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Argentine Embassy promotes flagship Malbec wine

The Argentine Embassy last week promoted the country’s flagship Malbec wine at a tasting event in Seoul.

In its seventh iteration of the annual event, “Malbec World Day” at Millennium Seoul Hilton showcased the finest wines of Argentina, whose unique flavors and properties are forming savory chemistries with Korean consumers.

The event is a global initiative sponsored by Wines of Argentina, a public promotional agency supported by the Ministry of Foreign Relations and Worship and the Argentine Wine Corporation. Every year around April 17, Argentina’s Malbec is promoted across more than 60 cities around the world.

“Malbec is the DNA of Argentina and tells its story,” said Argentine Ambassador to Korea Jorge Roballo in a speech. “Malbec combines the knowledge and experience of the old world with the innovation, novelty and fruits of the new world.”

Argentine Ambassador to Korea Jorge Roballo (right) poses with Argentine tango dancers at a Malbec World Day tasting event in Seoul on April 18 (Argentine Embassy)
Argentine Ambassador to Korea Jorge Roballo (right) poses with Argentine tango dancers at a Malbec World Day tasting event in Seoul on April 18 (Argentine Embassy)

Contending that Malbec has been celebrated worldwide for its “superlative quality,” the envoy said different factors such as high altitude, dry continental climate, diverse terroirs, fertile soil and ice-melt pure water have combined to concoct the wine’s flavor. 

Argentina’s wineries are consistently applying their scientific knowledge into their viticulture to cultivate, harvest and produce “authentic, pure and natural” wines, he added.

Malbec originated in Bordeaux, Cahors and Loire Valley in France, and was imported to Argentina in the mid-19th century by French agronomist Michel Aime Pouget. With the help of Italian and French immigrants, the grape seedlings quickly adapted to local terroirs and produced grapes even better than those of France, according to Wines of Argentina.

Malbec has a full-bodied flavor -- characterized by its dark velvet color and balsamic aroma -- due to its robust tannin structure, and goes well with Korean barbecue and other dishes, the envoy said.

Argentine wine exports to Korea topped $4 million last year, a 7.3 percent on-year increase. The South American country is the fifth-largest wine producer in the world, with 35 percent of its farmland cultivating Malbec and half of its total wine export comprised of Malbec.

Seventeen Argentine wineries and 15 Korean importers participated in the event in Seoul, including Trapiche and Finca Las Moras imported by Keumyang International; Trivento, Clos de los Siete and Flecha de los Andes by Kiljin International; Kaiken by Nara Cellars; Bodega Callia by Dongwon Wineplus; and Alta Vista by Les Vins de Maeil.

Also in attendance were Tinto Negro by Mundo Vino; Catena Zapata by Shindong Wine; Achaval Ferrer by L&B Shinsegae; Finca Flichman by Fine Liquor Korea; Altos Las Hormigas by LB; Terrazas de los Andes by MH Champagnes and Wines Korea; Andeluna Cellars by Winell; Bianchi by World Wine; and Argento by Tapex International.

By Joel Lee (