If I learned one thing during my travels in South America, it was that the Argentineans love their barbecue.


They call it asado and in the wineries (especially those throughout its primary grape-growing region of Mendoza), the red wines have been crafted to match the charred influences of meats fresh from the fire.


Though cabernet sauvignon and merlot are widely planted, grapes like bonarda (offers balanced ripe fruit) and tannat (owes its name to its tannic profile) are almost exclusively Argentinean. Then there’s malbec. Originally from France’s Bordeaux region, its juice has become Argentina’s hallmark. With up-front fruit and a spicy personality that can go from light and simple to a major bite of freshly ground pepper, malbec is a perfect match for grilled meats.


Catena Zapata’s 2010 Alamos Malbec ($13.95 - $14.99) is a gusty mash of the heavier end of the spice trail. With a mouth coating flow of deep, dark fruit, it’s one of the best red wine values on the shelf.


Prices reflect the range across Canada. Some products may not be available in all provinces.