Wines of South America

Beautiful assorted of red wines from Argentina and Chile
Beautiful assortment of red wines from Argentina and Chile

Why are you not drinking South American wines?

How often do you drink a wine from South America? The answer for most wine drinkers is probably not at all. I base this on the Top 100 wines sold by in 2019. is the number one online retailer in the U.S. In their top 100 wines sold in 2019, only three came from South America at numbers 43, 45, and 88.

South American wines are under the radar. It is time for you to try wines from Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. They are excellent wines and terrific bargains.

In our Vintage Wine Tasting Club, each member suggested a wine to try from South America. Here are the wines we tasted and their ratings.

What we tasted

  • Jim C compared two Malbec wines and recommends both. He likes the Alamos Malbec (Total Wine $8.47) and the Kirkland Signature Malbec (Costco $6.99), both 2018 vintage. He gives the edge to the Kirkland Malbec, “more depth to the flavors of the Kirkland.” Both are delicious wines and excellent Best Buy Wines.
  • Joe F recommends the 2018 Panilonco Merlot/Malbec at Trader Joe’s. The Panilonco is a Trader Joe’s wine exclusive. For those shopping for very inexpensive wine, this is one that drinks nicely. 86 Points. The price is $3.99 at the Millbrae TJ store.
  • George highly recommends the Catena Appellation Paraje Altamira Malbec 2017. He and his wife had this with Baby Back Ribs, a perfect red wine match. 90 Points and $21.95 from Weimax Wines.
  • Bruce found the 2017 Bouza Tannat from Uruguay at Weimax Wines. This is a big wine, with lots of bold flavors. The Tannat grape brings a big mouthful of wine. $21.95 is the price at Weimax. Bruce says to add a Tannat wine to your wine cellar.
  • Mike recommends the Tapiz Cabernet Sauvignon Alta Collection. “I am impressed with the supple texture that flows from front to back of the palate. For the money, $14.93, this is a top-value Malbec. I give it a solid 90 Points.”
  • Jim A went to his local Grocery Outlet on Geary Street in S.F. and took a chance on the Marchigue Santa Marta Reserva Red Blend from Chile for $6. It is a good wine, but he will not likely buy it again.
  • Ray had less luck at his Grocery Outlet in Pacifica. The Chamuyo Malbec from Mendoza was mediocre, and he gave it 85 points. $6.99. Perhaps the Grocery Outlet is a crapshoot in the inexpensive wine department.
  • My recommendation is an all-time favorite wine, the Catena Malbec. This Malbec is their number one selling wine, number 43 on’s top-selling wines. The wine is beautifully made, vintage after vintage, and sells widely for $15 to $16. 90 Points.

More on Argentina and Chile Wineries

Vintage Wine Taster Mike and I, along with our spouses, visited Argentina and Chile in 2009. We were able to visit and tour several wineries. The wineries have state-of-the-art wine cellars, top-notch winemakers, and the ideal climate and soils for growing many varietals of wine grapes. We were very impressed and, since then, have sought out the many great wines from South America. They are excellent and inexpensive.

Argentina is all Malbec and Bonarda wines. We see many Malbec Argentine wines, and most of these are in the $10 to $15 category. Bonarda is a favorite grape among Argentinians but, unfortunately, the grape has never taken off here. The Argentine wine region of Mendoza is on the eastern side of the Andes Mountains. It is a desert environment. It is also high in altitude.

Over the Andes Mountains to the coast is the great wine region of Chile. Carmenere is the classic Chilean grape, but today Chile is known for many other varieties of wine. The white wine grape, Sauvignon Blanc, is very popular. In the red wine area, Chile is now making first-class Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Okay, let’s get to the wines that are loved by the Vintage Wine Tasters!

Be sure to let us know if you have a wine from South America to enjoy.


  1. Hoosier wino says

    Thanks for highlighting South American wines. There are some excellent wines and bargains to be found. Concur on the Catena wines. They are a top producer. Tried the Kirkland Malbec but must have got a bad bottle as I found it undrinkable. The Tannat is indeed a lot of wine. Might work with beef stew on a cold night.

  2. Great post. πŸ˜ŽπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

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