Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Wine Corner Review #55: Elsa Bianchi Malbec

I must admit that every time I try to pair malbec with food, I'm constantly amazed by its versatility. Oh sure, like most wine lovers, I really appreciate a good cabernet sauvignon, but for the most part, you know what foods cab will pair with (red meat, steaks, some game, BBQ). Similarly, you know that sauvignon blanc is pretty dependable with seafood, particularly fresh fish, and that chenin blanc is the perfect summer picnic wine. But lately, it seems that whenever I uncork a good malbec, it seems I find a new dish to go with it. Malbec with seafood? Who would have guessed?? However, if you have just the right wine with just the right amount of fruit and suppleness, you might be surprised at the result, as I was last night when I found a great vino to go with my fish, the Elsa Bianchi Malbec.

The robe of the Elsa Bianchi Malbec is black cherry cola. The nose suggests all sorts of berries: here a whiff of black, there a scent of blue. Vanilla, more berries, and plums play tag with your palate, with a surprising finish of Delaware Punch. I paired this little malbec with crab dip, shrimp bisque, and sole meuniere, and it stood up to all three dishes, and was particularly playful with the brown butter notes of the sole. Julia Child once described her first meal in Rouen of sole meuniere as a revelation; wonder if she would have found this malbec to be a soul pleaser as well. I googled for an Elsa Bianchi winery website in vain; but found some good info at http://www.pullthecorkout.com/, and you might drop in there for a virtual visit also. Be surprised with Elsa Bianchi Malbec yourself, and as always:


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