Wine Wednesday: 3 Things You Didn't Know About Malbec


Malbec is all the rage both here in British Columbia and around the globe.

Considering the amazing value it offers, I suspect this will continue to be so for some time. However, I find the more I engage people about this grape, the more I discover that they know very little about it.

Here are three things you probably didn’t know about Malbec:

1. Where it’s from: The Malbec grape originates from France — not from Argentina as many people think — although both varieties are available. Specifically, it comes from the southwestern region of Cahors (Kah-or), where they often call it Côt. It’s also one of the five red grapes that make up the coveted “Bordeaux Blend” of the Bordeaux region, and there are delicious wines made from it in the Loire Valley as well.

2. Argentina vs. France: Both varieties have the same solid core of dark fruit, and are medium- to full-bodied. However, the Argentinian version will usually carry more new oak, which gives the wine more immediacy.

3. Which one you should choose: Remember, wine is a circumstantial thing. If I had to make a recommendation, I’d say this: “Argentina on its own. France with food.” But this is a very broad statement, so I suggest you buy one of each, enjoy them side-by-side and let your heart decide.

Here’s a great version from the Cahors region of France. Find it. Buy it. Give it a taste and let me know what you think.

Georges Vigouroux Le Gouleyant, Cahors, France (around $20)


Black raspberry, blueberry and huckleberry team up with chocolate and spice, while mellow tannins and a rustic French charm bring closure. This wine brings together the geek factor of Michael Cera and the sexy factor of Brad Pitt. Oh, and “gouleyant” translates to “easy to drink.” Available at private wine stores.


Featured image: Malbec grapes via Shutterstock

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Robert Stelmachuk Veni, Vidi, Vino: A graduate of the International Sommelier Guild, the Wine and Spirit Education Trust and the former Director of Wine Education for the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts in Vancouver, Robert Stelmachuk has amassed more than 25 years experience in Vancouver’s vibrant wine industry. He is the current General Manager and Wine Director at Cibo Trattoria and UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar and holds his advanced accreditation with the Court of Master Sommeliers, which he continues to pursue. A self-confessed (and obsessed!) œnophile, Robert can often be found researching the latest global wine trends, unearthing boutique and lesser-known labels and perpetuating The Wine Adventure.

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