My first day in Mendoza could not have been better. I forgot which wines I was tasting, but I will post them here when I get a chance to ask which ones I had, but they were 2 amazing Malbecs from Mendoza.
I was told by my amazing new coworker that the time leading up to the Vendimia in Mendoza is tons of fun - lots of free and cool events going on all the time all around the city.
Well, if last night was any indication, she was right. We went to the Mirador Terraza Municipal, which is the 8th floor rooftop terrace at the municipal building, with viewfinders and other stuff to get an amazing view of the Andes. In the next few weeks, every Thursday night from early January through March 6 will feature a different type of music paired with a different type of wine. The event is free, and comes with a complimentary glass of the specially-chosen wine for the occasion. We were treated to the (extremely strange) sounds of "pop music" by the band Bigote (mustache), and a glass of Tempranillo. As one of my new friends described them, it was as if the lead singer had his underwear pulled up around his shoulders... lol. BUT, it was a rock band with a violinist, so that was pretty sweet. And you can pretty much guarantee that if you're serving free wine, I'm there.
We stayed at the concert until the wine was all packed up and the band was finished, then headed to Sarmiento in search of pizza. We ended up at the aptly-named La Pizza. I had my doubts about the capacity of anyone other than Italians and Italian-Americans making the stuff, but damn, it was pretty effing good. Only one complaint - they put whole olives on the pie... with the pits still inside them. Serious impediment when you're starving at 1030pm (normal dinner time here) and need a cushion for all the vino and cerveza you have been or are about to be drinking. We paired our pizzas with Andes beer. I went home totally contenta with where I was and what I was doing.
For my first real day in a strange new country, today was fantastic. I didn't get lost going to or from work (an improvement from wandering around yesterday for 15 minutes without a map). It was a beautiful 75* on the way to the office, and the walk is mostly in the shade. Then, I realized I'm not going to be very poor here. For example, lunch for me and 2 new friends, consisted of 12 delicious meat, egg, olive & onion-filled empanadas and 2 bottles of Coke Zero from Quiero Mas? for only AR$32. That's $8. And they're not exactly small. In fact, we had 5 leftover for dinner (eaten at the office later on). This is going to be dangerous.
I'll write more about my general impressions of the city when I'm not a day behind and have other things to say. But, so far, I am having an amazing time.