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Sample the Wines of Argentina with Anuva

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As anyone versed in such matters already knows, Argentine wine has been gaining in respect and influence over the past decade. Jürgen and I definitively aren’t versed in such matters, so we’ve had some learning to do.

Anuva Wine Tasting

Basically my knowledge of wine is: I’m aware it’s produced from grapes. So when we heard about Anuva, a wine tasting service in Palermo Hollywood, we thought a bit of education might be in order. For US$46 per person, Anuva offers a quick, personable tour through some of Argentina’s best grapes, in an evening that includes great food and conversation.

We showed up for the tasting right on time, hosted in one of Palermo’s many gorgeous hotels — the Rendez-vous. After introductions with the other guests, our sommelier wasted no time in popping open the first bottle. We tried five wines over the course of about 90 minutes, each presented with an accompanying plate of food. And the wines were all incredible. Anuva represents only small, artisan bodegas, and each bottle had an fun story behind it, such as the sparkling “Hom”, made (and named) by a crafter who’s into meditation.

The fact that we were beginners in the world of wine tasting didn’t matter in the end. We were given a quick crash course in what to look for, by our sommelier (you’ll have noticed, I just learned that word… so I’m going to give it a workout). From the bouquet to the richness of the color, our sommelier pointed out each wine’s distinct elements, making the whole experience easy and fun. I’d never before heard of Bonarda, a black grape originally from Italy and almost unheard of outside of Argentina. I loved its heaviness, deep color and barely perceptible fruitiness… Look at that: I’m already talking like someone who knows what they’re talking about! Our sommelier would be so proud. Sommelier.

As a compliment to the tasting, Anuva also offers a shipping service so that you can have some bottles delivered hassle-free to your home. The wineries have exclusive export contracts with Anuva, so these wines are otherwise impossible to find in the states.

The early-evening tasting makes a great beginning to the night Palermo. If you’ve got any interest at all in the wines of Argentina, definitely check it out.

Book your wine tasting here!!
Check out their Online Wine Store

Wine Tasting Argentina
Wine Tasting
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April 8, 2011 at 11:25 pm Comments (9)

Boutique Hotel Buenos Aires: Bonito

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Boutique Hotel Bonito Buenos Aires
Bonito Hotel

Looking for a small hotel with an individual touch? Then you might want to check out the Boutique Hotel Bonito. Near Plaza Congreso, this hotel is ideally located to explore the entirety of the city … from here, you can easily reach any spot in Buenos Aires. Hip, stylish, and I especially love the idea of a common living room.

Five beautiful rooms on the 3rd floor of a four-storey antique building located in the traditional neighbourhood of Montserrat. They are all equipted with a private bathroom, minibar, air conditioner, jacuzzi or scotch douche, LCD TV, and a safe. Our living-room, integrated with a bar, is ideal for relaxing and meeting, also open to cultural events, music seasons, film, lectures and private parties. A tasty and abundant breakfast service is offered, served when requested.
Attend by the owner, artist and designer Bonito it is a unique and special place. Where, you can feel the warmth of a home, the independence of a private room and the service and attention of a five-star hotel.

More information and rates: Bonito Boutique Hotel
Hotel Bonito on our Buenos Aires Map
More accommodation options on our Buenos Aires Index

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April 7, 2011 at 5:23 pm Comments (0)

Casa Felix: Great Food & Company Behind Closed Doors

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Since opening a couple years ago, the closed-door pescaterian restaurant Casa Felix has built a name as one of the best dining experiences in the capital. Chef Diego Félix and his US American wife Sanra welcome guests into their charming Chicarita home for an evening of excellent cooking and conversation. In the garden and around the dining table, it’s not uncommon for total strangers to quickly become friends.

Casa Felix

Concentrating on ecologically-friendly, organic foods and produce from their own garden, Diego invents dishes which are both delicious and beautiful to look at. Ingredients are selected from across South America, such as plantain leaves, manioc and an Argentine mint called peperina. Unless you’re a professional gourmet deeply familiar with the continent, you’re going to be discovering a lot of new tastes during the five-course meal.

Casa Félix is a secret underground restaurant, but breathless reviews in publications like the New York Times and Condé Nast Traveler have made it a rather poorly-kept secret. Which is good. We visited on a warm late-summer evening and, sitting in the garden for a drink before dinner, fell easily into conversation with other guests. Everything was so relaxed and casual, it really felt like you were over at a friend’s for dinner. If you had a friend who was an amazing cook.

The restaurant is just one piece of Diego and Sanra’s culinary project called the Colectivo Félix, which seeks to promote eco-gastronomic through meals, investigations and photography. We didn’t get to meet Sanra, who was occupied with their recently arrived newborn, but Diego was a gracious host throughout the evening, eager to explain the various herbs and ingredients, and clearly happy to have us in his house. Besides, meeting Sanra would have probably just ratcheted up our envy of her… a gorgeous home, a highly-praised closed-door restaurant, the attention of the world’s best food critics, and a handsome Argentine husband who just happens to be an incredible cook. Quite the life, there!

Check out their website, and make reservations when you’re in the city! The five-course meal is just 150 pesos (US$38); an incredibly fair price for an unforgettable evening out.

Colectivo Felix’s Website
Tel: 11 4555 1882
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April 1, 2011 at 11:49 am Comments (0)

The Carlos Gardel Museum

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Listen to Carlos Gardel

After our great experience at El Querandí, we were all about tango. So the next day we decided to visit the Carlos Gardel Museum in Abasto. We showed up at the perfect time: a free tango class was just getting underway in the foyer of the museum. As we lumbered into the middle of the group, grinning from ear to ear and looking for pretty ladies, shrieks of terror echoed through the hall.

Carlos Gardel

Carlos Gardel is the indisputable king of tango, and his face can be found everywhere in Buenos Aires, from street art and advertising, to posters in restaurants. Gardel was born in Tolouse, France in 1890, but his mother immigrated to Argentina when he was three. As a muchacho, he studied music and worked in a theater, finding success in his twenties as part of a singing duo with José Razzano. In the 1920s, Gardel took a tour around the world, and caused a sensation in cities from New York to Barcelona. Razzano would eventually become his manager.

Gardel was blessed with a rich, deep voice, as well as a gift for songwriting; he wrote the music to most of his tangos. And because he was so handsome, he became a popular actor in Argentine cinema, like a turn-of-the-century Will Smith. His last film was Tango Bar, wrapped just before his untimely death at the age of 45, when he perished in a plane crash in Colombia. The decades since his death have only seen him grow in popularity, though. How beloved does he continue to be? Well, this out-of-focus video of one his most famous songs has over a million views on YouTube.

The Museo Carlos Gardel occupies the house he bought for his mother, in his childhood neighborhood of Abastos, and provides a good overview to the singer’s life with a lot of memorabilia from his career. Not very large, you can get through it in a half hour, and it costs just a peso. We zipped through the exhibits extra-quick, because we were eager to join in the free tango course.

For two hours, we practiced the basics in the museum’s shaded walkway. Amazingly, there were more guys than girls in the class, so Jürgen and I had to share a partner: cheers to the game Chilean girl whose feet we made a bloody, bruised mess of. By the end of the session, we were both able to do the basic steps. Money.

Museo Carlos Gardel’s Website
Jean Jaurés 735
Tel: 4964-2015
Location on our Buenos Aires Map
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March 14, 2011 at 11:40 pm Comments (4)

Status – Peruvian Restaurant

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Peruvian Cook Books

“You’re right! That is totally Russell Brand! I don’t know, maybe he’s here for a movie premiere? He’s going outside for a smoke, I’m going to follow him!”

I returned about 30 seconds later. It totally wasn’t Russell Brand enjoying a meal in the popular Peruvian restaurant Status with us, just a hip porteño doing a good job of capturing his look. With the distraction gone, we could get back to concentrating on our incredible food.

Peruvian Restaurant

There are a number of Peruvian restaurants in Buenos Aires, but the one which came most frequently recommended to us was Status, near the Plaza Congresos. With huge portions, an unpretentious atmosphere, Russell Brand lookalikes, and unbeatable prices, it’s easy to see why so many people love it. The best sign: it’s frequented by Buenos Aires’ sizable Peruvian population.

Although the most popular plate is the ceviche (raw fish), I went for the carapulcra: a flavorful beef and potato stew with garlic and other spices served with rice. Love. The amount of food was tremendous, and we were glad not to have ordered appetizers, though we did save room for dessert: Suspiro de limeña, The Lima Woman’s Sigh, made of dulce de leche with a topping of meringue.

If we ever choose to live in Peru for 91 days, a huge reason will be because of the cuisine. A blend of European, Asian and indigenous foods, which is unlike any other country’s. Status is a great place to try it out.

Virrey Cevallos 178
Tel: 4382-8531
Location on our BA Map

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Status Buenos Aires
Peruvian Bread
Carapulcra
Arroz Con Pollo
Papas-Huancaina
Suspiro de limeña
Peru Buenos Aires
Peruvian
Russel Brand
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February 15, 2011 at 12:12 am Comments (2)
Sample the Wines of Argentina with Anuva
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