Malbec Wine Guide- Taste, Characteristics, How to Serve & Best Brands

Originated in the Bordeaux region of France, Malbec wine, also known as cot is extracted from iconic grapes and is now a signature red wine of Argentina. Slightly higher in the alcohol content, this red wine exhibits flavors of juicy red and purple fruits like plum and black cherry.

Let’s check out the various characteristics of Malbec wine.

Alcohol Content of Malbec

Higher in alcohol content, Malbec ranges between 13-14% alcohol. This amount is at par with other wines like merlot, chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon.

If the quality of the bottle is really good such as from Argentina, it tends to be heavy on tannins, which gives a feel of dry mouth and less smooth on the palate.

Malbec Taste Profile

The overall flavor depends largely on the area the grapes grow in. Malbec from Argentina has a noticeable different taste than that produced in France.

Malbec is known for its fruity and strong flavors such as:

  • Coffee
  • Molasses
  • Leather
  • Black Pepper
  • Dark Fruits- Black Cherry, Pomegranate, Plum, Raspberry, Blackberry, Blueberry & Raisin
  • Gravel
  • Tobacco
  • Cocoa

Regardless of the taste profile, pretty much all Malbec’s are full bodied and have medium tannins and acidity.

Is Malbec Sweet or Dry?

Malbec is considered to be dry to moderately dry, which means Malbec has a slight sweet taste to it. It makes Malbec wine consist very little residual sugar, making it not a dessert but rather a dinner wine.

Should Malbec be Chilled?

While we talk about perfect temperatures of serving wine, it is best to serve Malbec just a little lower than room temperature.

The perfect temperature to serve it is between 59 to 64 degrees Celsius. To reach this temperature, the wine bottle should be placed in the refrigerator (which is generally set at around 35 degrees) and should be left for at least 30 minutes, and then the bottle is good to go.

Serving Malbec Perfectly

For a wine connoisseur, wine just isn’t a drink. It’s a complete affair. Each wine requires its own glass, temperature and occasion.

Malbec is one of those wines which has its own character, therefore, its serving should also be done properly.

Malbec’s character being a bold wine with strong, intense aromas, Malbec does not require a large bowl glass. It can be poured in a regular and traditional red wine glass, so you are now free from the hassle of buying special glassware too!

Food Pairings with Malbec

Since Malbec is not too sweet, it pairs well with a lot of smoky and spice rubbed dishes such as-

  • Lean Red meat
  • Sirloin steak
  • Grilled lamb chops
  • Braised pork
  • Rich blue cheese
  • Portobello mushrooms
  • Herbs such as thyme, rosemary, paprika and cumin
  • Charcuterie
  • Gouda or manchego chesses

Best Malbec Brands

Even though Argentina is known to be greatest producer of Malbec, a variety of this wine is produced in regions of France and Australia too.

For example, France produces a tart and more tannic Malbec whereas, Argentina produces a more rich, fruity and floral wine.

Explore the differences between French & Argentinian Malbec Wines.

Here are some highly rated brands from some of the most popular Malbec-growing regions.


  • Bodegas Septime
  • Bodegas Piedra Negra
  • Paul Hobbs
  • Vina Cobos
  • Don Miguel Gascon


  • Chateau Quatre
  • Chateau du Cedre


  • Vinaceous Wines


  • Boatique Winery
  • Eighty-Four Wines

Hope this article gave you an insight into the Malbec wines. Keep exploring and tasting.

Know the different serving variations for wine.

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