Terrazas de los Andes, Malbec 2004. $9. Find this wine
Polyphenols, they’re all the rage. No, they’re not a chemical additive dumped into wines by industrial wine makers; instead they are chemical compounds, high in antioxidants, that may fight cancer. Since polyphenols occur naturally in red wines, enthusiasts and the producers of red wine have been quick to make tout the health benefits of red wine (yes, something we enjoy doing may actually be good for us). According to a 2001 study in the magazine Nature, the high elevation of the Argentine vineyards gives their reds more exposure to ultraviolet rays and raises the polyphenol level. So don’t reach for a bottle of POM pomegranate juice, reach for an Argentine Malbec. This Terrazas is a great place to start. After tasting through a half a dozen entry-level Malbecs, I found this 100% Malbec grown at 3,000 ft above sea-level to be the most attractive. Dark in color, with notes of blackberry, plum, cassis, and saddle leather, and the tannins in the finish were smooth. The obvious food pairing is a steak but would also be good with burgers. Importer: Schieffelin & Somerset NY.