Before entering this little gem of a wine bar, one has to traverse the colourful and slightly offbeat street that is Istedgade. Despite the fact it’s a street I usually try and avoid, I made the trip down it to discover this delightful Argentinian wine bar.
Retro and stylish without a hint of being too pretentious, Malbeck Winebar is that superb place to natter away to a friend for an hour (or four like I did), while enjoying some of the best red wine South America has to offer.
Unlike the Chilean reds that can often taste a little too acidic, the Malbec grapes grown in Argentina are known for their full-bodied, more sugary flavours as the country receives around 300 days of sun throughout the year. They’re also grown at an altitude of 1000 metres, meaning they mature a lot more slowly than other varieties, which gives them a very rich and round flavour.
I began with a 2008 Enrique Foster Terruño Lunlunta Malbec, which I might add has one of the most stunning bouquets. This drop was gorgeous and full, with an after-taste that increased the enjoyment of the wine ten-fold.
One thing to notice about Malbeck is its attention to detail. We were doted on by a sommelier who had a fantastic knowledge of the regions, the qualities and the processes that make a Malbec grape so special.
The detail was also shown in the wine: each drop was served between 14 and 18 degrees and in the right sized glass, so the wine could breathe and the bouquet was at its best.
And while the focus is on the wine here, there are little nibbling plates with olives, cheese, nuts and bread to satisfy your snaking needs.
The second glass I found myself enjoying was the 2008 Miras Malbec. I daresay this is probably the most popular wine in the house. Compared to the first glass, it had a lot of mineral flavours running through it. This is because (as it was explained to us) this Malbec grows in the south of Argentina in the Patagonia desert region where the soil contains a lot more mineral expressions.
That’s another thing about Malbeck – you can get an education on wine there too. Unlike some wine bars where most people pretend they know more than they do and haphazardly guess where the grapes are grown, here there’s no shame in having a variety of wines and their backgrounds explained.
The final wine I tried was the Benegas Sangiovese from 2008. It was obvious this was not a malbec grape, but rather a sangiovese, as it was in stark contrast to the previous two glasses. It was lighter but not as full-bodied at the first, and I must say it took some time to settle into.
And just like the wine, the atmosphere at Malbeck is rather unique. While you’re enjoying the tastes of far-off lands, you almost feel as if you’ve journeyed back to 1960s Denmark.
There are stairs to sit on, with little wooden boxes that act as tables, and music that sounds like an old-fashioned record player is in full swing. Combine this with low hanging designer lights and you’ve got yourself one cosy little wine bar. (And don’t worry – you won’t be surrounded by too many Vesterbro hipsters.)
And if all that wasn’t enough to have you experience Malbeck for yourself, then perhaps the happy hour will entice you. Running every day between 16:00 and 18:00, all the wines on the menu are half-price.
This is one little gem that’s worth the sometimes wild wander down Istedgade to get to.