Sunday, April 28, 2013

Wine…What Is Your Gold Standard?

Sometimes you just can’t replace an old friend… like Kendall-Jackson. It was the first white wine I tasted and over the years it’s been at nearly every major celebration in my life. I love the buttery taste and always compare it to every other Chardonnay. It’s my gold standard.

Soon I will be tasting the wines from the Valle de Guadalupe. Since routine for me is toxic, trying new things will be good. In fact, I have vowed to try 50 new things before my next birthday and all of them may be wine.

That’s OK though. I’ll be more than educated on the wines of the region before I go there.

Valle de Guadalupe is Mexico’s wine region just north of Ensenada. Friends that have been there tell me that it is a lot like Napa was years ago.

If you watched One Plate at a Time last season you would have fallen in love with Valle de Guadalupe as it was featured in several Season 8 episodes. 

It’s high on my list of places to go in 2014 and when I go I will stay at Adobe Guadalupe, a Bed and Breakfast/Winery. The hacienda was built and influenced by the architecture of the desert in Iran. It is beautiful. 

The video on their website will have you booked and traveling there within the month…I guarantee it.

I am also anxious to check out Laja, recognized as the pioneer of the farm-to-table movement in the valley and is often referred to as Baja’s French Laundry. Remember I said anyone that comes out of The French Laundry in my book is golden so Laja is at the top of my list for restaurants in the area.

It is said that over 50 wineries – artisan, boutique and commercial, both large and small - are located in the 23-kilometer-long valley where a Mediterranean climate sets the perfect combination of elevation soil, season and temperature for growing grapes.

I was surprised to find out that 90 percent of all the wines in Mexico come from Valle de Guadalupe. 

When I first lived there, most of the wines in Mexico were imports from South America. Of course, I didn’t know that back then. I didn’t drink wine. 

I was in my twenties and the only beverages I touched were Tecate and Tequila. 20 year old tastes were not quite as sophisticated back then as they are now. It was a world without the internet.

In a country that is already famous for its tequila, Valle de Guadalupe winemakers have collected so many awards they have gained a huge following among wine lovers.

I’ll be eager to try all the wines from the valley but just as enthusiastic when I can have a glass of Kendall-Jackson again.

Afterall, old standards are hard to come by.

Bon Appetit!