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I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. When moving to Argentina, I anticipated a bounty of two of my favorite things: steak and wine. I haven’t been disappointed. While the wine in Buenos Aires is plentiful and affordable, the area with the most well-known reputation for serious wine-lovers is Mendoza. Naturally, we went there as soon as possible, and loved it. The scenery is breathtaking, and the wine tours are (literally) intoxicating. I do recommend it.

But Mendoza is far. Getting there can be time-consuming and pricey. And while touring the vineyards and bodegas was fascinating, the process of actually tasting and appreciating the wine didn’t seem to be a big focus on our tour. I’m not sure we did much more than swirl and ingest. And much more of the latter than the former.

Enter, Buenos Aires’s own Anuva Wines. Anuva is essentially a wine club, dedicated to hand sourcing limited production wines from South America. They host intimate wine tasting events in Palermo, introducing visitors to high-quality wines from small wineries, many of which barely export and are extremely limited in production.

Their wine tastings are offered at a variety of days and times, and we opted for a 2pm Saturday tasting because we day-drink like that. We were lucky enough to book a time with Cara as our host, who we’d first met over a delightful dinner at NOLA Buenos Aires. She knows her stuff. And she provides detailed background on wine regions, characteristics, and processes in a simple and approachable way, without making you feel at all ashamed for previously viewing Two Buck Chuck as a special occasion wine.

Each wine was truly unique, and came with a food pairing to complement and enhance the flavors.

Champagne and a toast point with blue cheese, sour cream, arugula and walnut

Hom Espumante, an extra brut sparkling wine, was accompanied by a toast point with blue cheese, sour cream, arugula and walnut.

Torrontés and strawberry and peach sorbet from Persicco

Carinae Torrontés paired with strawberry and peach sorbet from Persicco

Salame & Cheeses

Mairena Bonarda served with spicy salame and cheese picadas

Malbec and an empanada

San Gimignano Malbec paired with a Salteña-style empanada

Blend and chocolate amargo from Fénix

Caluna Blend (malbec, cabernet sauvignon and merlot) served with chocolate amargo from Fénix

As you can see, while the emphasis isn’t necessarily getting bien pedo, there is plenty of vino to be had and you’ll not be left wanting for heavier pours. By the end of the afternoon we were feeling pleasantly chatty, yet 100% functional without the threat of a hangover by late evening. The perfect balance. And I learned a LOT. The highlight for me was getting more background on Torrontés and Bonarda, two wines I’d been completely unfamiliar with before arriving in Argentina and which I now plug shamelessly to whomever will listen.

Overall, a great experience, and one I’d highly recommend for residents and tourists alike.

ANUVA WINES – visit their website for the details on the wine store, wine club and booking wine tastings.