Last night a friend and I attended the first event of Drink Aberdeen, Enotria & Co. presents an evening with Argentina at Rye & Soda in Aberdeen. 

Drink! Aberdeen is an annual week long drink festival run by 10 Dollar Shake, celebrating wine, Gin, whisky, bourbon, tequila, sherry, rum and brandy. The weeks events include tastings, seminars, dinners and tours. Aimed at both consumers and those working in the food and drink industry.

With a vast range to choose from decided on the Argentinian wine tasting. Which on the program reads;

 Argentinian wine, in particular the varietals Malbec and Torrentes, have pushed the region into the upper echelons of the wine-producing world. The fifth largest wine -producing region in the world, the Spanish brought vine cuttings over in 1557. With the region’s love of beef and their great tradition of gauchos (South American cowboys), Malbec has become a natural companion to red meat dishes across the world. We welcome Martin Navese, Brand Ambassador for producers Trapiche, El Esteco & Santa Ana to Rye & Soda for the opening event of Drink! Aberdeen 2016.

Enjoy a tutored wine tasting, followed by a paired three course meal, accompanied by some fantastic Argentinian wines. Price per head is inclusive of meal and wines.

Once we arrived at Rye & Soda, and were seated we were shocked at the number of wines we would be sampling. Eight empty glasses prepared for each of us! Three of which were large glasses of wine, plus five taster sizes. And later a dessert wine. Great value for the £39 ticket, and three course meal.

The evening began with the host giving an introduction about Argentinian wines. We were also given a map, showing the vineyard regions. 

First up was a large glass of Don David Torrontes, from El Esteco region, which was sweet and floral, and described by the host to be drank at celebrations, and before meals, similar to Prosseco.  It was good, but a touch too sweet for my taste.

The surprise of the night was the next wine, a Chardonnay. Usually I avoid Chardonnay at all times, however this one, Melodias Winemakers Selection Chardonnay from Trapiche region, was lovely. Drier than others I have had, and much more crisp and refreshing, especially compared to the Torrontes. 

Now the food! We were starving and a bit tipsy by this point, and ready for the starter, a trio of meat empanadas. These weren’t the best, the fillings were quite dry as no sauce in with the meats. Also the pastry to filling ratio was a good bit off. They could have been a lot better, but filled a spot.

A nice refreshing pear sorbet, followed by the reds. Two full glasses and two tasters! Excessive amount of wine on a Monday night. Of these the Estacion 1883 Bonardo was our favourite. So dark, fruity, heavy, smoky. Just amazing. 

The main course was very good, and made up for the not so great starter. It was blueberry and mint marinated veal fillet, BBQ pork rib, spiced pumpkin purée, pickled shallots, parmantier potatoes, grilled corn on the cob and roasted vegetables. All looked amazing on the plate and tasted great. Highlights were the rib and the corn on the cob. Yum. 

After this we were talked through a couple more reds… far too much wine. These didn’t particularly stand out compared to the last ones. And then more wine, a French dessert wine. Which was really nice, and complemented the pudding perfectly as it wasn’t overly sweet.

Dessert was the tastiest thing on the menu, must try to recreate it. Papaya posset, with smoked mint peach and berry jam. The smokiness calmed the sweetness of the pudding, and the texture was amazing. Perfect end to a great night. And no more wine for quite a while….