South America in a glass (and on a plate) – part 3

san telmo

We recently returned from a holiday in South America and thought it blog-worthy to give an overview of the food and wine experiences (in 3 parts, see part 1 and part 2).

Argentina

The second half of our 10 day stay in Buenos Aires, a leisurely length of time to soak up the atmosphere of this grand old city.

cemetery 1

Day 6 – A long walk from Palermo Hollywood to Recoleta to see the number one tourist attraction in BA; Cementerio Recoleta. This is an incredible cemetery that was dedicated in 1822 in the garden of a convent. This place has a real ethereal and calm feel about it and it was divine to wander around the cemetery reading the inscriptions on the crypts and admiring the effort that has gone into each resting place. A lot of the crypts were multilevel with stairs inside them going down to lower levels. A photographers paradise also with all these white/grey crypts against an azure blue sky. Evita is also buried here in her maiden name, her grave very nondescript when compared to the impact she had in her life. Lunch at Fervour, a bit of a lunch time business crowd and a good place to observe the local ladies who lunch.  Highlights were a grilled white salmon dish with an ’11 Achaval Ferrer malbec.  Probably not an obvious food and wine combination but the sweet elements of the salmon were highlighted by the slight sweet finish of the malbec.  Also visited floralis generica, a sculpture of a flower that mechanically opens at dawn and closes at dusk, quite a spectacular piece.

ruin

Day 7 – Tried again to get a good coffee, walked to Full City Coffee House, again it was closed. There were a couple of people milling around the front so we asked them (in very broken Spanish) what the scoop was. Tuned out they had moved locations and were yet to reopen; massive fail. Ventured into San Telmo which is the older historic part of town that seems to specialise in antique stores. This is a real highlight of BA as there are so many old run down buildings in desperate need to some tlc that are quite beautiful.  Lunch Amici Miei Restorante which has a balcony overlooking the town square of San Telmo where you can watch the tango performers in relative safety.  Homemade pasta seems the speciality of the house and it was very good, washed down with an ’11 Zuccardi torrontes.

teatro colon

A dose of culture tonight with opera at Teatro Colon.  Now to be honest we are not regular (or even semi-regular) opera buffs however we did want to see the inside of the opera house as it was supposed to be quite special.  The opera was Bebe Dom, a local production in Spanish.  I am sure it was good but given we speak no Spanish we left at the interval to seek out dinner; feeling nonetheless rather refined.  Dinner at Saimo nel Forno, great Italian pizza that rivaled some of the best pizza we have eaten.  Wine choice was an ’09 Ave Gran Reserve Malbec, went well with the pizza.

platter

Day 8 – I purchased an ’08 Achaval Ferrer Finca Bella Vista from a bottle shop, this is considered one of the top wines in Argentina and was given 98 points by Robert Parker. Difficult to find back home and near impossible to take on the plane so we decided the best course of action was to drink it. We bought the ingredients for an antipasto platter of prosciutto, local cheddar (La Suerte, yum) empanadas, strawberries and crackers and ate outside in the courtyard.  The wine was spectacular but I could not help thinking it would have benefited from being decanted.

good coffee

Day 9 – The penultimate day spent shopping buying gifts for family back home. Also purchased a bottle of ’08 D.V. Catena malbec from the Nicasia vineyard to have over lunch. Now this was the highlight of the wine we tasted in BA, a perfectly balanced malbec that lived up to the rave reviews this wine gets.  We also got our coffee fix today accidentally coming across Coffee Town, a coffee bar that roasted its own located in a market we were aimlessly wandering around.  Spectacular Italian style espresso’s that tasted even better for the wait.  Dinner at Olsen which is a Scandinavian restaurant, a bit of a last minute choice. Highlight was fish dumplings matched with a ’13 La Linda torrentes.

fireplace

Day 10 – Our last was a rainy day, the only time the weather really had an impact on our plans for the day. We lit the fire and bought a bottle of wine to enjoy, a ’10 D.V. Catena malbec from the local store. Dinner at Siamo nel Forno (again) washed down with a ’11 Rutini cabernet malbec blend.  A nice relaxed day to cap off our time in BA.

Well it’s back to the grindstone. Thanks for reading.

Author: Neal

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33 comments

  1. Enjoyed all three posts on BA – brilliant mixing of interesting tourist spots, wine and food! We spent 10 days in BA earlier this year and agree completely that a longish stay gives you a great feel for this vibrant city. Thanks!

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  2. Lovely! I adore Buenos Aires. Sounds you like ate and drank very well. BA does have some wonderful restaurants (although I do think some of the steakhouses are good and well-priced but overrated). Never made it to wine country there (although we did in Chile), but we pay tribute to Malbec as much as possible 😉

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  3. Sheshe and Camilla would love to come and grind at your stone it sounds much more fun than our grindstone!! Please can you arrange for a bottle of that excellent Argentinian Malbec upon our arrival. cheers

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  4. Great post Neal. Thanks for taking us along on the trip, describing the days with their adventures, all the different foods and wines. ( sudsy one blew my mind..had never seen soapy suds on food before). Cheers to a fantastic New Years to all the Wine Wankers. Here’s to 2015!

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