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Salta OR Mendoza OR both??

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Hello all! I spent 3 months in BA about 10 years ago and absolutely loved it. Am planning a trip back to Argentina in October 2013 (soon!) and had originally set our sights on Mendoza. In doing more research, I am growing concerned that Mendoza may not have the charm we had hoped, and perhaps Salta as a city has more going on in terms of architecture/ ambience? We plan on doing some light hiking/ sight seeing, but our main goal for the trip is food/wine and meandering. Any thoughts/opinions? It also seems the only options for getting to and from Mendoza/Salta are either connecting flights through BA or an overnight bus? Many thanks in advance!

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