Argentine Wine Hack: Make Bad Wine Better
While traveling in Argentina for 3 months, I visited Rosario, an off-the-tourist-path but major metropolitan city. Rosario was beautiful — on the river, large parks, pretty buildings, amazingly friendly people. In some ways it offered a better glimpse of Argentine city life than Buenos Aires. (See also: Live Like a Local: How to Tap Into the Local Scene While Traveling)
At lunch on my first day in Rosario I ordered from the menu of the day. For $5 U.S. I could enjoy an appetizer, entree, dessert, and wine or soda.
Given that it was lunch time and I was sill unsure of Argentine customs, I looked around the dining room to see what everyone else was drinking. They all had half liter carafes of house wine. So I ordered wine.
But, I noticed that everyone also had something else on their table.
Soda water. In a fancy soda siphon.
When my carafe of wine was served, soda water came with it.
I carefully glanced around the room to see what others were doing with their soda water. They were putting ice in a wine glass, adding soda water, and mixing in red wine. Following their lead, I mixed my wine with soda water.
On the blistering hot day, the homemade wine spritzer was extremely refreshing. But, the soda water wine mixture had plenty of other benefits. The otherwise mediocre house wine had some spunk to it. And the biggest benefit was that the wine lasted longer than it otherwise would have because of the extra liquid. Presumably this also prevents you from getting drunk at the important business lunches many Argentinians were at.
This summer if you open a bottle of wine — red or white — that just isn't all that great, add some soda water to it. You'll be pleasantly surprised.