The cream of the crop of Latin American cuisine arrived in Argentina to celebrate the 7th edition of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants. Together with top companies and institutions, Wines of Argentina was one of the main sponsors of the event along with eleven regional wineries. Vino Argentino was enjoyed by the who’s who of the global culinary scene, in Buenos Aires.
“Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants focuses on the best of Latin American gastronomy, bringing together international chefs, experts and influencers, and offering regional winemaking an opportunity to show off its full potential. Argentina boasts wines of excellence to complement first class gastronomy, and our flagship product had to be present. That is why, at WofA, we are working to capitalise on these events as much as possible so that the world discovers our regions and appreciates the quality, diversity and potential of Argentine wine,” explained Alberto Arizu, President of Wines of Argentina.
With the purpose of sharing all the best of the wines that are made in these lands with the chefs, restauranteurs and sommeliers of the region, Catena Zapata, El Enemigo, Humberto Canale, Kaiken, Lagarde, Los Toneles, Luigi Bosca, Rutini Wines, Salentein, Susana Balbo and Terrazas de los Andes, took full advantage of showcasing their wines.
A week of pure flavour
The start of the official agenda was a welcome dinner on Tuesday, October 8 at Parrilla Don Julio, where Mauro Colagreco, Argentine chef and current No.1 of the 50 Best Restaurants with his restaurant, Mirazur and Pepe Sotelo, in front of the fire of the best grill in Argentina, took care of the dishes.
To the exquisite flavours of the menu, those present were treated to an outstanding list of Argentine vintage label jewels, such as Rutini Gewurztraminer 1998, Humbreto Canale Intima Semillón 1987, Saint Felicien Malbec 1988, Luigi Bosca Finca Los Nobles Cabernet Bouchet 1996 and, to close the evening, Lagarde Semillón 1942.
The following day, at the Four Seasons hotel in Buenos Aires, Argentine wines were again enjoyed during the seminars of # 50BestTalks and the traditional Chefs’ Feast. The latter was an Argentine gastronomic experience on the terrace of the hotel where WofA had designed a wine bar attended by none other than the three best sommeliers in the country, Valeria Gamper, Stefanie Paiva and Andrea Donadio.
At the preview of the awards ceremony on October 10, which celebrated the restaurant, Maido de Lima, Peru, by chef Mitsuharu Tsumura, as the best in Latin America, Wines of Argentina offered a wide variety of superb wines for the toasts from chefs and guests. “It was two very intense days for us and for the chefs who came to taste the wines we offered. While many arrived wanting to drink Malbec, most asked us for suggestions and were surprised by the whites, red blends and Cabernet Franc. Incredibly, Semillón was the most frequently asked for, to the point that it sold out,” said Stefanie Paiva, sommelier in charge of the tastings. “We noticed a lot of enthusiasm to find out more about wines from less traditional strains and from newer regions. Many chefs and restaurant owners asked to taste all the labels to take away ideas for their wine lists.”
Vino Argentino by the number one
Mitsuharu “Micha” Tsumura is a frequent visitor to Argentina. On each of his visits, he takes the opportunity to update himself on the wine scene. In his restaurant, Maido, the wine list offers various Argentine labels that his sommeliers suggest with ease. For Tsumura, “to talk about Argentine wines is to talk about a new culture that has been growing in recent years in Latin American countries. Argentina has developed certain grapes and taken many risks in terms of winemaking. I find it wonderful how the wines work, using grapes that were not considered for production before and transforming them into something special. It is taking a turn away from classical wine culture, differentiating it from how they know it in the rest of the world and generating a new way of making wine, which is interesting, rich and, at the same time, innovative.” An important fact of Maido is that its Head Sommelier, Florencia Rey, studied in Argentina.
The best of Argentina
Since the first edition of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants, Argentina has always listed several good restaurants among the best. As expected, this year was no exception. The best restaurant in Argentina for the second year in a row was Parrilla Don Julio, which climbed to fourth place. Mishiguene was ranked 20th, and its chef, Tomás Kalika, received the 2019 Chefs ’Choice Award, the only prize awarded by the vote of the chefs of the restaurants on the list. Tegui, from Germán Martitegui, came 25th; Chila, 29th; El Baqueano, 39th; Elena, from the Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires, 45th; Grand Dabbang, 46th, and Narda Comedor closed the list in 50th place.
After having been held in Peru, Mexico and Colombia, the main ceremony of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants will be held in Argentina in 2020 as well. “Once again, we have strengthened the presence of Argentine wine in Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants, and reinforced the presence of Vino Argentino in Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants. Wines of Argentina has succeeded in continuing to show the excellent quality of our wines by communicating the diversity of styles, regions and the undisputed potential of our country in viticultural terms,” said Alberto Arizu, President of WofA.
Without a doubt, 2020 will be a great opportunity for Argentina to once again surprise global gastronomy experts with the best wines they have to offer.