Spicy Empanadas: Torrontes from Argentina


This is another classic example of the old saying “if it grows together, it goes together”. Argentina’s most popular white wine, Torrontes Riojano can be a wine of intense florality and tropical fruit on the nose reminiscent of Viognier, but a body that is similar to Pinot Griggio and Sauvignon Blanc. It is the perfect Spring time wine, but can be drank at anytime during the year especially on occasions where spicy food is on the table.

Enter the Argentine spicy culinary tradition, the empanada. The empanada is orginally of European descent as it was served as a quick hearty dish for those on the go or hard at work. Due to the colonization of Latin America by the Spaniards, this Galician delicacy has been  transformed in Argentina as more of a dish best enjoyed at parties as an appetiezer and even as a main course at festivals. The empanada, which is a stuffed dough pocket similar to the calzone, can be stuffed with almost any kind of meat imaginable as well as vegetables and even fruit. The white wine Torrontes is a natural pair for this dish especially when it is seasoned with spicy chiles, black pepper, and cumin. The florality and peachy character of this wine tame any heat and its butter like viscosity compliments the richness of the fried dough of the empanada.


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