Opinion: Mexican beginnings

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Drinks: Wines
Location: South America
Other: Opinion

My first proper tasting of the year was – believe it or not – of Mexican wines. Held at Mexican street food joint Wahaca’s Westfield site, we tasted a selection of wines that Hugo d’Acosta – who might be called Mexico’s answer to Michel Rolland – has a hand in making.

Hugo was in London to present his own wine Estapor Venir (available in the UK from Bibendum) but the tasting was really about showcasing just what Mexico’s Baja California (the sticky out bit of California that isn’t America) can do. The wines were a revelation.

First up were a pair of 2008 whites from Casa de Piedra winery:  Emblema, Sauvignon Blanc and Piedra de Sol Chardonnay. Both fermented in stainless steel they were fresh and clean and while not hugely complex were both well made and much livelier than you might think. Great with scallop ceviche. They were followed by a range of reds, mostly blends of European varieties. Best of the lot was Hugo’s own wine. Estapor Venir. This blend of 40% Petite Syrah, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Barbera and 20% Zinfandel was rich and choclolately, with a smooth, easy drinking palate. I’d happily buy it.

So next time you’re eating Mexican food, and thinking of drinking, if Sol is too bland and tequila too hard core, check out some Mexican wine.

About Author

Peter McCombie

As a leading restaurant wine consultant Peter has chosen wine and trained staff for a host of five star hotels, members clubs and London’s best restaurants, not to mention the Cliff in Barbados. He lectures for Christie's Wine Course and the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, is a regular judge in international wine competitions and writes about wine for several magazines.

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