Top countries producing this wine:
It's easy to see why Malbec has exploded in popularity recently. The grape displays lush fruit, bold spice, and a smooth mouth-feel, plus it's food-friendly and available at a wide range of prices from "everyday" to "cellar me."
The grape's traditional home has been western France. One of six grapes permitted in Bordeaux, where it is blended, often in small amounts with Cabernet and Merlot, Malbec is more commonly found in Cahors, where it makes a larger proportion of the blend. Wine Master Jancis Robinson refers to French Malbec as a more "rustic" version of Merlot. Generally these wines have more earth and minerality than their New World counterparts, but with softer tannins and lower acidity than many other French reds.
By and large, however, Malbec's new home is in Argentina, where it dominates viticulturally. Here the grape is made into single varietal wines, as well as blended with its classic partners Cab and Merlot. The Argentine versions tend to show more fruit than the French, with a more velvety texture, as a general rule.
Malbecs pair beautifully with steaks and other red meats, especially slow-roasted and full-flavored dishes. Hearty mushroom-based vegetarian meals also work well.