I find myself putting together the first entry for my blog beachside in Bucerias, a small fishing village outside of Puerto Vallarta. The weather has been touch and go and the rooster next store has been crowing a lot, but other than that it has been great to be back in Mexico. While I love a beer once in a while and enjoy a well-made Margarita (like Jorqito el Magnifico’s at Tapas del Mondo in downtown Bucerias), what I really continue to want with my meals is a good bottle of wine. Yes, I am one of those people who prefer a spicy Côtes du Rhône with Korean BBQ over beer (particularly that really light OB), so I want nothing more than a crisp Sauvignon Blanc with my snapper Veracruzana or an Argentine Malbec with my enchiladas.
Well there’s a very slim chance of my finding either almost anywhere in this country, outside of Mexico City. That goes for most other Caribbean beach destinations I have visited as well. With the exceptions of resorts like the Four Seasons, where you can get almost anything, and will pay for it dearly, wine remains in a sorry state in most of the Caribbean. Beyond domestic wines (I still haven’t found a decent Mexican producer despite all the ruckus about Baja); mostly what you will find is the occasional cheap Spanish or over-produced Chianti.
The bulk of what is potentially drinkable is mostly from Chile (and occasionally Argentina) down here. Thanks to both countries for being Latin, knowing how to navigate this country and producing solid quantities of well-priced and decent wine. And Thank god more than anything for Concha y Toro. The wine has long been the top Chilean import on the U.S. market and the company has the girth to get into other Latin markets. However my only wish would be a wider selection and more consistent pricing and vintages. Maybe I’ll drop a note to my marketing buddy at Concha y Toro, but in the meantime I will send a mental note to some of my other favorite producers: please come and join us on these sunny shores. It’s a great, captive and wealthy market. We would so welcome your wines with our next tacos. Gracias.