With the annual grape harvest season in full swing, this might be a good time to enjoy a glass or two of Mexican wine.
Vineyards around the country are holding events to celebrate the harvest, known in Spanish as la vendimia, and to coincide with the festivities, México Presenta — a made-in-Mexico promotional website — has published a list of five wines to try.
Made by Baja California winemaker Solar Fortún, this red wine is a blend of mouvèdre, syrah, cabernet sauvignon and petit verdot grapes grown in Mexico’s premier wine region, the Valle de Guadalupe.
The wine is aged in barrels of French oak for 14 months and, according to the maker, has notes of cherry, smoked bacon, licorice and anise.
It pairs well with red meats and retails for around 520 pesos a bottle.
This red, made by Tintos Nueva Era, is also from the Valle de Guadalupe. The wine is a blend of 90% carignan and 10% cabernet sauvignon.
With notes of red berries, cinnamon and vanilla, Paréntesis pairs well with cured meats, mushroom-based dishes, pastas and Mexican classics such as enchiladas.
A bottle of the 2012 vintage sells for around 270 pesos.
Described as having elements of air and fire, this white wine is made with 100% grenache blanc grapes that are commonly grown in certain regions of France and Spain.
AlXimia’s vineyard, however, is also located in the Valle de Guadalupe. The wine has a fruity nose with expressive aromas of pear, apples and citrus.
AlXimia says that Helios “is excellent as an aperitif, and a great accompaniment to oriental dishes, sashimi, sushi [and] fresh cheeses.” It sells for around 280 pesos.
Casa Grande Gran Reserva Cabernet
Made by Coahuila winemaker Casa Madero, this blend of 70% cabernet sauvignon and 30% shiraz is aged in French oak for 24 months.
The premium wine features aromas of red berries, tobacco and vanilla as well as spices such as cloves and star anise.
It pairs perfectly with turkey in mole negro, lechón (suckling pig) or short ribs in a red wine sauce. A bottle retails for around 750 pesos.
Tierra Adentro Syrah
Rounding out the five Mexican wines to try during the grape harvest season is this award-winning tipple from Zacatecas.
Aged for 12 months in both French and American oak, the wine has a complex, woody aroma with notes of berries and spices. It pairs well with meats such as cabrito (young goat) and lamb as well as pasta, cheeses and Mexican food.
The wine keeps well for three to seven years and costs around 500 pesos a bottle.
The Tierra Adentro winery, located 30 kilometers east of Zacatecas City, will hold its annual vendimia festival on August 25.
Mexican winemakers produce about two million liters of wine annually, an amount that represents 30% of domestic consumption. The latter is on the rise: in 2002 Mexicans drank 250 milliliters per capita. The figure is now 964 milliliters.
Source: Milenio (sp)