It appears that the best things in life come in pairs, Lennon and McCartney, Alcohol and Dance Floors, Bangers and Mash… the list is endless. Lunchtime Monday 1stAugust 2011 saw witness to a partnership that even Cilla Black would be proud of, not England’s hero’s Broad and Bresnan, but the mouth-watering combination of Test Match Cricket and a quality bottle of wine. Now let’s stay focused, this article isn’t about leather and willow, more about changing the way you enjoy yourself at the next Concert, Musical, Sporting jamboree that you risk the weather or your wallet for.

No longer do you need to settle for a warm glass of cheap tasting Blossom Hill. In fact would you believe that you could get a decent bottle of decanted grapes whilst still sitting in the cheap seats? (Still priced at £40, thanks Dad.) Introducing the Wondering Wine Company. These happy campers set up shop in a distinctive sky blue VW vintage van, offering an assortment of reds, roses, whites and all things sparkly, should the moment arise. As the Wondering Wine Company is a subsidiary of respected wine merchants, Bibbendum, the quality of wine on offer was strong, the service was friendly and approachable, and the added extras of a solid plastic decanter, suitable drinking utensils and charming carrying box are an additional bonus.

As the “old man” refuses to dabble with the white grapes, our weapons of choice are whittled down to, a Valdivieso Chilean Merlot, Spy Valley Pinot Noir from New Zealand or Dad’s choice, a meaty Argento, Malbec from Argentina. After a fierce game of rock, paper, scissors the Malbec came out top. However, the price you pay for enjoying a relaxing vino in exhilarating surroundings isn’t cheap at £21.00 for the Argento Malbec, which Majestic sell for £6.99 and Tesco for a £5.00 summer deal. But comparisons to those over inflated restaurant wine menus prices put it into perspective, so you can either suck it up, or pay £4.00 for a pint of Fosters/Coke, which you either spilt or is predominantly froth.





With the sound of bat and ball, a sunburnt nose and a couple of pork pies for accompaniment it was time to sample our Argentinean tipple. A dark violet, vimto colour sloshed around our upmarket plastic glasses, releasing intense black fruit and plum perfume. The first sip gives you a large jolt as the full bodied Melbec attacks your taste buds with some force.  This once overused and partially unappreciated grape first came to prominence in Bordeaux, but fell out of fashion quicker than yoyos and myspace. However Melbec has become as Argentinean as Diego Maradona’s right boot (or hand) in it’s spiritual home of Mendoza which rests at the foot of the Andes, providing constant irrigation to the desert like climate.

The second slurp allows the palate to become accustomed from the larger-shandy and begins to exhibit all of those blackberry, plum and raspberry flavours, complementing the clean crisp oaky edge like a well mannered son in law. This oaky texture derives from the 3 month oak barrel aging process which occurs after the stainless style fermentation, fusing both contemporary and habitual wine crafting techniques. The silky tannins, dark chocolate and vanilla linger around to provide a more-ish aftertaste which retreats in the back of your mouth until England’s next wicket. Argento Bodegas fuses the old with the new, using a variety of techniques to develop a first-class quality lower end wine. Admirers of bulky Bordeauxs and strong Shirazs this should defiantly be next on your to do list especially for a midweek steak night, a cheeky pork pie or a tempting nibble of dark chocolate…perfection.



Wondering Wines and Argento have a similar ethos, both searching for fresh methods to uncork a new wine demographic, forever endeavouring to bridge the gap of innovation and tradition which for any grape aficionados, means exciting times ahead. So make sure at the next sporting event or a chic “glamping” music festival, keep your eyes and mouths open for a little blue van stocked full of wondering wines.

Until Next Time…

Phil Bailey (WinePunks)