Matching the food and wine coming from the same region is an easy method to make the most of the local cuisine. In this post, we’ll see how empanadas, the most famous pasty of Latin America, will pair with Argentinian Malbec.


Empanada is a baked or fried pastry with a filling. Although its origin is unknown, it’s a popular dish associated with most countries in Latin America. Most would have their own version of empanada. The filling, the shape of the pastry and method to cook vary depending on the country or region.

For the Chilean style empanadas, “pino” is the most common filling made with minced meat. Other ingredients you need for cooking the meat filling are onion, olive oil and spices. Apart from the meat, they also put some raisins, pieces of boiled eggs and black olives inside the dough. The dough is simply made with flour, water, and lots of butter. Butter helps to give a good consistency and enriches the dough.  The dough is shaped by rolling and cutting them in small circles. Once both filling ingredients and the dough are ready, we start building them. Simply put some meat in the middle, a piece of egg on one side, some raisins and a black olive on the other side, before closing the sides firmly with the help of some water. Before going into the oven, they just need some egg on top and a couple of holes with a fork. Less than an half hour in the preheated oven, they are ready to be devoured nice and warm. In Chile, the empanada with pino is generally served with “pebre”, a condiment made with chopped tomato, onion, cilantro, olive oil, and spicy aji peppers.


Wine Pairing: Malbec

Although Malbec is French and originated from Cahors where it’s known as Cot, Argentina adopted it as their flagship variety. It’s also one of the authorized varieties used in blends in Bordeaux. Argentinian Malbec is characterized with its deep colored full structured red wines, with black fruit aromas, and smoky or spicy when it’s aged in oaks.

The wine matching with our empanadas is a Malbec named Clos de los Siete. It’s a special wine produced in Argentina by Michel Rolland and his viticulturist and winemaker friends from France. It’s made from the grapes which are harvested from seven different vineyards, by choosing the best parcels of these vineyards to obtain the perfect combination. The vineyards are situated in the foothills of Andes, Valle de Uco, in Mendoza. Variety is 100% Malbec, from 2012. It has 14.5% alcohol.

It has a deep ruby color. It needs some decanting, but once it opens, it shows nice red fruit and smoky aromas. On the palate, it has a full body with silky tannins, with complex aromas of sour cherry jam, mature red fruits along with spices such as black pepper and hints of caramel.


When Malbec and empanadas came together on our table, they made a great couple.



All images © 2015 by Wines of Nesli. All rights reserved.

Categories: Wine & Food, WinesTags: ,


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