Thursday, 2 December 2010

Review: 'The Vines' @ The Hyatt, Mendoza, Argentina

For those of you following the journey, this post might seem a bit strange when the last post was in Panama!  It is a bit of a flash forward to the present as I have been trying to catch up on where we have been, but it is quite difficult when travelling to always find a decent internet connection!  However, the last week has been really exciting, so I decided to post straight away.

Mendoza is famous for red wine, specifically Malbec, and we wanted to get as involved as we could in the wine culture for our few days visiting.  After a relaxing day of catching up on emails and taking a walk to the park we decided to attend an evening of tapas and wines at The Hyatt Hotel, advertised at our hostel - Empedrado.

Each Thursday evening they run the evening with different wines and tapas menu options.  Upon arrival we were presented with three wines of which you could choose two to have a glass of.  We sat outside in the sofa area which had a really nice feel and had a beautiful breeze taking the edge off the still warm evening.  The atmosphere was very relaxed and there were many others there to enjoy the food and drink.  The staff then bring tapas around to your table as they are prepared from the kitchen, and when you are ready you collect your wine from the bar.

We had four tapas dishes along with breadsticks.  The dishes were:

Brie cheese crème brûlée with crunchy strawberries

Veal carpaccio with arugula and parmesan cheese in bagel bread

Cold potato and leek soup

Chicken and prawn wok

There is a steady flow of food which is fantastic and it is surprising how full you become from eating the small tapas.

To begin with the brie, it was really tasty.  The brie was very creamy and quite salty.  On top it had a caramelised crust from strawberry juice along with small pieces of strawberry which took the salty edge away and complimented the cheese perfectly.  A breadstick dipped in was a good way to enjoy it.

The veal….well wow!  It was absolutely delicious.  It came served in a fresh bagel with poppy seeds on top and inside peppery rocket and the beautifully fresh veal.  This was a favourite at our table.

A close second favourite was the shot of soup brought around.  Perfect texture and strong, complex flavours for such an 'ordinary' soup option.

Finally, we only had one wok, however this was enough as it was fairly large.  It was really tasty, really good prawns with a nice amount of vegetables and succulent chicken.

The wines:

We were lucky to enjoy two delicious glasses of wine on our visit.  The first was a white chilean wine from the Casablanca valley.  (I was quite excited by this as I have been fortunate enough to visit the Casablanca valley on a previous trip back in 2008)  The wine, was crisp, fresh, full of flavour and perfectly chilled.  After this I enjoyed a red blend Malbec from Mendoza itself which was also very good.

If you are staying at the Empedrado Hostel in Mendoza ensure to book onto this evening visit to a beautiful hotel with truly fantastic food and wines - you won't regret it.


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