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Arte BA 2006 Argentina
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Cloudio Giannini, Argentina
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Car Show 2006 Argentina
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Santiago Chile for Art, Design and Antiques
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Updates from Argentina
Friday, 15 March 2013
Red de Sabores
Topic: Food & Wine in Argentina

De boca en boca, bocado a bocado, construimos una red de sabores, con data posta sobre morfi y una gran despensa de productos!

— Le Morfi (@redsabores) March 15, 2013

Posted by bob frassinetti at 7:02 PM
Tuesday, 14 September 2010
Can Argentina Sustain Success?
Topic: Food & Wine in Argentina
Riding the Malbec Madness Wave -- Can Argentina Sustain Success?
by By Liz Thach, Ph.D. & Steven Cuellar, Ph.D., Sonoma State University Wine Business Institute

While many wine brands lost momentum during the financial crisis and its subsequent depressing effect on spending, Brand Argentina continued to ride its wave of success. Since May of 2007 through August 2010, Argentinean wine sales have increased about 88% making Argentina the 5th largest importer of wine into the US in 2009. Even more impressive, according to Nielsen scan data, Argentina wine saw a 38% dollar rise in sales for 52 weeks ending April 2010.

How has Argentina managed to capture the interest of American wine drinkers? What is it about malbec and other Argentinean varietals that have enthralled consumers? More importantly, will Argentina be able to maintain its momentum and see continued growth in the future?

These questions and others were the focus of the recent 6th International Wine Forum in Mendoza where hundreds of Argentinean wineries gathered to debate the future. This article highlights some of the success factors, potential threats, and methods to maintain and enhance the growth pattern.

Success Factors of Argentina Wine

As the fifth largest wine producer in the world with more than 1500 wineries, Argentina had an early start in 1557 when the Spanish brought cuttings from Chile. Then, in the 1860’s, many Europeans migrated to Argentina, bringing Malbec and other varietals. Wine became an integral part of the culture, and by the 1980’s the average per capita consumption was 95 liters per person. However by 1991 this figure fell to 26 liters per person, spurring the wine industry to begin exporting. Some of their export success factors include:

Malbec as Signature Grape – entering a new market with a signature grape provides a useful element of differentiation, but the style and taste of the wine must also captivate consumers. Argentina malbec does this quite well by delivering dark berry fruit, velvety tannins, and a full, satisfying texture. Millennials, with their tendency to try new varietals from different countries, quickly adopted malbec as a favorite new wine. Disenchanted merlot drinkers found malbec to be a great substitute, and steak eaters searching for something to drink besides cabernet sauvignon, were pleased with how it paired with their favorite food. Thus malbec gained traction and by early 2007 was growing rapidly from a small base. By 2009 it achieved a 50% growth rate in one year.

Competitive Price Points – due to low labor costs, long-established vineyards, and a favorable currency rate, Argentina is able to produce high quality wine at a low price. The combination of the satisfying taste of malbec accompanied by a pleasing price tag of $8 to $12 hit a sweet spot with recession ravaged consumers in 2008/2009 who continued to drink wine, but ratcheted down from their $15-20 price points and above. When Constellation, the Wine Group and other large producers began to purchase bulk malbec from Argentina and bottle it under new labels, e.g. Marcus James, at even lower price points, malbec became even more accessible to recession-strapped consumers. Low prices accompanied by good quality and taste created even more desire for Argentina wine.

Industry Strategy/Vision 2020 – in 2000, Wines of Argentina created an aggressive strategic plan, similar to the Australian wine vision. Funding it via a “tax” to all winery members and very little government support, they have been quite successful to date in moving towards their goal of achieving 10% of global wine market share by 2020 – having moved from less than 1% when they started to 4% in 2009.

Strategic Partnerships – Catena Zapata, one of the largest wineries in Argentina, has developed a partnership with Gallo to distribute many of their brands, including the very successful Alamos label. Other wineries have linkage with international partners who provide funding and distribution access, including Bodega Norton owned by the crystal empire, Swarovski, Cheval des Andes and Chandon Argentina by LVMH, and Bodega Colome by Swiss entrepreneur Donald Hess.

Relationship Management – in general Argentinean wine producers make multiple trips to the US each year to conduct ride-alongs with distributors, call on retailers, conduct tastings, and participate in Wines of Argentina events. They also invite sommeliers, retailers, and distributors to Argentina where they are hosted in high style with excellent food, treks into the Andes, and tango shows. This type of attention – especially in a saturated market where distributors are looking for reasons to reject brands – goes a long way towards keeping Argentina wine on the shelf.

Potential Threats

The most obvious threat would be a backlash against Argentina’s signature grape, but experts have agreed that malbec is no longer just a fad. It has now become so well known that it will continue to be another choice for red wine lovers. Furthermore, viticulture experts believe that the special climate of dry winters and springs in Mendoza allows the malbec berries to remain small, which creates the intense flavor, texture and velvety tannins which cannot be duplicated elsewhere in the world. However, there are other potential threats:

Water Shortage: drip and flood irrigation are both used, but the largest wine growing region of Mendoza depends primarily on snow from the Andes to supply this water. If global warming should reduce snow fall, water shortage would be a devastating blow. Furthermore, experimentation has shown that Mendoza vines cannot be dry-farmed as in other countries. In a near desert-like situation with sandy soil, the vines die without water.

Loss of Low-Priced Labor: currently Argentina depends on migrants from Bolivia and Northern Argentina to hand-harvest and prune their vast vineyards. If other opportunities were more appealing for this workforce, or if they demanded higher wages, this could hurt competitiveness. Very few vineyards are utilizing mechanization.

Over-Production: With a current production rate of 1.6 million tons of grapes per year and 220,000 hectares of vineyards, most producers are planning on expansion to match demand. There is a danger that the expansion will not be coordinated and that Argentina could end up in an over-supply situation. Today they export 30% of production with the other 70% being consumed by the domestic market. Their biggest export market is the US at 32% of exports, followed by Canada (12%), the UK (7%), Brazil (6.7%) and Holland (5.7%).

Decrease in Marketing: to date, Argentina has exhibited positive marketing efforts – especially on the part of its larger brands. If this were to decrease due to funding issues or other reasons, there is a probable threat of lost market share.
Other possible worries include changes in the currency situation, regulatory issues, and hail – which can reach baseball size in Mendoza and destroy a vineyard in a few minutes.

Argentina Wine by Varietal 2009

Opportunities for Continued Growth in Argentina Wine

Right now, Argentina is riding a wave of popularity which raises the question of how to sustain and/or enhance their success. This is a situation that has faced other wine nations in the past, with some succeeding and others losing market share. Though there are many variables which impact success, for Argentina wine the following actions are important:

Maintain Consistent Quality:  in general, Argentina wine is well-made and well-accepted by consumers and wine critics. However, with new wineries coming on line, there is a chance that inconsistent quality may occur. Furthermore if they expand their bulk market too much, loyal consumers could begin questioning quality/price levels.

Encourage Gradual Trading Up: as the US slowly recovers from recession, there is an opportunity for Argentina to introduce slightly higher-priced malbecs, blends and pinot noir from Patagonia.

Develop/Launch an Icon Wine: wine critics around the world are giving high ratings to Argentina wines, and there are several priced over $100. However, there is no clear “leader” in the icon wine category, which could create positive buzz and cause wine enthusiasts and collectors to covet the wine.

Introduce Torrentes and Other Varietals: malbec has eclipsed most other varietals to such an extent that in 2009 it was 78% of all Argentinean wine sold in the US. However, Torrentes and Bonarda (called Charbono in the US) are two other exciting varietals from Argentina, not to mention excellent cabernet sauvignon, Bordeaux blends, sparkling wines, and promising pinot noir from Patagonia.

Expand into Asia: only a few Argentinean wineries are venturing into China and other Asian markets. Because this requires on a long-term strategy, the time to start relationship building is now.

Embrace Online Marketing/Sales: an antiquated transportation and logistics system makes online sales and direct to consumer marketing difficult within Argentina, but there is opportunity to expand current efforts with social media and online communication. Furthermore, wineries could explore ecommerce in other countries via partnerships with fulfillment agencies, retailers, and distributors.

By Liz Thach, Ph.D. & Steven Cuellar, Ph.D., Sonoma State University Wine Business Institute  

About the Authors: Dr. Liz Thach is a Management at Wine Business Professor at Sonoma State University and has just returned from a 5 day trip to Argentina (see for more detailed information on the trip). Dr. Steven Cuellar is a Professor of Wine Economics and analyzed the Nielsen data on Argentina’s activities in the US market. They can be contacted at and


Posted by bob frassinetti at 12:29 PM
Thursday, 11 June 2009
Pancakes and Pepino, BA, Argentina
Topic: Food & Wine in Argentina
Food and Wine Argentina
Interested in Food and Wine. Today Panckes,.... Making pancakes Always been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Not only important but of great variety and flavours. Lunch is salty, tea sweet and dinner or supper also salty with some kind of reward as desert. However breakfast is that meal when sweet, salty, spicy and mellow flavours work altogether awaking our senses and inviting us into a world of culinary experiences. I’m a citizen of the world in spite of the fact that I live in Argentina. I’ve travelled and lived in wonderful and exiting cities and explored all different cultures specially through means of its cooking. Each country and culture has its own particular way of beginning the day. Coffee and toasts, scrambled eggs, all sort of fresh fruit, pancakes, sausages and mushrooms, croissants, bacon and... the list could go on and on for ever. And as a citizen of the world I’ve picked up the things I love the most about each culture I’ve got to know and incorporated them to my palate and share them with those I love. Pancakes is one of those simple and exquisite dishes-cook’s creations I’ve loved ever since my first bite. To those who don’t share my delightful passion, I must tell that a pancake is not just a pancake... Types, flavours, shapes, fillings and toppings... everything changes from culture to culture. Take for example the American pancakes, thick pile of delicious hot cakes topped with butter and honey or syrup, then fly to France and experience sweet and/ or salty Jumbo Size Crepes, filled with jam and cheese and mushrooms, or hot chocolate and chestnuts, made on the street by the Louvre museum folded into a triangle... In Britain, sugar and lemon added once you flip them, on the pan... And soon we arrive to Argentina. Our pancakes are filled with one the greatest sweet inventions: Dulce de Leche, a sort of sweet milk jam –also known as manjar blanco in other Latin American countries ... but this has a different taste to the Argentinean one. Thin crepes, or thick hot cakes, a spoonful of dulce de leche on top, once still in the pan, for it to warm up and melt a bit.... then a superb cup of coffee... sit back and enjoy one of life’s greatest pleasures! These superb pancakes I frequently enjoy for breakfast when there’s no hurry, on a rainy Sunday... For my birthday in bed... But it’s not just a breakfast thing to eat... it’s just that this sort of breakfast makes me start the day in the best mood, heart, soul and tummy happy! Bob Frassinetti: For more information: Email: Bob Frassinetti. Press here to go back to web blog:Daily Updates on Art, Antiques, Collectibles as well as travel information for Buenos Aires, Argentina. Phone me thru Skype, ID: Bob Frassinetti or you can also chat with me thru Yahoo, press here: Yahoo Contact Find me on MySpace. Updated 2009 Copyright Bob Frassinetti, travelling for arts and antiques in the south of South America,.......
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Today Peppino best place for, .... 
Panckes as well as the tardional Hamburger, ...........
View Food and Wine in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay in a larger map Bob Frassinetti: For more information: Email: Bob Frassinetti. Press here to go back to web blog:Daily Updates on Art, Antiques, Collectibles as well as travel information for Buenos Aires, Argentina. Phone me thru Skype, ID: Bob Frassinetti or you can also chat with me thru Yahoo, press here: Yahoo Contact Find me on MySpace. Updated 2009 Copyright Bob Frassinetti, travelling for arts and antiques in the south of South America,.......

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Posted by bob frassinetti at 3:47 PM
Thursday, 4 May 2006
Some ideas for a Perfect day in Buenos Aires
Topic: Food & Wine in Argentina
Perfect day in Buenos Aires

Perfection is something to look up to but hardly achievable by itself. I try to run my mind according to this precept, because otherwise life is too unapproachable. Some unique events, moments, things, gestures are intrinsically perfect, not with regards to a perfection standard, but within themselves.

Those who have children would know that about their child’s first word, smile and even poop… yes, that’s the way the world turns sometimes.
Buenos Aires is a city faraway from perfect. It’s gorgeous and appealing, but complicated like a one of those Escher paintings. Sometimes it’s hard to say if we’re going up or down…

However, I truly believe there are perfect moments in the city of good airs, the capital of tango, Maradona’s hometown. Those labels are not perfect, don’t get me wrong, but they synthesize in some way what this city meant to the sense of what’s perfect to someone else.

There’s a stupendous Argentine story writer who lived in Paris for a long time, his name is Julio Cortazar, and in one of his stories (Las Babas del Diablo in English translations by Paul Blackburn, under the title End of the Game and Other Stories (in later editions the title was changed to Blow-Up and Other Stories) he describes what at the beginning is a perfect day.

A sunny winter- autumn morning is what he first describes. And its funny how Buenos Aires and Paris share that intrinsic atmosphere. The smell of the cold wind mellowed by the rays of a shiny sun open the door to an amazing day from my point of view. And since we’re approaching that time of the year at the moment in Buenos Aires, the idea just poped into my mind.

Today, what a perfect day… I’ll get up early in the morning, have breakfast with the local treat of Mate and some good home-made medialuna croissants.

Then, into the car and off we go to the historical quarter of Buenos Aires, San Telmo-Monserrat. That’s the corridor that goes all the way from the Pink House in Mayo Square to Lezama Park neaby Boca Juniors stadium.

Lunch at Petanque is without a doubt a must in this perfect day trip. And though Petanque is French, and this is my perfect day in Buenos Aires, I think we shouldn’t go too into the “argentine feel”… But if we needed to, well,…

We Argentines enjoy great food as much as an outstanding tango move, it’s a treat to our souls and palate. To match the top notch Resto cuisine, nothing better than a true Argentine Malbec.

Lunch and a great conversation carried on will lead us out of Petanque on Defensa Street, and I would stroll my way thru the artisan and crafts shops and antique stores all the way to Dorrego Sq. The perfect spot for a perfect coffee. The ancient cafe on the corner of Defensa and Humberto 1st is the perfect setting for the afternoon to settle. On the background, the music of our master of bandoneon: Astor Piazzola.

As the sun goes down and the stars being to shine in the clear and cold sky, our day is coming to an end. The setting changes, like those theatre scenographic walls. We’re off to a true tango show.

The Fernandez Fierro Traditional Orchestra is playing downtonw. This gang of young talented musicians put our tango ideal to test, for they don’t appear as the true real thing… However, patience is a virtue. Hold on, go beyond their rock n’roll aesthetics and wait to hear them at their arts, at their bests….

Link to Photo Album Asado, as our barbeques are known here in Argentina

If you would like to take part in any of our Tours, from hunting art & antiques in Buenos Aires or traveling around the Argentine and Uruguayan coastline in our fantastic one of a kind lighthouse tour or you wish to participate in our Route 40, an interesting rally venture, then please don’t hesitate to contact us directly thru email, phone or chat.For more information :Email Bob Frassinetti. Press here to go to The Buenos Aires Art Dealer, our webzine magazine on Art, Antiques & Collectibles made or found in Argentina. The Buenos Aires Art Dealer,Argentina.

Link to Photo Album Punta Medanos Lighthouse Argentina

Bob Frassinetti. Copyright 2005. Roberto Dario Frassinetti.

Posted by bob frassinetti at 2:28 PM
Friday, 31 March 2006
Pedro Telmo Pizza and Cafe House: Bolivar 962
Topic: Food & Wine in Argentina
The glory of comfort food:
Link to Photo Album San Telmo Vegtable & Antiques Market Place Pedro Telmo Pizza and Cafe House: Bolivar 962
San Telmo is the old quarter of Buenos Aires, now known for its bohemian arts and antiques, this has become a real hot spot in Buenos Aires.

Indeed, in recent years, San Telmo has become the place to be in for artists, young vanguards and intellectuals of all kinds. It’s a growing neighborhood that’s mutating from interesting, traditional and old to new, hip and a very Tango like flavor place.

Along this transition the neighborhood is going thru many things changing, evolving and transforming.

Old darkish bars turn into modern cafes, dinners mutate into bistros and commune homes recycle into outstanding modern design places.

However, in the middle of this turmoil of modernity and change, there are some things and places that prevail unaltered… charming and traditional, featuring their original feel of comfort and belonging. These are those places that if altered to fit new style standards would loose what makes of them a perfect place. Small, a bit dark and smutty within its own charm, these shops have mastered throughout the years a true, original and authentic style in their food and service that makes of them perfect places people tend to point as homes outside their home.

Pedro Telmo is –no doubt about it- one of these places. Located in the heart of San Telmo, at one of the sides of the charming Fruits, Meat and Antiques Market, Pedro Telmo is an everlasting trademark of the neighborhood. This is a family run place, and all those who come in –whether it’s just for a coffee or for a big meal- are immediately considered part of the huge family that is Pedro Telmo. “La Negrita” is the mother of the owner, she, with her 70 years of age personally looks after you, so everything is working perfectly throughout your stay. This is not a preconceived service –as it happens in chic, hip restaurants- it’s her true nature of sweetness and charm. She’s a joyful and warm woman, who would take your order, help you choose the best of the day’s specialties, and offer a complementary espresso after your meal, just because she loves people who enjoy her food and place.

The pace fits around 20 tables, in summer or sunny weekend days tables are set on the sidewalk for people to enjoy great food under a clear blue sky. The kitchen is open, you can see when your order is coming, when it’s being prepared in the huge pizza oven that’s the center piece of a medium size kitchen. The food is simple and tasty. The options are not pretentious, but there’s a broad variety of dishes to choose from, all which are freshly made depending on what’s good in the market that morning. Pizza is their specialty, as well as stuffed dough empanadas –cheese, ham, meat, chicken, veggies…- the cook has mastered the process and his pizza is fabulous, tasty, crunchy and delightful. I know, it’s just a slice of pizza, but this is one great slice!

While Pedro Telmo is indeed a restaurant, it has come to be more than that throughout the years. People not only come to eat, or have a quick coffee. Pedro Telmo and its charm have transformed its restaurant aspect into a cafe like feel (see our article on Argentine Cafes). This means that apart from the fact that the place served food, it’s become a reunion spot, a hangout place… If you have the opportunity of spending a couple of minutes in Pedro Telmo you’ll witness some of its magic. While people come and go, for food, coffee and takeout, others just come and drop by to greet the owner, the cook, give Mamma Negra a hug and a kiss… If your Spanish allows it, you’ll understand everyone knows everyone, Mamma Negrita knows everything’s going on with their lives and in a sweet way she inquires about projects, love life and an endless list of other meaningful everyday life aspects.
When in Pedro Telmo, true Argentine comfort food is the rule. The best of the Argentine charming feel is in the air, for all local and foreign customers that choose this dinner for their meals, coffee and also as their hangout spot.
Not only is this a true local feel experience people have to go thru when discovering Buenos Aires and its people, but it’s something that once tried you’ll always want to return.

Food & Wineartdealer_ar's Food & Wine photoset

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Posted by bob frassinetti at 3:00 PM
Updated: Friday, 31 March 2006 3:23 PM

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