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 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.
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.
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.
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.