As if the overwhelming amount of artistic and cultural events taking place this week around Buenos Aires weren’t enough, get ready to add even more fun to the agenda. From Thursday, April 11th through Sunday, April 21st, the ALMAlbec Festival will have restaurants throughout the city preparing special menus that both highlight and pair with Argentina’s most famous grape.
Each year, Malbec World Day is celebrated on April 17th – why this isn’t a feriado nacional I’ll never understand – and as such, reasons to join in the festivities abound. Though Argentina’s wine drinking tradition is nothing new, the relatively recent appreciation of Malbec on the world stage has renewed the mission to educate consumers about its history, its qualities, and the industries that are so closely linked to it. Remember, just because you drink at least three bottles of Malbec a week doesn’t mean you’re an expert (well, in my eyes you are). For example, did you know that in 2017 more than 142 million bottles of Malbec were exported from Argentina? Or that, of the 223 million liters of wine exported in total, more than 125 million were of our faithful friend Mr. Malbs? That’s a 56 percent market share!
So, how can you join in on the ALMAlbec fun? I thought you’d never ask! Actually, I did, as there’s gotta be a reason you’re reading this article, right? Anyway. Consider it the perfect opportunity to check out some of the best restaurants that Buenos Aires has to offer, while sipping on the country’s finest Malbecs, courtesy of a diverse selection of wineries.
A few of the restaurants that have created special menus for the occasion are (*drumroll*): Aldo’s, Casa Cavia, Fayer, Freud & Fahler, La Carnicería, Rufino, and many more, providing different styles and flavors at a range of price points. Some of the bodegas that will be joining in on the fun are: Alamos, Ernesto Catena, Luigi Bosca, Mendel, and Grupo Peñaflor, though there are several others on the list, ensuring that your teeth will be stained violet for the entire duration.
What’s really special about the ALMAlbec Festival is the component of giving back to the community. Participating restaurants will donate food to different charitable institutions; in Buenos Aires, Pueblo Abierto is spearheading the effort through its work in the Rodrigo Bueno barrio located beyond Puerto Madero. Organizers and volunteers will host training workshops, tastings, and talks connecting culinary industry professionals with amateur cooks living in the area. Following the encounters, interns will then head into the kitchens of participating restaurants to put their skills to the test and gain valuable experience in a real work environment.