Last Friday morning, I walked into Wells in search of a couple of bottles of wine for the weekend, and there it was, dominating the whole front of the store: A gigantic display of wines from Argentina. And not just any wines, but Maipe wines, from Mendoza.
Cooper and I first drank the Maipe Malbec when we were in Chicago over New Years. Like many malbecs, it was super cheap and we loved it. Upon returning home, I found one random big bottle collecting dust at Grand Cru, but that was it. None at Wells, much to our dismay. Until this week.
According to Dave at Wells, the Maipe sales rep was in about two weeks ago. Less than 24 hours after tasting the wines and placing their order, the Wells crew already had one small Maipe display up. A week later, the brand was all over the front of the store - and on sale, too (though a sale that was only announced by email, it wasn't advertised on in-store signage).
Since the display was oddly Malbec-free, Cooper and I tried the Bonarda. It's an Italian grape and a little fruitier than what we normally drink - there was a lot of blueberry - but also some nice pepper. I liked it from the first sip. It took Cooper half a glass for it to grow on him, but it did. And at under $10, it's certainly a decent deal.
As the weekend progressed, we realized we weren't the only ones who'd noticed the Maipe. Jen and Bill, who'd shared the Grand Cru bottle with us, were equally as excited. Jen bought the Malbec rose to try later (I'm sure I'll be drinking some of that once rose season rolls around again). And when we arrived at Alicia and Mike's wine tasting Friday night (more on that later), Kyle had brought a bottle of Maipe as his white wine (I can't remember the grape).
It seems unlikely that Maipe has reached this tipping point just in the five mile radius around my house, and with my friends. It must be hitting the big time everywhere. So for that, it earns a "trendy" tag.
(As an aside, while at Wells, I was talking to Dave about how affordable all the Argentinian wines are and he mentioned that they're all tied to the American dollar, so they're not affected by shifts in exchange rate, like European wines are. Of COURSE. I learn something new every time I walk in that store.)