Malbec World Day Wine Tasting – April 2012

Last night’s Malbec World Day celebration tasting at Canning House was very popular event that was well attended.   It was particularly nice to see so many young people, many of whom have never attended a Society function before, and it is hoped that this will be a real ‘taster’ in every sense for some of the future events put on by the Society.

Keith Johnson of ‘ South American Wines Online’ started the evening by explaining  to the audience the history behind this annual celebration which is marked on 17th April each year.   It was, he said, initiated by Wines of Argentina in 2011 to commemorate the day in 1853 when the Governor of Mendoza, Pedro Pascual Segura, on 17th April 1853 submitted to the Provincial Legislature a bill for the foundation of a Quinta Normal and a School of Agriculture. The House of Representatives dealt with the bill enacting it as law on September 6 1853.

Malbec was brought to Argentina by Michel Aimé Pouget (1821-1875) from France, an agronomist who was hired by Domingo Faustino Sarmiento to run the Quinta Agronómica de Mendoza. Malbec is a variety of purple grape which originates from the Cahors region in South West France, and it is one of the six grapes currently officially allowed in the blend of red Bordeaux wines.  Subsequently Malbec went on to become Argentina’s most well known wine around the world, and this day is now celebrated in more than 30 cities around the globe.

The efforts made by Pouget, Sarmiento and the Quinta Normal of Mendoza played a key role in that process. To Wines of Argentina, April 17th is a day that represents both the transformation of Argentina’s wine industry and the starting point for the development of Malbec as its flagship variety and international emblem of the country’s viticulture and winemaking.

Keith Johnson then went on to state that the Malbec wines he selected for the tasting, namely:  O Fournier Urban Malbec, Michel Torino Don David Reserve Malbe,  Luigi Bosca Reserve Malbec, Finca Sophenia Reserve Malbec,  Familia Schroeder Saurus ‘Patagonia Select’ Malbec  and  Luigi Bosca, Malbec DOC Single Vineyard  –  were carefully selected a sample range of wines from the Salta, Mendoza, and Patagonia, highlighting some of the distinct characteristics of one of the world’s favourite grape varieties. He furthermore went on to say that none of the wines he sells wines will be found in supermarkets, including these six malbec wines, and that these ‘food friendly’ wines are typically served in restaurants and as such represented good value at affordable prices for people to drink at home.

After going through each wine outlining its regional distinctiveness and particular characteristics, the event concluded by several interesting questions being put by the floor.   Everyone was left with an overwhelming appreciation of wines that were being tasted, and it is therefore our thanks to Keith Johnson for the courtesy he extended to the Society for making this possible.  Unusually for this kind of event there was a keen sense of bonding by the audience, many who have never met before, and a very convivial occasion which flowed into the evening afterwards.   For further details about these wines you can contact ‘South American Wines On Line’ direct on or for Society Members there is a special discount which can be obtained by obtaining a special discount code by emailing the Society Secretary on