Malbec and Torrontes
Growing up in a large Hispanic family, it was easy to predict what we’d be eating at family get-togethers. At weddings, it was barbeque beef, an old family recipe that was kept practically under lock and key. Accompanying this unbelievably good dish was rice, beans and tortillas, all made by tia’s and abuela’s the week of the wedding. Thanksgiving and Christmas brought homemade tamales. Summer barbeques featured barbeque chicken, plus rice, beans and tortillas. And Sunday lunches often included my favorite: tostadas. Crisp, fried corn tortillas were piled high with refried pinto beans, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, avocado, sour cream and anything else I could possible tower on top without it toppling over. Clearly, food was predictable in my family, but when everything was as good as it was, why complain?
So, it came as no surprise when last month, while I was visiting from out of state, mom threw a party and served nothing other than barbeque beef (yes, she got the recipe. No, she’s not supposed to have it) and tostadas. And, of course, rice, beans and tortillas made their appearance. My dad’s job was to keep everyone’s thirst quenched, and he set up the bar of all bars. When it came time to eat, however, I wasn’t feeling the “Jamaican Me Crazy” rum punch. That’s when I remembered the bottle of Ponte 2015 Torrontes in the wine fridge. She was more than happy to uncork the white wine for our guests. I piled my tostada with beans, queso fresco, Mexican crema and avocado and gave myself a generous helping of beef.
Torrontes on the vine
The food was amazing, as I knew it would be. What I was not expecting was how much I would love the wine. I was anticipating cool, crisp, fresh. What I got was that and so much more! The fragrance was mouth-watering; sun-ripened melons and winter citrus practically jumped out of the glass. It was not as crisp as other white wines, but rather, a little heavier, the flavors lingered longer than, say, a Pinot Grigio. There was a pleasant floral flavor, like honeysuckle, along with honeydew and mandarin orange notes. Superb, absolutely superb. In my experience, Mexican food can sometimes be difficult to pair with other than beer and Mexican Coke, but this Torrontes with my tostada and top-secret barbeque beef was perfect.
I wasn’t able to enjoy Torrontes again after the party, as it was quickly gone. Fortunately, Ponte still as bottles of this Argentinian gem available in the Tasting Room and Online Store. Get your hands on a bottle (or 12) before my mother throws another party…I’ve a feeling she might clean them out of every last bottle!