Traditionally, we bring a bright white or a dainty pinot noir to Thanksgiving dinner. But this year, blame it on the chilly mornings, we’re bringing an outspoken red — 90+ 2016 Old Vine Malbec from Argentina (Hannaford, $7.99).
Besides being a wonderful bargain, this is one of those rare, robust malbecs that is both aromatic and elegant. Hand-harvested from century-old vines in the Mendoza region of Argentina, this is a first-rate malbec. Deep purple, tasting of blackberries and plums, it’s aged in French oak for six months and is stronger than Wonder Woman: 14.5 percent alcohol.
What makes 90+ one of the most trusted names in the business is the breathtaking scope of its offerings. From Napa to New Zealand, cabernet to Chianti, 90+ does business with them all. But it’s not like one of those restaurants with 300 items on the menu — all mediocre. The magic is in the 90+ shtick: it’s what is known as a négociant. The company doesn’t own vineyards and cellars. It sends agents out around the world to negotiate (thus the name) the purchase of wines from growers. 90+ then bottles and markets the juice under its own label.
Everyone wins: the grower doesn’t have to bother with bottling, shipping, advertising or much of anything else. Thus he can afford to sell his product to 90+ well below retail. The savings are passed on to you and everyone joins hands and sings.
Speaking of singing, one of the more famous admirers of this very vintage is the great Carly Simon. Surely you remember her 1972 hit, dashed off after downing three glasses of Old Vine Malbec. That’s right … “You’re So Vine.”