Between Meals: Mendoza

A somewhat sleepy, smallish city, Mendoza is the capital of the Argentine wine world. It's vying for the Bay Area for my favorite place on earth... absurdly cheap wine-tasting, gorgeous scenery, delicious food, exciting bike rides and a relaxing nightlife scene. It is truly a magical place.

Especially if you have such lovely travel companions! The placard says, "Virgin of the grape."

The town of Mendoza is built around a series of plazas, all of which are lovely (though someone MUST tell them that dyed-blue water isn't fooling anyone)

We biked to two wineries, a restaurant and a chocolate/liqueur factory, which you can see on this map if you scroll down to Maipรบ.

First we took a tour of the La Rural winery, which included a lot of giant steel silos and clumps of fermenting grape skins...mmmm. After lunch at Almacen del Sur, we headed to Tempus Alba for a "tasting," which, as you can see below, was actually 12 FULL glasses of wine for the four of us.

As if to confirm that Mendoza is truly a utopia, on the bus ride home, we chatted with an inquisitive and cherubic 5-year-old named Gimena, whose head-to-toe pink crochet outfit matched her rosy cheeks. Stupefyingly beautiful and amazingly fun, it was a day I'll never forget.

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