Guide to South American Wines and Pairings
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Guide to South American Wines and Pairings

Argentine wines. Chilean wines. South American wines.Wine from Uruguay. Argentinian Cabernet Sauvignon. Argentinian Syrah. Argentinian tempranillo. Argentinian Malbec.Chilean Merlot. Chilean Carmenere. Chilean Sauvignon Blanc. Chilean Sauvignon Gris.Tannat wine from Uruguay. Brut Millesime from Brazil. Blanco de Blancos from Peru.

Grapes for wine production are grown throughout the continent of South America, with Argentina, Chile and Uruguay being the three largest producers.

South American wines have been around since the mid 1500's when Spanish Conquistadors brought cuttings of their favourite vines over to the new world with them.

Today, these New World Wine producers are amongst some of the largest producers in the world, with Argentina ranking as the 5th largest wine producer in the world, Chile ranking as the 9th largest producer in the world and Uruguay considered the second most notable region for Tannat grapes after it's original French birthplace. 

Below is a short guide to some of South America's most popular or famous wines, currently available around the world, today.



Argentina's main wine producing areas are:


San Juan.

La Rioja.



Rio Negro.

Buenos Aries.

Where they grow a selection of top class grapes of Spanish and Italian origin.

Their most popular white wine grapes are the Pedro Gimenez and Torrontes varieties which produce excellent Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Tempranillo wines.

Their most popular red grapes are the Malbec and Bonarda varieties.

Their number one selling wine is a French style Malbec with an alcohol volume of 13.5 %, a full bodied, fruity red with a velvety texture, ideal for serving with steak and other strong tasting red meats.


Chile's main wine producing areas are;




Valle central.

Itata Valley.

Where they grow 20 grape varieties of Spanish and French origin.

Top of Chile's list for their black grape varieties is the Pais, which is made into an excellent Merlot, which can rival any of the traditional Bordeaux varieties.

Chile also produces an excellent Carmenere red wine from grapes grown from a rarely planted Bordeaux varietal.

Chile's success story has to be it's award winning, white grape, Sauvignon Blanc variety, which it is claimed, comes from vines grafted from the original plants first introduced to Chile during the 1550's, making this particular Savignon Blanc the purest of it's type in the world.

Their top selling wine is the Sauvignon Gris with an alcohol volume of 14 %, a light, fruity ( peach ) / spicy ( ginger ) white, which is ideal served with fish dishes, salads and desserts.


Uruguay's main grape growing region is Deportivo Canelones, situated just outside it's capital city, Montivideo, where they grow the world's second most notable variety of Tannat grapes. These dark black grapes produce a bold, fruity and full bodied wine with subtle undertones of blackcurrent and liquorice.

With an alcohol volume of 14.5 %, this fine, Port like wine is best served with red meat or game.

It is also considered one of the world's healthiest wines,due to the many health giving properties that it contains.


Brazil's Brut Millesime is a crisp, dry, fruity ( citrus ), sparkling white, produced in the true Champagne style. 

Peru's Blanco de Blancos is a blend of Sauvignon, Viognier and Chardonnay grapes, making a fresh, fruity ( apricot ), very dry, highly acidic,strong tasting, white wine with a moderate 13 % alcohol volume.

This wine is best served chilled either as an aperitif or at the end of a meal with strong, mature cheese or fruit.


For more information about South American wines and pairings, visit these websites;

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Comments (3)

LOVE the Chilean wines!

Great article Dee, thank you and best wishes to you and yours in 2011.

Brilliant. I tend to drink European wines, but I do like a bit of South African shiraz. Great insight which inspires me to explore these varieties.