Thursday, April 29, 2010

I want to swim in a river of malbec!

Argentina Opens the Tap for Malbec

FOR the last few years the wine business has been riddled with dire warnings and disastrous portents. In the United States and around the world, producers have struggled with the bad economy and the sluggish market. One slender segment, seemingly alone, has not only weathered the storm but also prospered: malbec from Argentina.

How can this be? Easy. It’s the right sort of wine at the right kind of price.

Argentina is pumping out a river of malbec, and it has been flying off the shelves at an astounding rate. Since 2005, shipments of Argentine malbec to the United States have quintupled, to nearly 3.15 million cases in 2009 from about 628,000 cases in 2005, according to figures from Wines of Argentina, a trade group.

While Argentine malbecs can run to much more than $100 a bottle, those aren’t the ones flowing out of the stores. Sales have been pushed upward by demand for inexpensive bottles.

Unlike European wines, whose prices have been driven up by the weakness of the dollar in relation to the euro, Argentine malbecs have benefited from the strength of the dollar against the Argentine peso. With prices remaining stable, many Americans see Argentine malbecs as great values.

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