December is HOT in Argentina. But it’s still holiday time south of the equator – and that means lots of food. Amazing food. Traditions differ from family to family, so dishes (and recipes) vary. But here are a few tasty items that commonly appear on Argentinian tables over the festive season.


Ensalada Rusa. Yep, that translates to Russian Salad, but it's an Argentinian mainstay. For good reason. Traditionally made with four ingredients – carrots, peas, potatoes and mayonnaise – it's simplicity personified. It's not unheard of to take this humble salad to loftier heights – especially during the holiday season – so meats or seafood are among the additions you might see. You can't go wrong with the classic Gascón Malbec here. And if you choose to add smoked meats to the four-ingredient base, you'll definitely want our Malbec. It pairs exceptionally well with smoky flavors.


Vitel Thoné. This cold dish is hugely popular on Argentinian holiday tables. A creamy sauce of anchovies, mayonnaise and tuna adorns thin slices of veal. Briny capers make an appearance adding to the bold flavors of this Italian-rooted dish. That boldness lends itself to our Colosal Malbec Red Blend. With its epic structure, it handles the biggest of flavors.


Piononos. These treats – also served cold – pull double duty. Sometimes they're sweet, other times savory. For both versions, a sweet, thin cake forms the outside. Then different fillings are spread on and the cake is rolled up around it. When it's sliced, the presentation is beautiful, with the filling exposed in a swirling pattern. The savory can be anything from ham- or chicken-based fillings, lending a nice contrast to the sweet cake wrapping. Sweet versions abound, but none more popular than dulce de leche on the inside. With multiple components, the fillings can be pleasantly complex in flavor. Our Reserva Malbec answers the call with its many layers and dimensions.


Matambre Arrollado. What Argentinian meal would be complete without some beef? Matambre Arrollado is a dish in which flank steak is butterflied, filled with a variety of ingredients, then rolled up and cooked. Of course, this being Argentina, beef is likely to make an appearance in its most simple form: fresh off the grill served up with chimichurri sauce.


Desserts. Abounding with fruit, pan dulce is a go-to sweet treat. Bread pudding and nougat are also common finds on the dessert table. We've discussed it before, but Malbec is a great choice – even for dessert. Just so long as that dessert isn't too sweet. Do some tasting beforehand to make sure it works. (It's a fun trial and error: drinking Malbec in the name of finding the right dessert to go with it.)


Other popular holiday items are the classic Waldorf salad and tomates rellenos, tomatoes that have been stuffed with rice or tuna. Many Argentinian holiday dishes are served cold, which is refreshing during the hot weather. But of course, with the party going, that parrilla will be on full blast pulling asado duty. Just another reason to pour some Gascón and say ¡Felices Fiestas!

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