Malbec the wine, not the band

A friend of ours gave us a bottle of McKenzie-Mueller Malbec over the holidays which we just consumed the other night. Let me say, I enjoy wine, but I am not very knowledgeable in the wine department....I get very excited when I meet someone who knows what they are talking about and can make good recommendations as I am interested in expanding my understanding of wine. I had never had Malbec before. Apparently Malbec is a specific variety of purple grape and is one of the six types of grapes allowed in red Bordeaux wine. It is frequently used in blends due to the deep, inky red color and intense flavor the grape produces. While originally grown in France, it was introduced to Argentina in 1868. While the acreage of Malbec appears to be decreasing in France currently, it is increasing in Argentina and the US (mainly California but also a number of other states).

The McKenzie-Mueller winery is located in Napa Valley. The (empty) 2006 Malbec pictured above had a rich color and an accessible, full bodied flavor with hints of berries and spice and a smooth finish. Priced at about $30-35 a bottle, I felt the wine delivered quality for the price.

How did I come up with this assessment being the novice wine drinker that I am? Well, I could tell this was a nice wine from the first sip. In my limited experience, the more expensive the wine, the smoother the finish but I could never articulate that until my research today. Thank you Wikipedia Glossary of Wine Terms and Zerbrafish.

Oh, there is an LA based band called Malbec as well. Seems they have had some songs on various soundtracks (One Tree Hill, My Best Friend's Girl). Not bad either....


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