Tuesday, July 31, 2007

August, month of the wine festivals in Mexico

In the wine region of Queretaro, the Freixenet winery (Fiesta de Vendimia) invites you from 3 to 5 August, 2007.
Discover more here (in Spanish) ...>>>>

August 3 to 19, 2007. Ensenada, Baja California, Fiesta de Vendimia - Wine Grape Harvest Festival.
Taste wine from Mexico's largest and most famous vineyards of the Santo Tomas Valley in this delightful coastal city on the Bahia de Todos Santos. The festival also offers a variety of comida corridas, traditional Mexican main meals.
A great time of year to enjoy the Pacific coast side of the Baja peninsula.
Detailed program here ...>>>.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Mexican wines updates its websites

In this period of Wine Festivals all over Mexico, from Baja California to Queretaro, Vino Mex has the pleasure to present you its websites about Mexican wines in English.

Discover the new websites with updated information and look. You will find three different sites with a rich variety of information and a blog with weekly updates and news.
Discover the fine wines made in Mexico through regional visits to the vineyards, tasting Mexican wine or learning about their history. You will also find an interesting way to combine tipical plates with Mexican wine.
Meet the winegrowers of Mexico from Baja California over Sonora in the North to Queretaro in the center of the Mexican Republic. Visit the wineries of Baja California and taste their wines.
A lot of professionnals take advantage of the Mexican wine boom: restaurants, wine clubs, tour operators. This website is dedicated to them.

Looking for news or updates about the Mexican wines and the wineries from Mexico? Every week you will find it on this weblog: mexicanwineries.blogspot.com
Have a look at our websites and enjoy Mexican wines.


H. Van de Vyver Salazar
Mexican Wines

Chabert's Wine-Dinner and Art Auction on August 3rd

Contemporary Artist Stephanie Clair of La Jolla, California will be
featuring her “Romantic Cubism” wine-related art during a special “Artisan
August” wine dinner and art exhibit on Friday August 3rd at Chabert’s
Restaurant in the Rosarito Beach Hotel. Eighty lucky guests will enjoy
dinner reservations along with a silent auction of four pieces, two
originals and two embellished giclees prints.

Stephanie creates amazing art using the matrimony of emotion, cubes and color while sharing her
inspiration from happy, dreamy moments in life that we can all relate to,
but so easily forget. Her inspirations often focus on “ a first love, a last
love, a memory, lovers sipping wine, being enlightened, inspired by sweet
music... those moments are ours to remember- but the speed of time can erase
the memories we all take for granted.” She tries to capture a snapshot of
that moment on canvas. Each painting has a feeling; each feeling tells a
story. Her eyes in the paintings allow the viewer to reach in and connect.
She feels they are the windows to ones soul. In addition, her technique is a
delicate blend of color, technique, imagination, and cubism meant to evoke
mystery and emotion. Her goal is to challenge the viewer’s eye and mind, as
you get lost in a three-dimensional world of people passion and beauty.

Stephanie Clair was raised in upstate New York where she drew her way
through those cold winter days of her youth. After high school she moved to
Virginia where she earned a BFA in painting/design at Old Dominion
University. Influences in her work include Picasso, Matisse, Chagall,
Modigliani, and Kandinsky – hence the bright colors, dreamy people, and
cubist perspectives. To preview her work go to: www.stephanieclair.com.

The wine dinner and exhibit begins at 6:30 p.m. with advance reservations.
Some proceeds from the event will be used for the medical needs of the
Kumiai in the village of San Antonio Necua. The artisan wines featured at
the “Artisan August” event will be Chardonnay from Roganto (Vides y Vinos
Californianos .S.P.R. de R.L), a clean and elegant wine created in stainless
steel tanks with no oak, paired up the a surprise from the culinary wizards
in Chabert’s gourmet kitchen. Another wonderful artisan creation featured
during this event comes from JC Bravo of Valle de Guadalupe. Mr. Bravo will
present his “famous” Carignan, one of the most stunning artisan red wines to
come out of Mexico’s premier wine growing region of Baja California, paired
up with one of Chabert’s best culinary delights. The evening will conclude
following a superb chocolate dessert matched with an incredible (rare
limited production) Port (Oporto) from Moreno of Baja California. Don’t miss
the exciting, educational wine dinner and art exhibit hosted my Steve
Dryden, Rosy Torres, and JC Bravo.

During the wine-dinner on August 3rd we’ll be holding a silent auction of
Stephanie’s work offering originals and two high quality enhanced prints.
Starting bids will be at $600. These paintings normally retail for $2100 in
her gallery. Some proceeds of the sales will go to fund medical treatment
for members of the Kumiai of San Antonio Necua in Guadalupe Valley.

Questions ??: www.stephanieclair.com or sbdryden@hotmail.com

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tasting of Monte Xanic Red Wines

Cabernet Sauvignon
The wine’s voluptuous aroma suggests a combination of black cherry, raspberry, plum, pepper, black currant, and wild strawberries. Intense flavor.A well-balanced wine with medium body, a velvety palate and a long, refined finish.The wine’s intense flavor lends it to be served with classic cuts of beef on the grill, leg of lamb, filet of beef tampiqueña, or to the strong flavors of game and such aged cheeses as camembert, manchego and parmesan. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot
This wine is the perfect combination of the aristocracy of Cabernet Sauvignon and the smoothness of Merlot. Aromas and intense flavors of red fruits, cassis, chocolate, and oak.Accompanies a wide variety of dishes including cassoulet and Hungarian goulash. Brings out the strong flavors of wild game.Aged in new French oak barrels for 18 months. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon,20% Merlot,10% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot, 5% Malbec

A voluptuous wine that is smooth and velvety with intense flavor and delicious aromas of raspberry and black cherry.A versatile wine that combines well with classic dishes including coq au vin and beef bourguignon. The intense flavor makes it an excellent accompaniment to grilled beef, duck or lamb chops. 100% Merlot

Intense and elegant. From its deep crimson red color to its complex aroma of black fruits (red currant and blackberry) and toasted coffee with notes of white pepper and oak, this is a wine that dominates. Of full body and texture, it is sensuous on the palate with a smooth finish, long and memorable.The intense flavor of this wine recommends that it be served with heavy dishes including game (wild boar, venison and goose), but it is versatile enough to be served with grilled beef, turkey cassoulet or such cheeses as English Stilton or Spanish Manchego.
100% Syrah

Gran Ricardo
A complex bouquet of strawberries and wild raspberries with hints of cedar, chocolate and anise. With a smooth and velvety palate, this wine achieves excellent balance.A refined and harmonic wine, it can be served alone or to accompany classic beef dishes. It also complements strong flavors, such as venison, duck, goose, or aged cheese.The wine is aged in new French oak barrels for 24 months and in magnum bottles for 4 years. 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc

Source: Montexanic.com

Tasting of Monte Xanic White Wines

An intense wine of complex flavor, it is distinguished by the rich aromas of pineapple, banana, citrus fruits and apples which are confirmed in the round, balanced taste, both sensuous andelegant.An ideal accompaniment for dishes that are lightly seasoned: fish or shell fish in a cream sauce, such as lobster thermidor or salmon in a butter and dill sauce. 100% Chardonnay

Chenin Colombard
Well balanced with a delicate acidity that makes this wine both refreshing and easy to drink.The delicate flavor of this wine enables it to be served as an aperitif or to accompany dishes that are lightly seasoned or spicy, including Indian curry, Mexican adobe or Chinese chicken. 95% Chenin Blanc, 5% Colombard

Viña Kristel
A light wine with a dry palate, full body and a pleasant freshness. It is characterized by its aromas of pineapple and pear and its delicate notes of fresh butter, caramel and vanilla.A versatile wine that complements a variety of dishes including fresh oysters on the half shell, smoked salmon or a Caesar salad. 80% Sauvignon Blanc20% Semillon

Source: Montexanic.com

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Tasting Mexican wines from Chateau Camou

Gran vino tinto Zinfandel

A full bodied wine, deep red in color with purple blue tones.
Ripe red fruit, coffee, mint & chocolate aromas.
Good length and a tannic silky finish.

Gran vino tinto Merlot

Great ruby color, floral red ripe fruit nose and oak aromas.
Great balance and backbone.
A magnificent floral , fruity and tannic persistence.
Along , elegant and velvety finish.

Cabernet Franc Merlot

This harmonious blend of our cabernet franc & merlot , made according to he bordelaise tradition of “saint emilion” give us as result this magnificent wine.
Ruby-red in color, floral and red ripe fruit aromas with touches of cassis, coffee, leather and spices.

Source: www.chateaucamou.com.mx

Tasting Mexican Calixa wines from Monte Xanic

Cabernet Sauvignon

A young wine with a silken palate, Calixa Cabernet Sauvignon is characteristic of the grape variety and is distinguished by its taste and its rich aroma of black cherry, raspberry and black currant.Upon observation against the light, the wine displays a deep, dark, brilliant red tone with violet-colored scintillation.It is an excellent wine to accompany grilled beef and game, including duck, goose, venison and wild boar, pastas with red sauce, or a Mexican mole poblano sauce.
100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Annual production: 11,000 boxes


A young wine marked by intense fruit and hints of vanilla and spices.Both a cocktail wine and a dinner wine, it is ideal to serve with cream-based soups, oysters Rockefeller, wild mushroom risotto, cheese fondue, or chicken in a pipián verde chili sauce.
100% Chardonnay. Annual production: 8,000 boxes

Presents a salmon pink color that is both brilliant and luminous and offers aromas of strawberries and melon and hints of citrus (manderin). It is a fresh wine that is easy to drink.It can be served alone or to accompany light dishes such as fruit plates, pastas, rice, and poultry. This wine compliments both Oriental and Mexican food..
100% Granache Rose. Annual production : 500 boxes

Monday, July 16, 2007

The evolution of Mexican wine—Wine tasting, hacienda style (2/4)

By David Ramirez, April 5, 2007

Next I came to Baron Balache, a winery that was not yet opened on my last wine excursion to Baja. They had the most expensive wine I saw at US$100 a bottle, which they would not let you taste unless you bought it, which one chap did. They also had the most unique wine I found at the tasting: Doble Blanco (150 pesos). Upon inquiry about this unusual name they told me it was a Blanc de Blanc, which is a name the French invented, probably to make the pseudo-sophisticated think they were buying something special. All it means is white wine made from white wine grapes. This newly named wine was somewhat effervescent and reminded me of what the Spanish call Vino Joven (young wine), often bottled with a champagne cork, and vinho verde, the vin ordinaire of Portugal.

By this time the rather ordinary botanas had begun arriving. The best of them were the mussels, called patas de mula in Baja, where I used to throw them on a charcoal grill until their shells opened so that they could be doused with butter.

I believe that most of us thought there was going to be a sit-down lunch or a buffet, to be prepared by three Ensenada chefs: beef bourguignon, mushroom risotto, pork with apples, etc., as indicated by the poster advertisements.

Fortunately, one curious person found out that the botanas were all there was and the promised delicacies would not be forthcoming. Thus enlightened, we attacked the botanas with more enthusiasm to fortify ourselves for the last half of the wine tasting. I think it was better that we did not have to plough through a sit-down meal, which would have kept us from trying as many of the wines. In any event, to keep going, one had to pour away much of the wine into the artistic vases provided at every wine stop to dispose of excessively generous servings.

To be continued ...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The evolution of Mexican wine—Wine tasting, hacienda style (1/4)

By David Ramirez, April 5, 2007

When man makes war, he attempts to assassinate the universe; when he makes wine, he steals a kiss from the Earth.
¿Que culpa tengo yo, que me gusta el vino? Is it my fault that I like wine?–from a Mexican song.
Eleven years ago, when I wrote the first guide to Mexican table wines, Mexican Vinos for Gringos, I could find only eight wineries in Baja on which to report. The current brochure on the subject lists 19, more than existed in the whole country at the time. Rather than drive our cars to the wine tasting at Hacienda Las Trancas, some 14kms on the other side of Dolores, we were encouraged to take the luxury buses from SMA, a wise suggestion in view of the profusion of wines that were to be offered to us. A restored antique car of about 1920 vintage greeted us as we stepped off the bus in front of the restored hacienda, a bit more mod in appearance than those we use on the house and garden tour. Our tickets were quickly checked, and we were ushered inside the large square interior plaza.

The presentations of the wineries were arrayed one after the other along the sides of the plaza, ready to dispense liquid poetry from the vine. I decided that my plan would be to try the whites first, then the reds, and go back to those I missed, as my capacity allowed. On this report I will group the wines of each winery together.

The first displayed was that of the largest Mexican winery, L.A. Cetto (LA being for Luis Alberto, the name of the principal owner), whose wines I know quite well. I started with the owner’s reserve, quite a well-balanced Chardonnay for about 250 pesos and much better than their popularly priced Chad at 75 pesos, hardly recognizable as such. Perhaps their best
reasonably priced wine is Fumé Blanc at 75 pesos. This name was invented by Robert Mondavi, of Napa Valley fame, to indicate a lightly oaked Sauvignon Blanc, although many wines currently labeled as Fumé Blanc have never seen the inside of an oak barrel.

Many wine buffs think that the best value in a Mexican red wine is Cetto’s Nebbiolo at 150 pesos. This is the grape from which Barolo and Barbaresco, the prestigious Italian wines, are made. Their Petite Sirah (73 pesos), which won an important international prize, is also notable.
I know Valmar’s wine maker, Fernando Martain, better than the others in Baja. Reluctantly I selected his Cabernet Sauvignon as the best red wine I tasted for the wine guide, now out of print. I say reluctantly because then it could not be bought outside of the Ensenada area. A couple of years ago at an Ensenada Wine Festival function, Valmar literally killed the fatted
calf…and BBQ’d it for their guests. In this ambiance, with the free-flowing Valmar wine, I was presented with a few bottles of Vicente Fox Vino Tinto, which the winery had been engaged to make for his inauguration.

It was a powerful red that improved greatly after I held it for a couple of years. For this wine tasting, Fernando brought only Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo, which is becoming increasingly popular with Baja wine makers and which he thought was the better of the two.
They were both so good, I couldn’t decide.

Chateau Camou had the best white wine I tasted: their Special Reserve Chardonnay (275 pesos) that had just the right combination of oak and grape flavors. Their first Chard of a few years past was over-oaked and over-priced, and their hard-like Blanc de Blanc at less than half the price was better. Their 2001 Zinfandel is by far the best wine of this variety I have tasted in Mexico and could stand up to most of the California Zins.

Presentation of two Mexican Wineries

Brandy production, in fact, has led a number of larger companies to invest in Mexico , including the wine and spirits giant Allied Domecq. Domecq is most known to Mexicans for brandy, but also makes several brands of wine at different price points and in a variety of styles, including blends, single varietal wines, and kosher wines. Domecq purchases all its grapes instead of owning their own vineyards.

Chateau Domecq is their premium label; the wines include an unusual blend of Nebbiolo and Merlot as well as a Sauvignon Blanc-based white wine. The Spanish cava producer Freixenet has also invested in Mexican wine and is a major player in the Querétaro area, where they produce the sparkling wines you'd expect as well as some still wines. The high altitude in this winegrowing region insures surprisingly cool nights.

L.A. Cetto
The other large-scale producer is L.A. Cetto, named after its Italian founder Don Angelo Cetto who emigrated from Piedmont in the 1920s. They are the biggest wine producer in Mexico , and differ from Domecq in many ways. They are family-owned, with 1,200 hectares of vineyards in the Guadalupe Valley as well as a further 1,600 in Sonora.

L.A. Cetto has three major levels of wine: commercial blends, a single varietal series, and their "Limited Reserve." In addition to the more usual varietals they also sell Chenin Blanc, Malbec, and Tempranillo wines, the Californian specialties of Zinfandel and Petite Syrah, and finally some wines that acknowledge their Italian heritage - a Limited Reserve Nebbiolo and a Passito dessert wine (made from dried grapes). Between them Domecq and L.A. Cetto account for about 80% of Mexico's yearly production of 1.6 million cases, and both companies export about 40% of their wine.

More information about the wineries here: http://mexicanwineries.homestead.com/index2.html

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Mexican wine festival in August

La Vendimia 2007 Ensenada Mexico Wine FestivalLa Vendimia mexican wine festival, Aug 2, 2007 through Aug 19, 2007, is a must for wine enthusiast and gourmet food lovers. Spend a weekend in Ensenada Mexico and go to a few Mexican wine festivals.

You will have fabulous time and experience the new Napa wine country. Completely safe and all the Ensenada hotels and resorts will assist in direction or taking a taxi. Contact us for any help in selecting events or recommendations. Hurry tickets and Ensenada hotels and resorts go fast.

August 3 to 19, 2007. Ensenada, Baja California, Fiesta de Vendimia - Wine Grape Harvest Festival.

Taste wine from Mexico's largest and most famous vineyards of the Santo Tomas Valley in this delightful coastal city on the Bahia de Todos Santos. The festival also offers a variety of comida corridas, traditional Mexican main meals.
A great time of year to enjoy the Pacific coast side of the Baja peninsula.

Detailed information, here: http://www.fiestasdelavendimia.com/

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Ask questions to a Mexican wines' expert

I`m a wine importer (in Mexico) that deals with wine evaluation, how to sell wine on-premise and off-premise. I`m also have a great passion for wine and willing to help anyone that is looking to know more about wine.

Wine is something that should be part of the family table, to me it was always one more thing on the family table. Abuse of anything is harmfull and I see wine very diferently than licor. Please don't ask me whata particular wine is worth, I'm not an expert in this, although there are companies that specialyze in this and can be found at the add on wine magazines and internet.

Giancarlo Boccaloni

Want to raise a question to this expert? Look at more details here: http://www.allexperts.com/ep/1615-56995/Wine/Giancarlo-Boccaloni.htm

How can I bring or ship wine from Mexico into California?

Hi Giancarlo,

I visited several wineries in Baja California this past weekend and quite enjoyed the experience I purchased from multiple vineyards, some well-established and some not, totaling about a dozen bottles.

Much to my dismay, I had to open and pour out all but two bottles (one for myself and one for my travel companion) at the border. California law is much more strict than the federal law and allows only 1 liter per person, no more, no declarations, and no duty can be paid.

What are the best ways to get my next purchases home? Can I ship via common carrier from Mexico? Two of the locations I visited were not able to ship (I asked) or accept credit cards.
Thanks for your insight!



Hi Greg,

I am really surprised that you only get one liter per person, I can imagine you can go around the border for a few times till you get the 12 bottles in, but that would take a lot of time, I know how long the border crossing can be.Try speaking with a customs agent, they can help you export the wines to the US, maybe this is a way to go.

The wineries should be the ones with the most interested in helping you get the wine to the US, it's their sale after all and if you can't take it home there is no sale. I would go the customs agent way and see what they suggest as they are right there and usually have a good idea of how to do things. There is most likely no duty tax, maybe just sales and alcohol tax to be paid.

Talk to the wineries to see if they have a distributor in the US you can buy from, most don't, but it is worth asking anyway.I am sorry I wasn't that much help, have a great day,


Sancho Panza Wine Bistro and Jazz Club Restaurant is located near the marina in downtown Cabo San Lucas.

In this popular restaurant you will experience fine dining, live music (Jazz, Latin Jazz, Blues, Classic Standards, and always the Best Dance Music in Mexico), great atmosphere, original Cuban, Mexican, and other art, excellent service, and Los Cabos best company.
Sancho Panza Wine Bistro and Jazz Club Restaurant, one of the premier restaurants and entertainment hot spots in Cabo San Lucas and Los Cabos, features creative Mediterranean bistro cuisine, live jazz, and Latin dance music every day of the week.

At Sancho Panza we try to provide the best ingredients to enjoy an evening out in our desert paradise. Our food has received excellent reviews in nearly all the major food and wine magazines in the United States and some in Europe as well as in the best international travel guides. Our fine food is continually improving with the addition of top quality ingredients available and the creativity of our excellent kitchen.

Besides very fine cuisine, we offer the best and fairest wine list in Cabo San Lucas and Los Cabos, the coolest bar, the best music in Baja California Sur, and the finest company on the planet. All provided in a casually elegant and stimulating atmosphere. If that sounds like something you might enjoy – stop by and check it out!