Iâ€™ve had my fair share of Christmas dinners in Argentina â€“Â and 17 years after myÂ first, they still baffle me.
It canâ€™t be any fun for the asador sweating over coals on an invariably stickyÂ Nochebuena, while just looking at congealing mayonnaise on vitel tonĂ© sends a little sick north. Donâ€™t get me wrong. Iâ€™m not a fan of my native Brit navidad either: you can keep your mince pies (ick), Christmas pudding (double ick) and brandy butter â€“ the bird, however, can stay. So letâ€™s make the best of theÂ situation and pair up these bad boys (and to be clear â€“ thatâ€™s bad as in negative, apart from the meat).
A fishy tale
Fishmongersâ€™ pay day comes but twice a year and your worst-case Christmas dinner scenario is dried-out cod (abadejo) or seabass (corvina), a lesson in bland. These will improve a million-fold with Bienconvinoâ€™s Pescados & Mariscos white blend, whose label sports a handsome fish just in case you get confused by the one with a cow on it.Â A brand-new collection for 2015 lovingly created by cook-cum-sommelier Mariana Achaval and sommelier Valeria Mortara with Monteviejoâ€™s Marcelo Pelleriti doing the barrel work, this Chardonnay-TorrontĂ©s 2014 blend (AR $135) is unusual in all the right ways. TorrontĂ©sâ€™ floral nose is spot on while the Chardonnayâ€™s orchard fruit mouth with a hint of lemon is cleansing and refreshing in one hit.
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