Movie & Wine Pairing

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Alambrado Malbec 2014
Mendoza, Argentina

“The Big Country” (1958)
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Malbec. While filming locations like California’s arid Red Rock Canyon State Park may be a world away from the Andean foothills of Mendoza, they provide an equally stunning backdrop for this epic Western tale of rival ranching families. Old World wine tradition meets Classic Hollywood tradition.

THE WINE

Malbec’s very popular right now, and you only have to take a sip of this rich example (a gold-medalist at the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition) to see why. It’s crafted by the Zuccardis – a family whose dynamic approach in the vineyard and winery has not only earned them mega international acclaim, but also has helped put Argentina on the fine wine map. Silky smooth, packed with ripe plum, fig and coffee flavor – a top red for beef.

THE METHOD

Originally from Italy, the Zuccardis are keeping Old World tradition alive in the New World. Borrowed from their wine-growing ancestors, their parral trellising method (aka tendone in Italy), is a technique that trains vines in a canopy about 6 feet off the ground. It’s labor intensive and very expensive to manage, but the Zuccardis feel all the extra sunlight and TLC give their Malbec an added ripeness that really pays off in the glass. (The name Alambrado is actually a reference to the system of wires used in the parral system, pictured on the label.)

THE COUNTRY

Argentina is winemaking paradise. It’s not hard to see why. Vines are irrigated with fresh Andean snowmelt. Endless sunshine ripens grapes to perfection, producing richly concentrated flavors. Land is available (for now!) at prices Napa and Bordeaux can only dream about – which means you enjoy full flavors and incredible value. While Malbec leads the way, native Bonarda and Cabernet also thrive here.

WITH FOOD

Malbec may be the classic match for steak – try a chimichurri-marinated, char-grilled skirt steak or peppery delmonico cut. Smooth, easygoing Alambrado will also play well with others – try pairing this fruity red with chicken drumsticks in a mildly spicy Asian barbecue sauce. Or, stay true to the Zuccardi family’s Italian roots and serve alongside tomato-based pasta dishes.

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