Did you know that today is Malbec World Day? Probably not. It dates back only to 2011, and was inspired rather a long way off, in Argentina. It is a homage to the grape variety now earning the South American nation its own place on the world wine stage.
It's a hard-won distinction. The Malbec vine was introduced from its native France into Argentina in 1853. Domingo Sarmiento, governor of the Mendoza province, then as now the principal vineyard region, is said to have authorised the first plantings on April 17 of that year.
Sarmiento was a liberal intellectual at a time of mindless macho politics in Argentina, and 15 years later became the country's president. This gives some pretext for calling the Malbec a legacy grape, and the nation's enterprising winemakers have sensibly seized upon it.
Of course what they're hoping for is a position in the world wine market like the one Australia won with Chardonnay, or New Zeal with Sauvignon Blanc. Certainly, Malbec wines from Argentina are distinctive enough for the purpose. They have a robustness and savour all their own.
If you have yet to try Malbec click here!