Friday, August 10, 2007

Wines of Argentina

Before speaking about the cover I selected today, let me tell you a small anecdote. I work for an international company, present everywhere in the world. Everyday, I interact with my colleagues in USA, China, India, Germany, Romania. This is a fantastic experience. Regularly, our management tries to “help” us to deal with this multi-cultural environment, by providing tools and trainings to teach us how to behave in front of other cultures. Recently they put in place a website where you can learn all sort of tips about the life in other countries. I checked it very quickly for the moment, and of course I checked what they were saying for French people. The main fact that is reported in the first page of the site is : Food is one of the great passions of French people ! And you see a picture with a plate of cheese, a bottle and a glass of wine. Interesting to see that we are presented mainly as food and wine lovers! But finally, this is not very far from the reality ;-) Personally I enjoy good food and good wine.

So wine is the subject of today. I’m not a big specialist of wines, but I really enjoy having a glass of wine with a good meal together with good friends. Even though I really enjoy French wines, I’m not the sort of French guy who thinks that only France is making good wines. I’m very interested in discovering the products of other countries. I have experienced already wines from Australia, Italy, Spain, New Zealand, USA, Romania and even China !

Argentina has become and important country in wine making. And this leads us to the cover of today. It is franked with a souvenir sheet of two stamps. This sheet belongs to a set of four souvenir sheets issued on the 3rd of March 2006 to celebrate four of the main wine regions of Argentina : San Juan, Salta, Rio Negro and Mendoza. Each sheet contains two stamps: one picturing a scenery of the area, and one picturing a step in the wine making. The souvenir sheet on this cover is the one dedicated to Mendoza. The wine type produced in this area is Malbec. Malbec is a red type of wine. This is a dominant red variety of French wines of Cahors (for those who know them). The Malbec grapes have been introduced in Argentina by French agricultural engineer Michel Pouget in 1868. This is a grapes which is now widely planted in Argentina and has become one of the premier wine variety of Argentina. The Argentinean Malbec produces a wine that is softer and less tannic than the French Cahors.

It is a pity that the souvenir sheet has been slightly spoiled during the transport. But still it gives an impressive cover.Do you like wines ? Does your country produce wine ? I would be interested to hear about it.

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