With an export growth of over 300% over the past 5 years and sales rising 38% in the UK in 2011 alone, Argentine Malbec has firmly established itself as a global phenomenon. In recognition of this, Wines of Argentina launches its 2nd annual ‘Malbec World Day’ on April 17th, an international celebration dedicated to the variety with tutored tastings, retail promotions (both in the on and off-trade) and competitions taking place in over 40 countries.
April 17th for many, marks the ‘birthday’ of the modern Argentine wine industry. On this day in 1853 General Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, one of the country´s national heroes submitted a proposal to the Argentine Government to broaden and diversify Argentina’s wine industry. The late 1800’s was subsequently a period of exponential growth for Argentine wine and it was the Malbec grape in particular that flourished in the varied terroirs and rugged landscapes offered throughout the country.
The UK will once again take centre stage during Malbec World Day, seeing widespread activities with major retailers, top restaurant groups and media partners – plus the launch of the of the “vintage” Chapel Down Malbec 2011, a wine made in partnership with the Gaucho Restaurant Group with grapes grown in Argentina but elaborated in the UK. The ambitious project is a great example of a collaboration between two of today’s most interesting wine producing countries and promises to be something very special indeed. The first Argentine Malbec made in the UK will be available for tastings at Chapel Down in Kent and at all Gaucho Restaurants.
There will be many ways for the curious wine drinker to celebrate the rise of the mighty Argentine Malbec over the promotional period:
For the ‘at home’ wine lover:
Following on from the success of their 2011 promotion, Majestic Wine are joining forces once again by offering a Malbec themed tasting week in all stores, from 13th April. During this period Malbec will be the only red on their tasting counters and they have arranged a raft of different styles of Malbec for customers to sample. Malbec will also be the key feature on the Majestic website for 1 week prior the World Malbec Day, so look out for special deals. http://www.majestic.co.uk/storelocator.
This year Naked Wines will also be running an exclusive offer: Discover Argentine Malbec Case, with 25% off – in one of the top slots on their mixed cases page (http://www.nakedwines.com/cases). This offer starts on Monday 16th April until the end of the week. Naked Wines will also host an exclusive competition on their Facebook page (www.facebook.com/nakedwines), offering one lucky person and a friend a trip to Argentina.
Avery´s Wine Merchants and The Telegraph Newspaper have teamed up to make a month long feature of their entire Argentine range. In addition to dedicated sections on both the Avery’s and Telegraph Wine websites, consumers should look out for an 8 page feature in the Telegraph Wine Magazine from Mid April detailing offers and in-depth information on Argentine wine. http://www.averys.com/ and http://wine.telegraph.co.uk/
For the ‘restaurant-loving’ wine aficionado:
Squaremeal, the UK’s leading restaurant website are key partners for the promotion and will be running a campaign to help direct consumers to a range of restaurants offering special deals.
For a list of restaurants participating in the Malbec World Day campaign, look at Square Meal website www.squaremeal.com . Some examples of these are:
• Bar Boloud Head Sommelier, David Vareille, will be opening a unique ‘outsized’ Imperial bottle (6 litres) of Catena Zapata Malbec 2006 during dinner. Guests will be order this wine by the glass, with the addition of some table-side theatrics as it is poured directly from the bottle
• GAUCHO Restaurants: Argentine pioneers with twelve restaurants throughout the UK and a wine list featuring no fewer than 65 Malbecs both by the glass and bottle. Also arrive to sample the first ever UK made Argentine Malbec
• Hawksmoor: the three London restaurants will be showcasing fine examples of Malbec from Carlos Pulenta and Luigi Bosca
• Black & Blue: Another top London restaurant group specialising in steaks and burgers, and featuring a great range of Malbecs from some of Argentina best wineries
• Redhook: Steak and seafood mecca in Farringdon, showcasing a selection of Malbecs, including the super-sexy Cheval des Andes blend
• Casa Malevo: The charming Argentine restaurant in Connaught Street will be offering 3 Malbec by the glass and 7 by 375ml carafe. During the full week they will also be offering a Malbec sampling flight containing a selection of 4 wines and priced at £19.50
• Adnam’s Pubs – one of the UK’s most famous pub groups – and real wine specialists – will be offering a range of in-store tastings at Adnams retail stores. www.adnams.co.uk
Montpeliers, Scotlands’s premier restaurant group, will offer customers a six month long promotion of Argentine wines by the carafe across 4 sites – Ricks, Indigo Yard, Montpeliers and Tigerlily. The promotion will commence in April with special activities for Malbec World Day. Visit for details http://www.montpeliers.co.uk/