Over the next few weeks, Melbourne will host an impromptu festival of that under-appreciated wine variety, Malbec. Gauchito Gil, a pop-up wine bar at the back of the ritzy Hotel Windsor on Spring Street, will serve a selection of Malbec wines made in the South American style.
Named for the patron saint of thieves, Gauchito Gil celebrates Australians ripping off South American wines. For a meagre $8 - or $10 with a tasty empanada - diners can try out Malbecs from producers like Chalmers and Matchbox (made in Australia), and Jed and Two Men (made in Argentina by Australians).
Dan Sims, one of the two men behind Two Men (the other is Ben Edwards), says he likes the grape done a la Argentine because it’s particularly approachable. “It's actually a French varietal but Malbec grows amazingly well in Argentina, specifically Mendoza. The high altitude and the Andes is what makes it,” says Sims.
Sims also reckons Malbec goes beautifully with South American cuisine. “Meat and Malbec. It's awesome. They're perfect,” he says. “Because Malbec is so high in tannins and empanadas have a lot of fat, the two basically cancel each other out.”
And apart from enjoying a glass, winelovers can take home a bottle of their favourite plonk - which comes with a free ride home by Uber.
Gauchito Gil runs from August 15 to September 1.
111 Spring Street, Melbourne
(03) 9633 6000