I had a glass of this today, just before dinner, just because the thought of imbibing the essence of two of my favourite grapes, in the same glass, was suddenly too tempting for me to wait upon the roasted lemon and black pepper chicken wings glazing in the oven. I've been coddling two bottles of this on my rack, a 2007 and a 2008 and I thought it was time to open the 2007.

I have this friend who annoyingly insists that I am an aesthete and that my true addiction is beauty, not  a certain deliciously dishevelled, dark haired, dark eyed Hollywood A-lister, who is merely one of an unending line of symptoms. Once in a while, something like this wine comes along and even more chaffingly, proves her, right; before I even took a taste of this, its mesmerising garnet shade and crystal clarity took my breath away.

The first sip revealed dark fruit- plums, black cherries and a whisper of blackberries. The second lingering taste brought a hint of anise and candy, I'd say liquorice. On the whole, I found it almost seductively velvety though not terribly distinctive or complicated but still sufficiently textured to prevent boredom and possessing more than expected finesse for its very modest price tag.  Once again Argentina has proven its mastery when it comes to handling the Malbec grape and offering wine drinkers value for money. I would have preferred a tiny bit more acidity and less sweetness, but at this price, I wouldn't get into too much of a snit. Perfect for a modest dinner at home or when you just feel like a glass of red on any given evening.

I did try it with the roasted wings and a salad of avocados and mixed leaves tossed in a mild vinaigrette. Quite wonderful. Can't wait to see what the 2008 will taste like, next year.

SGD 15.95 at Cold Storage and Shop N Save.