Movie & Wine Pairing

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Ascencion Malbec 2017
Salta, Argentina

Blood and Sand (1941)
FRIDAY, JUNE 1 @ 08:00 PM (ET)

Pair this attractive and complex Argentine Malbec with appealing stars Tyrone Power and Rita Hayworth, appearing as a married bullfighter and his beautiful temptress. After the success of The Mark of Zorro the year before, 20th CenturyFox cast Power in this remake of another Rudolph Valentino silent classic. Director Rouben Mamoulian lends a visual brilliance to this version, perfect for the rich fruit notes and silky tannins that will make your glass come alive.

THE WINE

From Argentina’s oldest estate (and the New York International Wine Competition’s 2013 Winery of the Year) and some of the world’s highest vineyards, this aptly named red is one of the best Malbecs we’ve tasted. “Attractive blackberry and plum fruits on the nose, with a supple palate and fine tannins,” said International Wine Challenge judges of a past, gold-medal release. Now taste the hand-harvested, barrel-aged 2017. It’s made by the talented Francisco Puga (below) and perfect for a juicy steak.

THE GRAPE

Malbec’s home actually lies in southwest France (it was once more common in Bordeaux than Cabernet). However, the wines it produced were often too tannic, so most winemakers relegated it to an often overlooked blending grape. But Malbec was given a second chance by French immigrants, who brought vine cuttings to Argentina. Malbec thrives in Argentina’s brilliant sun and staggeringly high altitudes, which perfectly ripen those firm tannins. Today, it’s the country’s star red – and you’ll soon taste why.

THE REGION

WM_FranciscoPuga_wineglassSalta is Argentina’s northernmost wine region and home to the world’s highest vineyards. “Unlike in other parts of the country, the wines exhibit an incredible personality, aromatic intensity, deep and vibrant colors, and a striking volume on the palate” (Decanter). Intense sunlight and cool nights produce grapes with thicker skins, translating to richer flavors in your glass.

WITH FOOD

steak_skirtsteak_chimichurriIn Argentina, asado (‘roasted meat’) is a way of life. And Ascencion is “a full-on Malbec to get your BBQ party started,” according to UK critics The Wine Gang. Locals take huge pride in their beef, which is renowned for being leaner and more flavorful than American cuts. Francisco suggests enjoying his Malbec with a skirt or flank steak smothered in a chimichurri sauce.

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