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Entries in Chef Oropeza (1)


Mexican Wine and Mezcal Tasting

Illustrations and Photos by Danielle Malmgren

Last week I had the pleasure of attending an evening of Mexican wine and mezcal tasting at the Hotel Americano with wine aficionado Mark Oldman and Chef Alfredo Oropeza. The event was Food and Wine's kick off celebration to their Festival in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo! Let me first confess I am by no means a wine expert, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate a fine red! As soon as I began tasting the rich complex notes of the diverse Mexican wines, they immediately hit me as unlike anything I have ever tasted! Each one brought me to the heat of sun soaked Mexico with a robust taste that felt truly unique. The unmistakable sophisticated spicy oak of Santo Tomas Xaloc Reserva was a favorite of the evening. 

When we reached the Tequila and Mezcal I felt a little more knowledgeable. In the last few years the smoky and aged taste of a perfect Mezcal is something I crave regularly. What is Mezcal you may ask?? Basically all Tequilas are Mezcals, but not all Mezcals are Tequilas. Both are made from agave, but tequila needs to be made from at least 51% of blue agave and be grown in Jalisco.  Mezcal can be made of any kind of agave and most is made in Oaxaca.  Some guests of the evening compared the smell and taste to a fine scotch and I couldn't agree more.  While I can appreciate a Mezcal slowly sipped I also love it in a cocktail.

If you are interested in trying some amazing Mexican Wines visit Wines from Baja  or if Mezcal and Tequila is more your speed visit Mayahel in the East Village for some of the best mezcal and tequila cocktails in the city.

Still scared or intimated by wine?? Not to worry, pick up  Mark Oldman's new book, Brave New World of Wine. He will break it down for you!