My latest story, novella MALBEC MAYHEM, releases tomorrow!
Restaurant owner and chef Alex Montoya grows Malbec grapes on land he co-owns with a less-than-trustworthy business partner. His new girlfriend, Sofia Pincelli, needs those grapes to show her father she has what it takes to make award-winning wine—and save the reputation and finances of the Pincelli winery. When the Malbec grapes go missing…there’s mayhem.
A few people have asked me about Malbec wine since the varietal isn’t as well known as reds such as cabernet, merlot or pinot noire. Malbec originated in southwest France and served mainly as a blending grape to enhance other red wines’ flavor. (It’s one of the six grapes allowed in the blend of red Bordeaux wine.) Susceptible to weather and insects, it was nearly wiped out in Europe when frost and root rot killed most of the vines. Fortunately for us, the grapes found a new home in Argentina. Most of the Malbec on the market today still originates there.
Recently, vintners in Washington state have planted the grapes and found it thrives in eastern Washington’s higher elevations and dry climate. These vineyards have the hot days and cool nights necessary for the grapes to produce more acidity. That acidity creates great tasting and long lasting vintages.
A crowd-pleaser—easy to drink, with a ton of juicy fruit flavors—Malbec is becoming one of the most popular red wines on the American market. Some people love to call Malbec a working man’s Merlot, as the wine has many of the same characteristics that make Merlot easy to drink, with an added spice and acidity that makes it seem less polished.
I loved this line I found on a wine buying website: “Malbec is the guy who rides the Harley to Merlot’s guy that drives the Vespa.”
Have you tried Malbec? What’s your favorite red wine?
~ Malbec Mayhem ~
Successful restaurateur Alex Montoya’s charmed life has hit a snag. His trusted business partner turned out to be not exactly trustworthy, and Alex could be facing jail time over some of his partner’s shady financial deals. As if that weren’t bad enough, creditors are calling in loans he didn’t know he had and he’s desperate to prove his innocence before all his businesses are repossessed.
After a career-building stint in Napa Valley, Sofia Pincelli has returned home to eastern Washington to take over the family’s winery. Running the family business, however, means dealing with her ailing father’s continued micro-management—and his disapproval of Alex. Her father’s condemnation of Alex’s rumored involvement in his business partner’s schemes runs so deep, it threatens Alex and Sofia’s blossoming romance…along with the Pincelli family’s signature red wine. Sofia needs Alex’s crop of Malbec grapes to show her father she has what it takes to make award-winning wine—and save the reputation and finances of the Pincelli winery.
When the Malbec grapes go missing, Alex and Sofia must join forces to find the fruit before it spoils—or risk destroying both of their businesses and their hearts.