several different cheeses, a cheese and quince-paste spread, several sausages and 2 different types of chocolate – yum. I didn’t exactly realize they were each meant to be paired with a specific wine so started digging in when Sarah brought them to us . . . oops. It was really cool when Sarah led us through each wine with its paired food–despite many, many trips to wineries in California (we are lushes) we had never really had a great food pairing experience like this–it really does make a difference.
Our favorite wine of the night was the San Gimignano 2007 Malbec – despite the name, it’s actually located in Mendoza. It’s possible that Sarah skewed our opinions by telling us this was her favorite before we’d even tasted it . . . Who cares, it was awesome.
The company (Anuva wines):
Through the tasting, we peppered Sarah with questions, especially as we had since decided to add in a trip to Mendoza and wanted to know all the right wineries to visit, her favorite restaurants and any other pointers she had. She was very knowledgeable and at the same time just fun to spend the evening with – we really enjoyed our time with her. At the end of the ~2 hour tasting, we decided to take 2 bottles home with us – Anuva has a cellar there at the hotel, so we walked out the door with our bottles that night. And – this is awesome – we didn’t have to worry about bringing the right amount of cash as Anuva accepts both Paypal and credit cards – Sarah just billed us for the balance of our tasting and the bottles we took home. If you haven’t spent much time in Argentina, I can’t tell you how (1) uncommon and (2) appreciated this is! Anuva also has a business shipping wine to the US, so we bought enough to last us through the rest of our time here, knowing we could get more once we got back to the US (and decent prices too – lots of stuff under US$20).
Overall, we’re big fans of the Anuva wine tasting. We tasted wines from really special, unique wineries (that we didn’t come across during our time in Mendoza – definitely not on the standard tasting tour route). Their willingness to do a custom malbec-only tasting as well as Sarah’s wine knowledge and personality made this a great evening and money well spent. We don’t normally post ads for places we’ve reviewed (in fact, we have never done it before), but we really liked this, so if you’re going to do the tasting with Anuva, book it through us and help us fund our South American wine research – thanks!!
Bottom Line: Argentina makes some of the best wines in the world, so if you’re coming to Buenos Aires and you like wine even a little bit, it would be crazy not to do a tasting with Anuva! And when you do, please remember to click through from this ad–that way, we can avoid getting jobs just a little longer Enjoy!!
p.s. Anyone that does a tasting with them, please let us know what you think!
p.p.s For those of you not planning to be in Buenos Aires any time soon; Anuva distributes wine in the US as well. Click on the link above and you can see what they have on offer–everything they have is hand picked, great Argentine wine and for the most part quite affordable. Some of you have asked what Argentine wines to try at home–buy a few through Anuva or join their wine club and we’re sure you’ll be quite pleased; maybe start with the San Gimignano 2007 Malbec, it’s awesome) We will definitely be buying wine from them after we go back to the US.