Argentina: Buenos Aires Feast
Recoleta: Taste how Malbecs vary by region at marble-clad Vinoteca (Palacio Duhau, 1661 Avda. Alvear; tastings for two $120). Sommelier Fabio Masdeu matches labels from his 7,000-bottle cellar with cheeses made in the nearby town of Suipacha. A five-minute stroll away, your introduction to traditional Argentinean cuisine awaits at Fervor (dinner for two $70). Order the classic asado de tira, 14-inch, crosscut ribs dry-aged for 35 days.
Palermo: At the limestone-clad tasting room of Patagonian winery Bodega del Fin del Mundo (5673 Honduras; tastings for two $45), flights follow a single varietal through several vintages; pair them with enticing tapas such as beef carpaccio with capers. A few blocks south at La Cabrera (5099 Cabrera; dinner for two $60), waiters in berets serve gargantuan side dishes—squash; Andean potatoes—along with cuts of sizzling beef grilled with rosemary and thyme.
San Telmo: Year-old wine store and cantina Aldo’s (372 Moreno; 54-11/5291-2380; tastings for two $40) is staffed with no fewer than nine sommeliers. Join a Thursday tasting of wines exclusive to Aldo’s, such as SonVida Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 from Altamira winemaker Alejandro Vigil. Then make your way up the plaza-lined Calle Defensa to La Brigada (dinner for two $60). Ebullient owner Hugo Echavarrieta buys the free-range, alfalfa-fed beef from the Pampa Húmeda region himself: ask which cut is the day’s tastiest, and he’ll grill it up to perfection. —Colin Barraclough
Bringing Wine Home
Forget shipping wine back. In the U.S., an import license is needed for even a single bottle. Instead, ask an expert to pack your treasures and check them along with your luggage. Wine shop 0800-VINO delivers day or night, anywhere in the city, within the hour, while Recoleta’s Grand Cru wraps bottles in polystyrene confetti to limit shake. Claim the 15 percent tax rebate upon departure from Argentina, and declare your wine when you arrive. U.S. Customs allows up to one liter, and after that a duty of about $2 per bottle applies.
T+L Tip: stay in Recoleta at the new 30-room Mio (doubles from $270), owned by the Catena winemaking family—mini-bars are stocked with standout regional bottles.