“Mate, check, alfajores, check, Malbec…?”
A few weekends ago, I popped into one of my all-time-fave wine boutiques in BsAs, Lo de Joaquin Alberdi, in the beating heart of Palermo Soho, just a few blocks from the always-busy Plaza Serrano. 90% of their customers are tourists who, checking the mate, leather gaucho belt, “artisanal” alfajores and fileteado bathroom sign off the obligatory Argentine souvenir list, flow out of the plaza, straight into Lo de in search of that last item, the famous Malbec, to take home to the fam. Señor Alberdi and his three expert sommeliers work tirelessly in educating (mostly re-educating) these customers, explaining that the Malbec is not ONE specific wine, falsely implied by the what-to-buy section of many travel-to-Argentina magazines, that there is in fact a grand variety among the Malbecs with the unique traits of each depending on the region it hails from. Gathering info about the tastes of their customers through personalized and thorough (sometime a half an hour to an hour long!) wine-tastings, conducted in their colorful tasting room, the team at Lo de makes sure that each customer leaves smiling and satisfied with not just any-old generic “Argentine Malbec”, but one specifically geared to his or her preference.