Welcome back to Argentina week on eating/sf! Today Kasey is posting her Mendoza wrap-up from our honeymoon. We found Mendoza and the surrounding areas (including Maipu and Lujan) to be enchanting, beautiful, youthful, and sensual. We enjoyed delicious meals at Azafran, La Barra, Casa 3, and Almacen del Sur (all highly recommended). We rode bikes in Maipu and visited artisan chocolate makers and olive oil farms. We drank glass after glass of fantastic wines at Carinae Wines (my favorite), Di Tommaso, Viña del Cerno, Alta Vista (my second favorite), Archaval Ferrer, and Catena Zapata. Parque General San Martin and Plaza Indepencia bustle with life and youthful energy on the weekends. And although he hails from Buenos Aires, I’ve selected Gustavo Cerati’ 1999 album Bocanada as my Musical Pairing for the Mendoza post. Sensual, indulgent, and engaging, Bocanada just seems like the perfect aural accompaniment to meandering around from top notch restaurant to winery to large, beautiful parks.
Gustavo Cerati is a titan in the rock en español genre. His career began in the 80’s with Soda Stereo, which may be the most important and popular bands of all time in South America. The band broke up in the 1990’s, and in 1999 Gustavo Cerati released Bocanada, his first post-Soda Stereo solo album. And because Cerati had just released a new album in the past few weeks, we were greeted by Cerati billboards and displays everywhere we went. His latest solo record was prominently displayed alongside the Beatles remastered albums in every record store in Mendoza and Buenos Aires. And it is easy to understand his popularity. Bocanada begins with my favorite track on the album “Tabú,” which opens with a stuttering, brassy percussion track accompanied by cool, laid-back bass. It is a beautiful and sexy song, and Cerati sings (in spanish of course): “For you… I did it for you. Because of you, I had the courage.” The excellent cut “Paseo Inmoral” features quivering, thunderous electronic bass and a thin, scruffy guitar rift. Other highlights include the tracks “Bocanda,” “Puente,” “Rio Babel,” and “Beautiful.” If you checked out my September mixtape, you’ll probably recognize today’s MP3.
Head back to eating/sf to read Kasey’s coverage of our time in Mendoza.