Jeff Gordon surprised members with an appearance at the event! He talked about his experiences, and some of his challenges, with Malbec.
Then, it was on to the first flight – Malbecs from Cahors, France, Columbia Valley, Washington, and Mendoza, Argentina. All 3 regions are key areas for growing Malbec. Clearly, from the feedback received, everyone enjoyed the Argentine Malbecs the best. These wines were paired with a carbonada soup, provaleta and an empanada. The soup was truly unique and another afternoon hit.
The second flight consisted of 2 Argentine wines, another from Mendoza and the other from the high-altitude Salta region to see if elevation makes a difference. These were paired with 2 different steak samples. The final flight consisted of 2 Washington wines – a Gordon Estate and a Mercer Estates to see the difference in location.
As a group, the Argentine wines were preferred 2 to 1 over the Washington ones. It shows that Washington is making headway in producing quality Malbecs, but Argentina, with more than 100 years head start, clearly was preferred. The empanada and the carbonada soup were the favorite food items. The most-liked pairings were spread across the whole menu but with a unanimous vote for the Argentine wines with the Argentine food.
So, does elevation make a difference in the growing of wine grapes? In a 10 to 1 vote, it was a definite, “YES,” with some responders saying, “The higher the better!”
Stephen Hartley and the Gordon Estate Wine Bar staff did a spectacular job in preparing and serving the wine and accompanying small bites, helping to make this event a great success. Thank you to them! From the comments received from the Gordon Estate staff and Tri-Cities Wine Society members, there should be more events together!
Finally, looking ahead – celebrate World Malbec Day, April 17!