Last weekend in our little town of Edmonds by the sea we got about as close to Argentina as we could through delicious wine and cuisine, tango and milango music, and a show by Kirsten Gardner, one of Wildland's South America Program Directors, about the hikes, bodegas, barrios and penas we'll be visiting in Buenos Aires, Mendoza and Salta regions. In anticipation of our March 2013 Wines and Adventures in Argentina trip, Anne and I co-hosted a reception in our home with our friends, wine-experts, and trip co-leaders, David and Ruth Arista of Arista Wine Cellars in Edmonds.
Shannon Groshong of Fig Tree Organics and Catering (770-547-8578) prepared the Argentinean recipes and cuisine with her partner, Julia Nesbitt (who happens to be one of Wildland's former Africa Program Directors as well):
· Berenjenas en Escabeche (marinated eggplant) with chimichurri
· Corvina Rellena (baked stuffed Sea Bass)
· Faina (garbonzo flatbread) with spinach, bleu cheese and sliced chorizo sausage
· Matambre (rolled stuffed flank steak - hardboiled egg, vegetables and fresh parsley stuffing - vinegar, garlic and thyme marinade)
· Dulce de Leche Pionono (roulade)The Aristas served six wine tastings including three (out of many) bodegqas we will be visiting on the trip: Clos de los Siete, Bodegas La Azul, and Belasco de Baquedan. Belasco has three wineries under their brand and we tried their Swinto, Llama, and Ar Guentota. We kicked it off with a delicious Argentine torrontes. The Swinto was the winner of the evening!
WOW! One of the guests, Kristine summed up the evening and what we know will be the sentiment on the March trip as well:
"Thank you for such a wonderful event last night! My husband, Darrell and I had a great time! You and your family are all so welcoming and open. It seems that people who enjoy travel are more naturally curious about other people. We had so much fun talking with you, Anne, and Kelly and so many of the other guests. It felt more like a family reunion than a gathering of strangers! Thank you again for being such gracious hosts."
Along with our local Argentine cultural guide, Jorge Barcelo, Anne and I will co-lead this Wildland Adventure with David and Ruth who will bring their lifetime of wine expertise creating a fun, informed and tasty trip deep into the culture and high into the Andean landscape of South America.
About the trip:With the snow-capped Andean mountains as a backdrop, the Argentine provinces of Mendoza and Salta produce South America's most exquisite, high-quality wines in small batches. On this handcrafted adventure, Wildland Adventures' founding directors Kurt and Anne Kutay join David and Ruth of Arista Wine Cellars through the vinicultural paradise of Mendoza and Argentina's Noreste, Salta and Juyjuy, regions also known for lively folk music, zesty cuisine, dramatic landscapes and a rich cultural heritage.
Anyone who loves Malbec has heard of Mendoza but most North Americans are unfamiliar with Argentina’s Noroeste, home of the world’s highest vineyards and described by National Geographic Traveler as a “land of gaucho culture, sloping vineyards, verdant Andes foothills, and spectacularly striated canyons punctuated by towering cardón cactuses." Along the journey, you'll be accompanied by local expert guides that specialize in wine, culture and history. You'll have special access to small, family-owned bodegas, experience impromptu folk music performances, travel seldom-trodden mountain trails via horseback, and learn culinary secrets of the traditional cuisine from renowned chefs.
Space is limited to just 12 wine-loving guests and we expect this journey to sell out quickl