Brillo Cleaning Guide 10/19

Marvellous Malbec

Like Prosecco in the sparking wine arena, Malbec is a ‘must have’ on every wine list. Customers just can’t get enough of it, and wine quality is getting better and better.

Here’s everything you need to know about this wine list winner…


Malbec was once grown in 30 different departments across France. Nowadays, the majority of France’s Malbec is to be found in and around Cahors, a small town in the south west of the country, though it can be found in limited volume elsewhere, where it’s sometimes labelled Côt, Auxxerois or Pressac.

That decline is mainly due to Malbec’s grape – Vitis vinifera’s poor resistance to disease and pests, and a severe frost in 1956 that wiped out a significant part of Bordeaux’s vines, never to be replanted.

However, France’s loss was Argentina’s gain, as their Malbec had become a mainstay of that country’s wine production. Indeed, today, Argentina has around three quarters of all the hectares of Malbec in the world, aided by the grapes love of high elevations, hot days and cold nights. For that same reason, Malbec is increasingly to be found in other South American countries, Chile being a prime example.

Taste and colour

Argentinean Malbec is a deep purple velvety red that is almost opaque. Tannins are ripe and there are bold and rich fruit flavours of damson, plum and black cherry. Look for varying degrees of tobacco taste too, the intensity depending upon how long the wine has been oak aged.

Cahors Malbec has firmer tannins with higher acidity that leads to a taste of black pepper, spice, garlic, leather and raisin. French Malbecs tend to age longer than those from South America.

Food pairings

Lighter Malbecs

• Beef brisket

• Charcuterie

• Chilli con carne

• Bolognese and Italian meatballs

• Burritos and fajita

• Steak and burgers

• Terrines

• Medium hot curries

• Dishes with beetroot and/or lentils

Heavier Malbecs

13.5 / 14% + ABV

• Steak!

• Roast beef

• Venison

• Ostrich

• Buffalo

• BBQ meats, especially with chilli marinades

• Tangine of lamb

• Grilled endives

• Green and red bell peppers

French Malbecs

• Slow-cooked leg of lamb

• Stews

• Confit of duck

• Cassoulet

• Duck

• Pheasant

Top tips

Argentinean Malbec is a deep purple red that’s almost opaque. Look for a bright magenta rim in the glass – a dead giveaway you’ve poured a Malbec!

Argentina’s top rated Malbec’s hail from Mendoza’s high altitude wine regions of Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley. Located in the foothills of the Andes, some of the world’s top winemakers have vineyards there.

17th April is World Malbec Day! 

Join in the celebrations and drive sales too with:

• Wine tastings
• Malbec displays
• Promotions
• Making Malbec your wine of the moment!

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