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Monday, October 18, 2010


VINO ARGENTINO; an insider's guide to the wines and wine country of
Argentina (Chronicle Books, 2010; distr. Raincoast, 238 pages, ISBN
978-0-8118-7330-7, $27.50 US hard covers) is by Laura Catena, daughter
of Nicolas Catena, the winery owner. She's also a medical doctor in San
Francisco, has her own line of Argentine wine (Luca), and serves as a
spokesperson for her father's winery in North America (she came to
Toronto last spring). As she says, the book "is an insider's travelogue
to the Argentine wine country. It is part viticulture primer, part
cultural exploration, part introduction to the Argentine lifestyle." It
is also the story of the Malbec grape. The book concentrates on the
Mendoza and its regions, but there is also material on Patagonia and
Salta. There are wine and food glossaries, and nine recipes for typical
foods: empanadas, carbonada, milaneseas, dulce de leche, and meat
dishes. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and
avoirdupois measurements, but there is no metric table of equivalents.
The book concludes with some material on resources and bibliographies,
plus contact information, as well as a handy chapter on touring Buenos
Aires and the Argentine wine country.
Audience and level of use: those who wish to know more about Argentine
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: about 35% of the Argentine
wine production is exported to the U.S.
The downside to this book: there are three sketch maps for the regions,
but no overall map placing these regions.
The upside to this book: entertaining history of wine development in
Argentina, nicely accessible.
Quality/Price Rating: 89.

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