Top Alternative Argie Gifts for Christmas

(Photo by blfotografia)

Gift giving can be hard for some and tricky for others, thankfully, travelling is a great opportunity to purchase creative and unique presents. Typical gifts from Argentina include delicious dulce de leche, mates, tango music and wine, but there is a lot more! Below are our picks for this years Argie Christmas list and you can find more suggestions from last year’s Christmas here.

Gabriela Horvat jewelry: Those who are staying at the hotel have surely noticed the stunning designs by this contemporary Argentine jeweler that are displayed in the hotel lobby. The artistic combination of modern forms with typical materials such as silver and knits make these pieces ideal present candidates. Plus, you can purchase them at the hotel.

Dotta Filetes: Filete Porteño is an Argentine decorative painting style that is typical in the world of tango and nostagic Buenos Aires. Dotta Filetes has incorporated that style to make traditional mates decorated with artful flowers, as well as other objects including shoe shiner’s boxes,, platters, and more in this truly local decorative style. Find their products here.

Fluffy sheep skin slippers: for those who are returning to the northern hemisphere, these slippers will make winter all the cozier sans the cold toes. They are available at stores that sell regional products and probably at a discount price since they are out of season in Argentina.  You can also contact the people at Tacún who specialize in leather and sheep skin items. For those who will be staying in the hot weather, the fresh alternatives are alpargatas, which are comfy fresh shoes with jute soles (Paez has some colorful modern options.)

On the culinary front:

(Photo by AussieGold)

Traditional gifts regarding food and drink from Argentine would typically include dulce de leche, Havanna alfajores, and a good Malbec, all great choices, however don´t overlook these alternative picks:

Regional Alfajores from Cordoba filled with quince jam or Tucumán alfajores that are filled with meringue and cane sugar. (find our top pick of Argie alfajores with links to where to find them in BA here).

Torrontés wine is the typical white Argie counterpart to Malbec and is just as stellar a gift for cheery toasters.

Local gourmet olive oil is also gaining quite a reputation. Find the best brands of Argentine olive oil  here.

Argentine Wine at Vinos y Bodegas 2012

(Photo by longhorndave)

The Vinos y Bodegas 2012 expo kicks off today at La Rural and promises a full four days of top Argentine wines. The event, which will take place from 6pm-10pm until the 15th of September, is one of the biggest wine fairs in Latin America.

Some of the highlights this year include a new sector that specializes in limited edition and sparkling wines,  a wine bar, wine tasting events, olive oil tastings, a cooking show and different thematic wine tours including a Malbec, Torrontes, Syrah, Crianza, Non traditional varietals, Sweet and Sparking wines, and white and rosé. Additionally there will be contests, live art and more surprises!

Tickets to the expo cost 120pesos and  include a complimentary glass of wine. They can either be purchased at La Rural box office or online here. Av. Santa Fe 4201, Palermo.

This Week in Buenos Aires

Tuesday

(Photo by riccardobruni)

The Tango Festival and World Championship is in full swing! Don’t miss the Piazzolla exhibit at the Centro de Exposiciones, or any of the concerts and shows! Find the full program here.

In the evening, save your place at the Olive Oil tasting being organized by Mondo Oliva.  More information here.

Later on the African-Spanish artist Buika, considered to be one of the “50 Great Voices” will be staging a show at the Gran Rex theatre starting at 9pm. Tickets here.

Wednesday

(Photo by Benjamin Pender)

Fundación PROA in La Boca is showcasing two new exhibits. The first features Argentine and Brazilian contemporary pop art, realism and political art, and the second is a collection of works by Roberto Aizenberg and younger artists who have been inspired by him.  Av. Pedro de Mendoza 1929, La Boca.

The renowned Hungarian/British classical pianist András Schiff will be presenting the following pieces at the Colón Theatre: Ludwig van Beethoven: Sonata No 30 in E major, Op. 109, Bela Bartók: Sonata (1926), Leos Janácek: Sonata (1905), Franz Schubert: Sonata in G major, D. 894.  22nd of August at 8.30pm. Tickets here.

Thursday

(Photo by emiliokuffer)

Stop by the Centro Cultural Recoleta and check out some of the photography exhibits that are being displayed as part of the Festival de la Luz (light festival). The festival takes place throughout August and September around the country.

Book your place at Fierro Hotel’s Thursday wine tasting and sample some great Argentine wines, chosen by the president of the Argentine Sommelier Association Andres Rosberg and in-house Sommelier Martin Bruno. Tastings, which include special tapas from Hernán Gipponi Restaurant, cost 25 USD per person and are limited to 7 people. Soler 5862, Palermo. 3220-6800.

Friday

(Photo by murilocardoso)

Book your place for the full parrilla experience with Parrilla Tour. These filling excursions, which take place in San Telmo on Fridays, will surely leave you satisfied.

Later on the Jamaican Ska and Reggae band, The Skatalites, will be playing a live concert at Teatro Vorterix, the new concert hotspot in town! Tickets here.

Saturday and Sunday

(Photo by Flodigrip’s world)

Remember to make a reservation for Hernán Gipponi’s unique must-try brunch, served on Saturdays and Sundays! Soler 5862, Palermo Hollywood.  3220-6800.  info@hgrestaurant.com.ar.

On Sunday there will be a special tango-dancing program at the Centro de Exposiciones from 2.30pm onwards. More information here.

Football fans can also enjoy a River Plate vs. San Lorenzo match at the Club Atlético River Plate on Sunday. www.bsas4u.com offers a special River Plate tour that includes a bilingual guide, transfers to and from the hotel and tickets to the game.  Book here.

Find a ten day weather forecast here.

Argentine Olive Oil

(Photo by riccardo bruni)

Over the past twelve years Argentina has slowly been building its name in the international olive oil industry. In fact, it is currently the first olive oil producer in the Americas and the 10th  in the world! Much like it did with wine,  it is progressively building its notoriety, and is producing top quality first cold pressed extra virgin olive oils, as well as exploring with different varieties such as Arbequina (typical of the Spanish Catalan and Aragon regions), Frantoio (originally from Tuscany), Manzanilla (also from Spain), and Arauco (which some consider the Malbec of olives).

The main regions of olive oil production are the wine areas of Mendoza, Catamarca, La Rioja and San Juan, and also, on a smaller scale, Cordoba province.   It is the wineries themselves that have introduced these delectable and nutrient packed oils into the market, and also into the tourism sector. Just a few weeks ago, Mendoza inaugurated it’s Ruta del Olivo (olive oil route) where olive oil tastings, spa treatments, and the chance of visiting olive plantations and participating in the harvest and production of oils, are offered to enthusiastic visitors.

In Buenos Aires, boutique wine stores sell these new Argentine delicacies. www.mondoliva.com has an online store with reviews by olive oil specialists, and offers olive oil tastings in the city; a must for picky palates!