Esquinas De Argento, El Almacen and Algonquin

Posted on October 6, 2014

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It has been awhile since I last wrote a post. I must confess that I hit fatigue with the schedule I was keeping. I must come out with it that with this blog I keep two demanding jobs. And just to take two weeks vacation, I had to ramp all the work and compensate before and after I left. Such was a crazy busy month that I knew I had to let one go. Now that I feel like myself again, I think I will overcompensate and blog what I have been up to this past few weeks. And it now starts with Esquinas de Argento.

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A little over a week ago, I was invited for the launch of Esquinas De Argento at LCBO. That launch gave me a chance to check out El Almacen where the private launch took place. Just a little west of Ossington and Queen St. West, I was greeted with a small bistro and a sign that told me I was in the right place. After getting through reception, I of course gravitated to the bar to sample the wines for the launch: Esquinas De Argento’s Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Grigio. Most of the time, I would opt for the white wine but I must admit, I am starting to develop a liking for the red. As I read the description, I see the reason I was partial to it. Apparently, it was a wine with notes of chocolate, plums and cherries. Three notes that I definitely partial to. Pity I took the car with me and I didn’t get to finish the wine I was handed to taste.

I compensated my not being able to drink with tasting the food catered by El Almacen: beef empanadas, Torta Pascualina, chorizo with chimichurri sauce and for the sweet tooth, Dulce de Leche Alfajores. Just coming back recently from Barcelona, my favourite would naturally be the chorizo (insert big smile here). And the sweet Dulce de Leche Alfajores was quite sinful. If I was not mindful about my sugar intake, I think could readily consume three in a row.

As I was leaving, I was happily surprised that I get to bring home a bottle of wine. I of course opted for the red and thought it would be a good addition to the dinner I was planning to cook at my annual road trip at Algonquin. As I was prepping my stew, it suddenly hit me that I could add the Cabernet Sauvignon in. My impromptu moment of genius received glowing reviews for the savoury stew that came out of it. It was so hearty a good meal that was extra special as I was sharing it with good friends that night in Algonquin.

If you wish to try it the beef stew with the Esquinas de Argento Cabernet Sauvignon, it was quite simple a recipe really:

1 kg of stewing beef (opt for beef with good marbling)
pearl onions
garlic
beef bouillon
1 cup Esquinas de Argento Cabernet Sauvignon
1 cup water
(place all ingredients in a stewing pot and cook in a slow simmer for 3 – 4 hours)

Garnish/pairing
Baby carrots (blanched and glazed with sugar and tossed with rosemary)
Butternut squash and sweet potato mash
Garlicky Mushrooms in olive oil garnished with fried sage leaves

I plan to make this stew once again this Thanksgiving weekend in particular for my family. What started in the Esquinas De Argento launch could very well become a mainstay. :)))

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