Saturday, October 30, 2010

Mendoza - Steak, Wine, Ride, Repeat



Mendoza is the wine capital of Argentina, responsible for producing over 70% of Argentinean wines.  It boasts a hot, dry climate, with little rain and sun for something like 350 days a year.  We, of course, managed to arrive during the other rare days of clouds, chilly winds and thunderstorms.  Things we heard often included, “wow, it’s never like this here,” and “I’ve never seen so many cloudy days in a row,” and “the power has never been knocked out by a storm before!”

Cloudy day, sunny smile, interesting hairdo
Despite the lack of perfect weather, we spent a great week in Mendoza.  The first thing we did upon our arrival in Argentina was head straight for Don Julios, recommended to us as the best steakhouse in Mendoza.  We sat down and, like true carnivores/Argentines, ordered a bife de chorizo (like a NY Strip), a bottle of wine, a bottle of sparkling water, and nothing else.  It was DELICIOUS, the whole meal cost $36, and we still had plenty left over for breakfast the next morning.  We then got really excited for the next three months in Argentina.

600 grams of jugoso (medium rare) goodness

After a few days in Mendoza proper, we headed out to the nearby town of Maipu where we stayed for two nights at a great hotel called Tikaykilla.  The owner, Francisco, drove us to a couple wineries and (since barely anything is open at night) called his chef friend to open her restaurant for us for dinner.

Francisco´s amazing dog Sukie, waiting patiently for some playtime.
 The next day we picked up bikes and cruised around to nearby bodegas (not NYC corner stores, but the Argentine term for winery) for wine tastings, olive oil tastings, chocolate tastings and liquor tastings.

Enjoying the delicious organic wine at Carinae


Baby Dave in a bonnet.
Vineyards (and workers)


A less successful wine tasting
We saw many other bike riders in our day of riding.  We were the only ones wearing helmets.  Our mothers taught us well.

Biking self portraiture.  Slightly wobbly after a full day of tasting.
The leafy streets of Maipu.  Note the rain jacket.  Not necessary 350 days of the year.  Sad for us.
How cute is this little vine tendril?

We also spent a great day horsebacking riding in the foothills of the Andes mountains.  Another post about that to follow, but here are some photos to enjoy....


I love how these pups followed us in a single file line for the entire day.

4 comments:

  1. "Wine tastings, olive oil tastings, chocolate tastings and liquor tastings"...like a dream!

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  2. I want to know more about the chocolate tasting. I would love to participate in one of those! YUM!

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  3. Chocolate tasting nothing.... Wait till you try the ice cream in this country!

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  4. Last year I visited Argentina. First I stayed a month and a half in a rent apartment in Buenos Aires because of my job, and then I went to Mendoza. There I fell in love with the meat, the wine, the nature.... THE DULCE DE LECHE AND THE ICE CREAM THERE!!
    well.. everything
    I look at your pics and I feel some kind of jealous....
    Hope I can go back soon, beautifull memories I have of Mendoza :)

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