Cambalache – a taste of Argentinean festivities in London

To say that there has been a huge buzz about this year’s Cambalache event – London’s Argentinian culture, wine and street food festival extraordinaire – would be an understatement. Tickets have flown off their digital shelves into the eager clutches of customers who span the spectrum of wine enthusiasts, culture junkies, foodies, street art savants and more, all of whom will unite on Wednesday 30th April or on Thursday 1st May to experience a taste of the more cultivated side of Buenos Aires.

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The sold-out event, due to take place at MC Motors in Dalston, London, is priced at £40/ticket for an evening (6-11pm) of quintessentially Argentinian cultural experiences. At its heart is an exploration of the country’s dining culture, with a proud selection of national wines at the fore. Argentina’s wine is frequently – and frustratingly – regarded as a synecdoche of ‘Malbec’ by those not yet indoctrinated in the finer points of wine tasting. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth, with the country’s excellent climate and disparate soil types producing a wide variety of different grapes. With that firmly in mind, Cambalache and its founders, the appropriately named Wines of Argentina company, seek to celebrate the diversity of the countries Bodegas, or wineries.

In total, guests of Cambalache will be able to sample over 120 wines from 24 different Bodegas at the event. A ground-breaking ‘Wine & Music Masterclass’ will also be in operation, with sensory experts Professors Barry Smith and Charles Spence (last seen on Heston Blumenthal’s Big Feast) on hand to demonstrate the art of matching certain music with wine to enhance its taste.

For those whose senses have more gastronomic tendencies, the food at Cambalache seems set to get taste buds tingling. Dispelling another popular misconception is again the name of the game, with steak set aside in favour of a veritable feast of Patagonian lamb and a selection of empenandas from a traditional asado (barbecue). Guests will even have the chance to learn how to make their own chimmichurri, the famous green sauce that is almost considered a national treasure in Argentina.

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After dinner, Cambalache’s cultural experiences are not to be missed, with every indication pointing towards an evening of festivities rarely experienced outside of South America. Three well-known Argentinian street artists will showcase their skills live alongside another cultural hub – the Bohemian café, which itself brings to bear thoughts of one of Argentina’s most famed and notorious sons – Che Guevara. On this occasion, the café will host talks on one of the country’s most influential literary figures, Jorge Luis Borges. It’s the perfect mid-afternoon accoutrement to a turn on the boards for a lesson in Neuva Tango from established practitioners later in the evening .

To round off this mini-festival, guests will be presented with an age old conundrum – dessert, drink or both? Choosing between a trip to the on-site Ice Cream Union’s traditional ice cream parlour on the one hand or Gaucho’s Galante Cocktail Lounge on the other is probably just too tough a call in advance!

If you were lucky enough to get your hands on a ticket, we’ll see you there! Event information below:

Cambalache at MC Motors

6pm-11pm, Wed 30th April and Thu 1st May 2014

76 Stoke Newington Road, Dalston, London N16 7XB