Chris’ note: In today’s dispatch, we’re giving you a break from market uncertainty. Summer is nearly here – and we want you to enjoy it. Americans will spend the next few months indulging in beaches, pools, and grills.
But my friend Will Bonner says most Americans have lost sight of what a family barbecue is supposed to be about.
He thinks the Argentinians have the right idea about barbecues… or asados, as the natives call them.
Below, Will and his team at the Bonner Private Wine Partnership have put together a guide on how to have your own traditional gaucho asado this summer.
If you enjoy this guide to a gaucho asado, you’ll want a great Argentine malbec to go along with your meal. But most malbec here in the U.S. is cheap, too young, and from Mendoza.
The best malbec comes from remote vineyards 8,000 feet high in Argentina’s extreme-altitude Calchaquí Valley.
A vineyard at over 8,000 ft.
These wines can be hard to find in the U.S. But we just got a shipment in (including a wine from the third-highest vineyard in the world at 8,950 ft.). And you can get over $50 off (plus complimentary shipping) by reserving your malbec today. Just go here for your discount.
The fastest way to make enemies in Argentina is to compare the asado to an American barbecue.
It’s the same, right? Not a chance, the locals will say through gritted teeth.
An asado is an old Argentine cowboy tradition of spending all Sunday afternoon on a big, lingering meal.
It’s cooking in its purest form. Fire… grill… and meat.
Here’s our step-by-step guide to an authentic Argentine asado – just in time for summer.
Imagine a green oasis with a stream of pure snowmelt running through it…
The high altitudes in northwestern Argentina mean UV rays there are 80% more intense than at sea level. So you find the shade of a tree, build a fire, and lie back, your head propped on a saddlebag.
You snack on cheese and olives while the main course cooks. A cousin strums on a Spanish guitar. A sibling passes around a bottle of wine.
A pure snowmelt stream in northwest Argentina
The centerpiece of the asado is the grill – the parrilla. Toss in some pinecones to start a fire (try not to use briquettes).
The heat should be enough to char the outer layer of your steak. Don’t worry too much about overcooking. With the right cut, the right prep, and the accompaniments (sides and wine), you should be fine.
Just remember – low and slow.
Bife de lomo is THE cut in Argentina. That’s tenderloin. But tire de asado, or short ribs, is also popular.
The Argentine secret to ultra-tender meat is quite simple – rock salt.
Coat the meat with rock salt. Don’t skimp! Then get it on the grill. The cooking will take a little while.
Here’s where you break out some sharp cheese (gouda), jamón (ham) or salami, and olives for snacking.
You’ll also want to open a bottle of malbec here. We recommend a bottle from a high-altitude vineyard. The higher the better. These have more flavor and mouthfeel – think blackberry, dark cherry, and smoke.
At this point, someone in your party should be working on a salad. The Argentines have figured out that the best complement to a steak isn’t heaps of grilled vegetables, but rather a simple mix of fresh lettuce, tomato, and onion with drizzles of olive oil and white wine vinegar. Seriously, the combo with bife (steak) tastes delicious.
Optional: mashed potatoes and oven-roasted carrots. Just don’t overdo it.
The first course of an asado isn’t a light soup or salad (the salad we mentioned above is consumed with the meat). It’s sausage in a French baguette.
A quarter or half a sausage per person. It should be the last thing on the grill and the first thing off. You’ll take the chorizo or morcilla and immediately stick it in a piece of baguette.
Don’t use ketchup or mustard! The juices from the sausage will be more than enough.
If you must season your meat after it’s off the grill, stick to more salt.
With that plus the salad, you’ll find you don’t need or even want any condiments on your meat. (Just trust us…)
Keep pouring the malbec. Open another bottle if necessary. If you have multiple vintage years, start younger and go older.
When you finally sit down at the table, it’s customary for the other diners to give the asador (you) a round of applause.
At the Bonner Private Wine Partnership, we’ve sourced thousands of bottles of wine from Argentina – often wines that have never before been imported to the U.S.
Today, we’re opening our cellar to offer a rare collection of small-batch, limited-production wines – at $50 off – just in time for summer.
An “8,950 ft. Malbec” 2018 vintage from the third-highest vineyard in the world (unfiltered, high resveratrol content, low sugar)
A “Mile High” Malbec grown in the shadow of giant cacti (5,700 feet, Partnership exclusive, 93pt)
A 95pt Malbec from Argentina’s “most important winemaker” (only 4,000 bottles made)
If you order today, you’ll get not only a huge discount, but also complimentary shipping.
With summer approaching fast, we ask that you act today if you’re interested.
These wines will sell out fast.
Simply go here to view our inventory.