Benjamin Franklin, the most electrifying man in the American Revolution, says that wine “makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance.” Ben was apparently a pretty sharp guy, so I’ve always respected his perspective, but for full disclosure, I’m not exactly an expert in fine wines, imported cheeses, or pairings thereof.
My most refined observations on the matter effectively amounted to “hey, this is good,” which actually puts me in a category of most of the country. That’s right, the wine scene has only become mainstream in Mexico within the last few years, and the passionate pair behind Uncork Mexico have made it their mission to get all of us up to speed.
The Vibes: The elegant open air courtyard at the Villa Mercedes Petit Hotel just inland from Playa de Los Muertos was the backdrop I’d always imagined for an exhibition of wine; an environment made visually rich with ambient lighting and a lush selection of plant life along with the hosts of the tasting, the lovely and knowledgeable Vanusa and Natalia.
I arrived to find an appealing spread of fruits, nuts, and cheeses set out alongside the evening’s offerings, and once the urge to snack uncontrollably was fully suppressed, I maturely settled in for the tasting lineup. Keeping my mind off the munchies was the experience of a table full of strangers becoming fast friends ,one sip at a time…there’s a reason they call it “social lubricant.”
The Vices: Naturally, wine takes center stage at Uncork Mexico, and their selection of styles does not disappoint. My personal favorite was Distinto, a bold and spicy merlot that I couldn’t drink one drop of without thinking of the perfectly medium rare steak that seemed to be its natural running mate. Another favorite was Rosatus, the shimmering pink product of the Aguascalientes region that is the featured wine in Uncork’s regular “Rose by the Pool” series. It can also be fun to find out how wrong you were about something. An offhand comment made to Vanusa about not being a big fan of white wine was apparently taken as a challenge, one she responded to with the impressively smooth Albo, which I loved.
Again, as I stated in the first words of this piece, I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about.
This delightfully bright white wine with tart pear and citrus notes paired perfectly with a traditional French cheese known as Mimolette, prized by Napoleon for its piquant bite as well as its strategic advantages, keeping well on long marches with its firm texture and stealthy scent that wouldn’t give away the army’s position to the enemy (it’s true, look it up).
The ladies walked us through the process of unlocking and maximizing the flavour profile of every wine as well as highlighting why each pairing works…it was the ideal introduction for anyone who may be intimidated by wines other than your classic Cardboardeaux. As I strenuously highlighted, I don’t have a well-developed wine mind… but the curators at Uncork Mexico certainly do, and that’s what counts.
The Verdict: Whether you’re on vacation temporarily or permanently, if you find yourself with a free Wednesday or Thursday evening, there are certainly worse ways to spend it than taking a lesson in wine from Vanusa and Natalia of Uncork Mexico.
You can buy your favourite bottles at the tasting, and even take advantage of their wine and cheese delivery service(!) if you’re planning an intimate dinner in the courtyard of your complex or particularly classy Netflix binge in bed. Maybe I’ll catch you there.
Find out more about Uncork Mexico’s offerings, including their tasting schedule, at their website, www.uncorkmexico.com.
AJ Freeman is an adventurous spirit, serial friendmaker, and general enthusiast. He lives his everyday life hoping to demonstrate the nearly infinite potential for discovery and wonder on this small wet rock orbiting a dim yellow star in the backwoods of the Milky Way.