My taste in wine has, let’s say, matured over the years…When I first started drinking wine, I would put two sugar cubes in it. I was living in Paris at the time and needless to say, the French were not impressed. I was ruining their wine; I’d even add ice cubes to it. And though everyone watching was shaking their heads, I happily drank it.
I’ve come a long way from my sugar and ice cube days. I have grown to have a great appreciation for a full bodied red and love drinking anything from a Shiraz to a Pinot Noir.
In the last few years, I have really enjoyed wine tasting. One of my fondest memories is when I went to Buenos Aires and had dinner at a restaurant called Casa Coupage. Santiago, the owner, is a Sommelier and his wife a Chef, and together they create amazing dishes and pair them with Argentinian wines.
This was such a luxurious and decadent experience. We had eight courses – yes eight, including ten glasses of wine. And yes, we were very drunk by the end of the night.
Once we were seated, Santiago introduced himself and chatted with us. He wanted to get to know us and our tastes so he could pair the wine with each course and have it be specific to us and our personalities. I like sweeter wines, whereas my cousin, who joined me on this trip, liked drier wines. With each course we had, Santiago gave us a red and a white.
We were instructed to sip between bites, and it truly was incredible how the food complimented the wine and would bring out different notes and flavours.
The first course was cured salmon with a horseradish sauce.
The second course was beetroot soup with a mushroom pastry and a quail egg.
The third course was a love/hate dish for me. Half the dish I loved and happily ate, and the other half mortified me to put in my mouth, even though it was delicious. The Vienna sausage on braised cabbage I could eat every day. The squid with pickled veg…ditto. But cow tongue, sweet breads, and carpaccio was a hard no. I don’t care for raw meat and would never choose to eat a tongue or sweetbreads, which are cow glands. My cousin is adventurous and was ready to dive in (she also thought sweetbreads were a type of sweet baked good), I however decided not to eat this, and Santiago saw the look on my face. He came over and told me that in Argentina they eat the whole cow, and I must eat it. So, the tongue went in my mouth with two dinner rolls – my attempt to mask the taste and texture. I looked like a chipmunk with my cheeks stuffed, but I ate it. I did the same with the carpaccio and sweetbreads. Though all three were delicious, I would never eat them again.
The fourth course was a carrot ravioli. I wasn’t used to having ravioli with no sauce, but it was so flavourful and delicious you didn’t need one.
The fifth course was a breaded beef tenderloin cooked to perfection with roasted veggies and fried potatoes with an egg yolk inside.
The sixth course was probably my favourite course. It was a cheese platter showcasing Argentinian cheeses.
The seventh was to cleanse your palette before dessert. It was a green apple granita with mint which was quite refreshing.
The eighth and final course was Argentinian pastries with ice cream. This was served with a dessert wine that reminded me of the Ice Wine we have in Canada.
This was definitely one of the best meals I have ever had and taught me a lot about wines and pairings. It also started my love affair with Argentina wines. As of now, Malbecs are my favourite.
If you are ever in Buenos Aires a visit to Casa Coupage is a must.