My Mendoza love affair

Falling in love with wine in Argentina’s Mendoza region is a salacious affair. The bodies of the varieties and delicate tastes are like a forbidden liaison.

Written by Michael Turtle

Michael Turtle is the founder of Time Travel Turtle. A journalist for more than 20 years, he's been travelling the world since 2011.

Michael Turtle is the founder of Time Travel Turtle and has been travelling full time for a decade.


Mendoza wine, Argentina

Wine is my mistress. When it comes to beer, we have a long relationship – at times turbulent and damaging but nonetheless comfortable and reassuring. But wine is an occasional flirtation, a dalliance with something more dangerous and exotic.

It feels salacious, brings on urges I’ve tried to repress and reminds me of the thrills of chasing something new and forbidden.

mendoza, wine argentina, malbec, carmenere

Mendoza in Argentina is our love nest. The city and its surrounds are home to more than 980 wineries and there is no denying the lust-driven time we have spent together here.

I taste the attraction. Taste the smooth, easy warmth of the Carmenere grape, which is produced in only 50 wineries in the world. That it is so rare only heightens the experience.

mendoza, wine argentina, malbec, carmenere
mendoza, wine argentina, malbec, carmenere

I settle in with a glass of Malbec, the variety this region has made its name on. There are robust tannins and as I savour the wine’s strength in my mouth I also discover its delicacies. It gives itself to me and I embrace it.

A white wine seduces me. A Sauvignon Blanc, I believe.

The cold crispness sends a shiver through my body before the sweetness is enveloping. We settle in for a while, enjoying the change from the abundant red wines and trying to make the moments last.

mendoza, wine argentina, malbec, carmenere
mendoza, wine argentina, malbec, carmenere

As I move from winery to winery in the Mendoza countryside, I’m struck with how small most of the wineries are.

Only 200 are open for visitors and of those many require a booking and payment for a tasting. This is serious wine country for serious wine lovers.

30 varieties of grapes are grown here and each is regarded as some of the best in the world. Men like me looking for quick and inexpensive liaisons are frowned upon but thankfully there’s always somewhere looking for business of my kind.

mendoza, wine argentina, malbec, carmenere

Perhaps it’s love? Perhaps it’s lust? Perhaps to define it would be unjust.

We had our days together, wine and I.

A flirtation; a dalliance; a liaison; an indecent affair. Regardless, we did it in a shangrila of taste and textures – one we made our own.


You’ll find plenty of great places to stay in Mendoza right in the city centre so, unless you’re driving, there’s no need to go further out.


There’s a fun atmosphere at Fuxia House Hostel, which has comfortable beds, a free breakfast, and a garden to hang out in.


For a bit more space, Dpto Pedro Vargas is a bright three-bedroom apartment that offers great value with a convenient location.


Offering something a bit nicer than the average hotel, Villaggio Hotel Boutique is a modern building that even has a small outdoor pool.


Behind its beautiful neoclassical facade, the Park Hyatt has bright comfortable rooms, plus a terrace, garden, and outdoor pool.

10 thoughts on “My Mendoza love affair”

  1. Mmm..just the sound of ‘Carmenere grape’ makes me want a glass of wine right now!

    Your post is a killer, especially for a wine-lover, like myself!



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