You can keep the Malvinas – now we have Malbeck

Nørrebro isn’t known for its wine bars, nor is it known for its vast choices of cuisine outside shawarma and kebab. But to combat this, two men are attempting to steer this suburb in a new direction. Sitting just off Elmegade lies Malbeck Vinoteria, a sophisticated yet unpretentious place owned by Hans Hanhr and Patrick Mouritzen.

Malbeck is one of those bars where you donÂ’t feel underdressed or have to act as if you know more about wine than you actually do. ThereÂ’s no typical crowd either. A Monday night saw a couple on a date, two old buddies from school, two girls talking clothes with their gay best friend and an after-work crowd trying to wash away the worries of the day.

Yes the owners are Danish but the wine bar is not. Malbeck Vinoteria is the child of the mothership Malbeck Wine Baron Istedgade that opened in 2006. The Nørrebro bar was a product of the owners’ growing ambition for a wine store combined with a bar. According to Hanhr and Mouritzen, their aim was to create “a place where locals can stop by and pick up a bottle, or drop into have a bite and enjoy a glass of great wine”.

In keeping with the colliding cultures of Nørrebro, Malbeck brings a touch of South America to Denmark. Their focus is on Argentinian wine that is of “very high quality whilst still great value for money”, according to Hanhr.

In order to give you the best representation of the wine, Malbeck has spared no attention to detail. All the wine is served in glasses from the Austrian ‘Riedel’ brand (the uncrowned king of crystal) and stored at a temperate 16 degrees. And they always serve up a good 150ml in every glass.

I would highly recommend the goulat red from the Mendoza province in Argentina made from 100 percent Malbec grapes.  A great drop, this wine has a dark red colour and an aromatic nose of fresh raspberry and cherry. This is an easy drinking Malbec. The tannins are soft and smooth and thereÂ’s a nice acidity that keeps everything together – a good ‘house wineÂ’ to enjoy with any mid-week meal.

I was most surprised though (and I’m not often surprised at bars) to be served a sherry with our tapas. It was cool, light and unexpectedly worked wonderfully with the small tapas treats. The tapas on the other hand involved beautifully thin slices of delicately flavoured prosciutto, melt in your mouth brie – our first take was that it was butter- and a nice helping of rabbit pâté served with diced pears on top.

The risotto here is worth a shot if youÂ’re after an everyday dish with a kick. Including four different kinds of mushrooms, itÂ’s served with parmesan crisps on top. It was neither too rich nor too filling, which is hard to achieve with risotto.

The food menu changes every day so don’t go there expecting to get ‘your usual’. Malbeck has also recently opened for lunch, and for a cheeky 100 kroner you can enjoy two courses.
We washed down our dessert with a glass of port wine. It was rich and fruity and filled the whole mouth. If I didnÂ’t know better, it could have been mistaken for a strong dessert wine. An extremely enjoyable port, nevertheless.

Enjoy a touch of South America in the heart of Nørrebro with Malbeck. It’s relaxed, unassuming and simply ‘grande’.

Malbeck Vinoteria Birkegade 2, Cph N

Open: Mon-Thu 11:30–24:00, Fri–Sat 11.30–01:00, closed Sun

Drink prices 50-125kr; top drink: Goulart Reserva Malbec 2007;

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