A few years into my first wines sales stint, the “travel bug” bit me. I had dedicated all of my time since college to learning about wine, but primarily within the confines of New York City. So when the bug got me again, I ceded my rent-controlled apartment and set out to discover the world of wine first-hand.
Argentina was at the top of everybody’s travel list – especially mine. As a young, Spanish speaking North American wine geek, how could I resist? The country was in the midst of recovery from the economic crisis of 2002 and was flowing with foreign investment – money that fueled growth in the wine industry that has continued to this day. Although I would eventually spend more than a year living in Mendoza, the nation’s wine capital, one thing became clear as soon as I arrived: There is a lot more to Argentine wine than just Malbec.
In the year that followed, I tasted quite literally every bottle of wine that I could get my hands on. Along the way, I befriended a number of fellow expats, one of whom – John Lockwood – I’ve enlisted to help with the food pairings this month. John now lives in Napa and makes wine under his own Enfield Wine Co. label; his deep knowledge of both winemaking and Argentina make him the ideal person to highlight the diversity in this box.
I’m further delighted to introduce you to the artwork of Elaine Chukan Brown, whose illustration graces the front of this poster. Elaine’s work can be found on Serious Eats and in Wine & Spirits Magazine, as well as on her own blog, Wakawakawinereviews.com. She truly is a “wine drawing philosopher with a heart of gold” as her website bio states; I couldn’t be more honored to count her among my friends and to have her on board Le Metro.
These wines speak not only of a magical place in the wine world, but also of a pivotal chapter in my own life. I hope they come to mean as much to you as they do to me.
Aaron Epstein, Curator