My favorite wine tastings in Buenos Aires


1451563157_8068f510ec_z I have been to a few wine tastings in Buenos Aires (in the Palermo Soho area) over the years and here are my three favorites. In general, these tastings last about 2 hours.

ANUVA WINES

The space is very private (there is no sign out front, you have to sign up to get the address) with an almost VIP feeling, the room is very large and elegant with many nicely set tables, elegant furnishings, posh bathrooms, and a large wraparound terrace. This is priciest wine tasting on my list, but if you don’t mind spending the money it is definitely worth it.

At the tasting we tried 5 wines (1 sparkling wine, 1 white, 1 rosé, and 2 reds) of generous pours and I was offered refills on 2 glasses. Plus, each wine had its own food pairing, starting with canapés (topped with spreads, herbs, nuts and fruits) for the sparkling wine; then mini sorbet cups (mango and strawberry) for the white wine; then a “picada” (platter) that included salami, several very nice cheeses, pickled eggplant, bread, crackers and a couple of spreads served with the rosé wine; followed by a traditional beef empanada to accompany the first red wine (Bonarda) and then delicious dark chocolate truffles to accompany the Malbec. You probably won’t find such an elaborate, elegant and well-planned out wine and food pairing option in Buenos Aires (where each food pairing has been carefully selected to complement the flavor of the wine) which is probably one of the reasons it’s more expensive. Also, the sommelier was a native English speaker (from England) with a degree in wine and lots of charisma. She taught us a lot about wine, and I even learned the history of Malbec wine and where it comes from (hint: France) for the first time after years of living in Argentina and going to wine tastings. Something unique about Anuva is that the sommelier works for Anuva wines, not for a specific bodega, so they select wines from several different bodegas for the tasting.

They do tastings every afternoon/early evening except for Sundays, and have lots of space and seating (they told me that in high season they could have up to 50 people or more at a tasting!) so booking won’t be a problem as long as you reserve in advance, and you will definitely have your own seat and place setting.

Cara Anuva Cata

LO DE JOAQUIN

A beautiful and quite large bodega that sells quality wines from all over Argentina, with a stylish interior and wine tastings every night. The tasting room has a high c-shaped glass table with stools around it that is right by a large window that faces the street (so everyone walking by can check you out during the tasting; meaning its not very private).

I’ve been to Lo de Joaquin a few times, and while the price is very reasonable, I’ve found that the tastings are hit or miss. But when they are good, they are very good and you definitely get your money’s worth (the wine tastings are a great deal here). Unlike Anuva Wines, Lo de Joaquin has a sommelier come from a specific bodega and do a tasting of wines from that bodega. For example, one time the sommelier, a french girl who was bilingual in English and Spanish and extremely knowledgeable about the bodega she worked for and wine in general, actually taught us a lot about wine and how to properly taste it. We were there for about 2 hours with her, and she was generous with the wine (we had a couple of refills on the 4 wines we tried). Another time, however, the sommelier didn’t speak any English, didn’t make any effort to speak clearly or slow down so that the foreigners could understand or so that the staff could translate, and she seemed like she was in a rush to get out of there (the tasting lasted about 30 minutes). Plus, we only tasted 3 wines, one small pour each, and they weren’t very good. But I have to admit that the staff made an effort to compensate for the disappointing tasting by bringing out a couple bottles from the bodega (including a nice reserve) for us to drink after the sommelier had left.

After the tastings the staff at Lo de Joaquin always bring out a modest meat and cheese “picada” (a few kinds of cheeses and salami) accompanied with crackers and bread and they let you hang around a bit (and encourage you to buy a bottle to drink there if you do so).

They do tastings most nights of the week and the table seats about 20 so booking isn’t a problem, just make sure you reserve in advance.

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ESPIRITU DIVINO

This is a very local wine tasting, so I’m not sure if it would be possible to go to a tasting in English; I haven’t heard of that option and the times I’ve gone it has always been in Spanish, the customers were argentines and foreigners (us) that live in Buenos Aires and speak Spanish well. But if you can speak Spanish this is definitely the most affordable tasting on this list (plus they let you use half as credit towards a bottle of wine from the tasting), and the food they offer is quite good, pours are quite generous (and you are usually offered a refill on every pour, sometimes more than one) and the sommeliers are knowledgeable (like with Lo de Joaquin they come from different bodegas around Argentina; meaning you’ll be trying wines from one specific bodega, and although my experiences have been good, it could be hit or miss because of this). The food they offer is usually potato wedges with guacamole, as well as a meat and cheese “picada” with an elegant bread and cracker basket.

The bodega is small (just one room) but has high ceilings so it doesn’t feel cramped. However, they just have one large table in the center with about 6 chairs and another small table near by with a few chairs, so it is likely that you will be standing for the tasting if there are a lot of people. Tastings are usually once a week (Thursdays or Fridays) and you have to book in advance.

Happy tasting!!

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