SF Bay Area
Food and drink that has us seeing gold
After our little Intermission in Mendoza it was time to begin our vineyard and hotel exploration further in the wine region around Mendoza and a stay at the Esplendor Hotel was the perfect way to kick it all off. Located in the heart of the Maipú Casino and surrounded by vineyards, this hotel is perfect for exploring the surrounding region. The weather is quite warm in this part of Mendoza so we headed straight for the beautiful pool and jacuzzi where we laid around and enjoyed a few refreshing Aperol Spritzes served by the bartender at Manos Morenas; one of the on premise restaurants.
After a few hours of being lazy, the sun had set we decided to make our way upstairs to our room and get ready for dinner. Although there are many nearby restaurants to visit like Siete Fuegos by Francis Mallman, we decided we wanted to sample from the restaurants in the building and pizza was just the thing to soak up all the booze from earlier. So we made our way downstairs to Questa Pizza and enjoyed some delicious thin crust pizza, which was a great break from the standard thick crust served in most of Argentina and called it a night.
The next morning we had the complimentary breakfast in the hotel and although never knowing what to expect, the buffet here was quite good, with a large continental spread accompanied by some hot scrambled eggs and well cooked bacon; it certainly hit the spot. With plenty of caffeine to get us moving and our stomachs full it was time for our first wine tasting in Mendoza so we had the concierge call us a taxi and we were on our way.
Just a little off Route 40 is the Dominio del Plata Estates where we were fortunate to meet with Leticia for a tour of the facilities before she handed us over to the caring hands of the Osadía de Crear restaurant staff for an amazing tasting of their wines along with a delicious tasting menu. As there are few things better than great wine accompanied with delicious food this was certainly a treat and what better way to taste wine that to do so looking over the vines and facility where said wine is grown and produced.
The primary wines produced at Dominio del Plata are under the Susana Balbo label; if this name is not familiar to you, Susana was the first female wine producer in Argentina who has made waves in this male dominated industry. She began her career in Tucumán, Salta where she concentrated on the Torrontés varietal for 10 years and it really shows within the Susana Balbo Barrel Fermented Torrontés and Rosé. She is certainly not limited by this though as she creates some wonderful Brioso and Late Harvest Malbec also if you are a red wine lover.
After a few hours or lounging around enjoying all that Dominio del Plata had to offer it was time to return to the Esplendor Hotel for the night.
Side note: When ordering taxis to the Esplendor Hotel, be sure to allow 30-40 minutes before you need to depart. We were told it would be a 15-20 minute wait, however both days we had had wine tastings and lunches for work and we were late to both because of this wait. They may arrive on time for you but it’s better to be early.
Founder and creator of the cocktail website and blog Beautiful Booze. Natalie is a mixologist, cocktail stylist, photographer, recipe developer, and social media guru. Beautiful Booze the website features over 400 original recipes and photography that celebrate cocktails. From "DIY" bourbon tastings to simple 2-ingredient cocktails Beautiful Booze has something special shaking for everyone. Beautiful Booze has been named one of the top 5 cocktail Instagram accounts to follow and Natalie has a passion for Instagram and social media. Natalie is a regular contributor to Foodable WebTV, Drinkwire, Vinepair, and Delish. Her recipes have been featured on Liquor.com, Huffington Post, Fox News Magazine, Today Show, Latin Kitchen, Cosmopolitan, Pop Sugar, Country Living and many more.