January 18, 2022
Today, the hidden gem that is Mexican wines has begun to take off on the international scene. The wine culture in Mexico has developed for over 400 years. In Xcaret’s wine cellar you can learn more about Mexican wine culture. But first let’s talk about wines, tastings, and pairings in Mexico.
In 1597, the first winery was established in the Barras Valley. This place nowadays is known as the state of Coahuila. Here begins our long journey of Mexican wine culture. Mexican vine has gone through many stages within the colony, independence, echoes of the revolution, prohibition, and freedom.
The rebirth of Mexican winemaking as an international phenomenon occurred in the late eighties. In a second wave of what was called the “New World' wine explosion. The wine scene in Mexico has only gotten stronger since then.
Today, Mexico proudly boasts about the recognition its wines have received. The constant growth of an industry is gaining momentum day by day. The pleasure that Mexicans have been taking to this product. The Mexican wine that is born from the best of our land.
Wine is obtained by natural processes, through the fermentation of grape juice. Once a year the grapes are harvested. Already in the wineries, bunches are selected and the leaves are removed. From here, the red and white wines follow a slightly different process.
For reds, the grapes are placed in a destemming machine, which separates the grape from the stalk. There, the fruit is broken and the “must' is obtained. Which incorporates pulp, skin, and seeds. In the case of white wine, the skin and seeds are removed so that there are no seeds. This makes the aromas of the fruit itself predominate.
Once in the fermentation tank, the yeasts of the grape and the environment begin to act on the sugar in the juice turning it into alcohol. Not all wines go through the barrels, some are aged in stainless steel tanks or bottled directly.
To fully enjoy the wines, food pairings are made. A pairing means a link, and a tasting pairing is the union of the wines with the meals. This serves to enhance both flavors and get an explosion in your mouth. Therefore this is made in wine cellars to be able to get the complete experience.
In Xcaret, you can enjoy a pairing of five different Mexican wines. You will explore the magnificent vaults of the wine cellar and embark on a journey of flavors.
The cellar is only open for pairing tasting tours and also for tastings by people looking to get married in this magical place. If you have a special event such as a birthday or anniversary, a little surprise awaits you inside the cellar. Don’t forget to notice this when making your reservation.
The maximum quota now is 12 people due to the contingency. Children can take the tour but won’t be allowed to taste the wine. Whether with family or with your partner, you can enjoy this wonderful experience.
On your tour, you will taste five wines in total: two whites, two reds, and one dessert wine with a dish of the chef’s choice. These are one of the most iconic wine houses in Mexico. Without further ado, let’s begin the tour.
In the first vault “La Botica” you will be able to appreciate the different glasses that are inside the cellar. You can find the famous Riedel glasses, which were designed for the enjoyment of a specific wine. You can even find a glass of tequila. There are also the wines of a friend from the cellar, Ada Stiker. A Mexican who innovated in the wine scene and began pairing them with music.
In the first vault, you will have a glass of the house Monte Xanic, a white wine chenin colombard. This has a greenish-yellow color, in aromas such as grapefruit, green apple, as well as peach. After you drink it, you can feel the acidity and freshness. This wine has not been in a barrel.
This white wine will be paired with manchego cheese with a tile of almonds. While the snack is in your mouth, take a sip of the wine to feel the clash of flavors. The wine helps to accentuate the flavor of the manchego cheese while adding the almonds gives us the texture.
The second wine is from the El Cielo house, which has innovated in the wine tourism project in Baja California. It is a chardonnay white wine called Capricornius. It has a brighter color, like a golden yellow, and aromas of flowers like jasmine, a ripe apple, and even melted butter.
This wine spent six months in French oak barrels. It is smooth however it is full-bodied. It has a fresh flavor without any acidity and with connotations of guava. This is going to be paired with a Vallarta-style ceviche. The entree has carrot, tomato, avocado, jicama, and a little spice.
With a bite of the toast and a sip of the wine, you can feel an explosion of flavors in your mouth. The combination of these highlights the flavors of the dish and the drink. This shows that wines today are easier to enjoy with various dishes on any occasion.
Inside the Great Hall, there is a table made from a zapote tree. Which was cut and assembled within the vault. You will enjoy the food pairing of two Mexican wines.
The third tasting is a barbera red wine from the house of Santo Tomás, it is from an Italian grape that has adapted to the Mexican terrain. The wine color is ruby red and has aromas of red fruits, plums, and flowers such as hibiscus. The flavor meets the smells that we could perceive, it is a Mexican wine that is very easy to drink.
This will be paired with a huitlacoche quesadilla. Which is a mushroom that grows on corn and is representative of Mexican cuisine. The earthy flavor of this mushroom is complemented by the tortilla and wine. The combination brings out the flavors of the wine and highlights how delicious huitlacoche can be.
In the same place, you will be tasting the next wine. So it is recommended to drink a little water to cleanse your palate. The wine is from the L.A Cetto house and is also from an Italian grape called Nebbiolo. It is a Mexican wine that has won many awards within our country.
This Mexican wine spent 14 months in French oak barrels. The color of this wine is dark red and it has an aroma of hay, wood, and slightly ripe red fruits. This is a drier and more full-bodied Mexican wine.
The wine tasting is accompanied by beef steaks and three moles. The “moles” are from different places. The first is a “mole” from Veracruz, a Xiqueño “mole”. The one in the middle is a Chiapas “mole”, this one has a more scorched flavor. The last one is “mole” from Puebla, it is the sweetest and for the same reason. This is the one that is left at the end since its flavor lasts longer on the palate. Wine is what helps us to highlight the different flavors of the dish.
Lloro de Tierra is the name of the last wine. This is due to the time between the end of the winter season and the beginning of spring, when the grapes begin to thaw and the drops of the waterfall, almost like they’re crying, hence the name Lloro de Tierra “Cry of the Earth”. It is a dessert wine from Guanajuato, it has a marmalade flavor.
The flavor is similar to that of an apricot named chabacano. This will be paired with a piece of blue cheese with guava paste. The blue cheese helps to contrast the dessert wine.
We have arrived to the end of your food and wine pairing, an experience that you will continue to remember for years to come. If you are interested in wine or want to try other recommendations of Mexican wines, the Xcaret cellar has 150 labels available. The guides will have different recommendations so that you can take a piece of the cellar with you.
The tour helps you understand the importance of Mexican wines and enjoy a part of the culture that many are unaware of. It allows you to discover new flavors and learn more about the Mexican wine scene. It is a unique and indescribable experience that you must try at least once in your life.
Mexican wines have had a great journey to get to what they are today. If you want to taste a bit of culture and 400 years of history of Mexican wines, enjoy a magical experience with the wine tasting and food pairing in the cellar of “Vino De México Xcaret'.
If you want to know more about Mexican wines, we recommend you check 7 Mexican wine regions for your next gastronomic travel experience
Tell us in the comments your experiences and if you have ever been to the wine tasting and food pairing in the cellar of “Vino De México Xcaret'
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