For the longest time, if I had to choose a favorite varietal wine, a Malbec would have been close to the top of my list. Something in my taste buds have changed recently. I don’t know if has been the crummy, cheap, way to fruity Malbecs that I have been served in restaurants or what, but they are working down my list of favorites. I have been less than pleased with the selection of Malbecs in restaurants lately. Now, you all know I don’t believe in having a “favorite” type of wine, because every wine, winemaker or country can be different. Which means I need to revisit this wine and realize I enjoy a nice, rich in fruit tasting, but not to fruity, Malbec ( I know, I am very confusing). A typical Malbec is very dark in color. Some wine experts call it a “rustic” version of a Merlot. Most Malbecs have a fruity, smoky, plum flavor (hence some having way to much fruit taste for this gal). Malbecs typically come from France, Argentina and Washington.
To get over my sour taste with some of them, I decided my Tasting Tonight would be on an Argentina Malbec.
2010 Zolo Gaucho Select Malbec ($9.99 Whole Foods)
My go-to, cheap, yet very delicious Malbec is a Mendoza, Argentina Malbec called Zolo. It started a few years back, when my girlfriend/co-worker Alyssa and I decided to stop at this new wine bar, at the time, in Kent, WA called The Grape Adventure. First of all, I am very proud of Kent for having a wine bar ( I live in Seattle where a wine bar is on every corner, next to all the Starbucks, but the suburbs don’t have that luxury of having a variety of small wine bars). And the Grape Adventure is a wine bar with a good wine selection and delicious food (you must try the avocado humus). To top it all off, it is a wine shop as well, so if you can’t stay for a drink, you can pop by after work and pick up a decent bottle of wine.
We had a glass, or more, of wine that evening; one of them being a Zolo. It was love at first sip, so I of course snagged a bottle to take home. Zolo is not overly fruity, yet you can still taste the cherry, berry and plum notes – very rich in flavor and color. And the taste lasts on your tongue for a long time, yet it is not overpowering. It also has a rich violet smell. The even better thing about Zolo, is the price point and the ability to find it anywhere. I have been able to find this wine at wine shops, grocery stores, BevMo (for those lucky to have a BevMo.. we don’t in Washington) and Costco all for $9.99 or under. Seriously, a price you cannot simply just walk by.
I have become picky with Malbecs, only because I do not enjoy an overly fruity, cheap tasting wine. Zolo is a wine you must keep a couple of bottles on hand, because it is a nice every day, drinking wine. And the name is also very fun to say.
Salud my friends!
Oh, if you live in the Kent, Maple Valley, Covington area, check out The Grape Adventure – 12930 SE Kent-Kangley Road
Kent, WA 98030 http://www.thegrapeadventure.com/