On the final leg of a two week trip to Argentina, we stopped in Buenos Aires, the Palermo district of Recoleta, and found a local vinoteca (e.g. wine shop). After perusing the shop, we made arrangements with the owner to return for a wine tasting later that day. Upon our return, we were escorted to a private room in the back that was more like a sealed-off stockroom with a sofa and coffee table. Up to that point throughout our journey, we had found ourselves in more than a few uncomfortable, borderline weird, private wine tastings where one would almost fear for their safety. Regardless, the owner seemed on the up-and-up and in the spirit of adventure, we decided to see how it would play out.
The host joined us and started to set the table with an array of Argentine wines. I asked the host to present in Spanish as that is the first language of my two companions. After a few minutes of setup and exchanging pleasantries, the wine started to flow. It didn't take long for the conversation to loosen and the laughter seemed to get louder after every glass. At one point I noticed that the music being played was Weezer’s Island in the Sun soundtrack. For a country where the majority of the population doesn’t speak English, I found it strange that almost everywhere we visited in Argentina, the local shops and restaurants played American music; but I digress. The host started serving heavier and sometimes double pours. At one point he politely pushed the bottles over to us and said we could pour whatever we wanted. The laws must be very different in Argentina.
The host was fantastic and the wines were amazing. This was truly one of those euphoric moments in life where you sort of have an outer body experience. A moment when you take a step back and realize that where you are, who you are with, and what you are doing is absolutely perfect. The magic of Argentina.
This article is the fifth installment of a six-part series dedicated to Argentina's wine industry (reference Part 1: Exploring Argentina, Part 2: Meet my new friend Torrontés, and Part 3: Wine Tasting in Mendoza, Part 4: The Majestic Malbec).
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