by Fred Tasker @ The Buffalo News
on September 3, 2014
In a restaurant in Buenos Aires, I ordered a “half” parrillada, so they plunked down only about five pounds of beef on the hibachi grill on my table. There were a half-dozen cuts of Argentina’s rich and chewy grass-fed beef – steaks, chops, blood sausages, kabobs … and a curious off-white rectangle cut about the size and shape of a box of matches.
“What’s this?” I asked.
“Señor, it is the udder.”
The waiter beamed. My wife paled. My 8-year-old daughter made her lunch the french fries. I cut a little piece and chewed. It was tough and flavorless – utterly unlike the tender, juicy rest of the feast. Another life adventure chalked up.
But the wine. Oh, the wine was Malbec, the redolent, blue-velvet wine that has put Argentina on the map. It smelled and tasted of black sweet cherries and dark chocolate, with ample body and ripe tannins that gave it a silky finish.
Sipping Malbec all by itself is popular because it’s like biting into one of those indulgent chocolate-cherry bonbons by Brach’s. U.S. sippers in the influential 18-to-34 range flock to it for the same reason they like the Italian sparkling wine called Prosecco – it’s cool, and it’s cheap.