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Put this on your radar. The Swedes has begun a monthly wine tasting event, and it is amazing. At a cost of $500 pesos (which includes a taste of five wines, and two servings of tapas) it’s one of the best wine experiences you’ll have.
Currently held monthly (the next event is Oct. 12 starting at 6 p.m.), it’s possible they will expand it to weekly so watch The Swedes social media networks for updates.
The event I attended ran from 6:00pm to 7:30pm on 14 September 2023 and was expertly facilitated by Swedes Manager and Sommelier Daniel Mendez. After a few short moments, I understood why he is known among his compatriots as “the encyclopedia.”
Originally from Mexico City, his experience is impressive, and vast. Formerly a Professor of Enology at the Colegio Superior de Gastronomia, he was also a Sommelier at the world famous restaurant Au Pied de Cochon, located in the Presidente InterContinental Hotel in Mexico City.
One of his highest honors was conducting educational wine tasting of French wine at the French Embassy, also in Mexico City. Daniel starts by taking you on a journey through the history of Spanish and Mexican wines (which was a fascinating mix of politics and religion).
After that interesting portion of wine history, Daniel switched gears to present day, and then shared three factors to consider when enjoying wine.
The first is the smell; The second is temperature; the delicate flavors that are hidden in wine bloom more when the temperature is slightly elevated and the third is the type of glass. Daniel explained why each of these are important which I think you’ll find interesting and educational.
One interesting part of the wine tasting is that each and every bottle sampled is produced in Mexico, and is available for sale at The Swedes. Additionally, they plan on rotating the sample selection so that if you want to attend more than one tasting, you’ll have a different tasting experience each time.
During the tasting you’ll learn how to best taste the wine, and how to gauge the quality of the wine by its age.
Another tidbit that I learned is that wine really is just the middle stage between grape juice and vinegar, so the more acidic it has, the better the wine will age. Mexican reds can be aged at least five years and they will be absolutely fabulous.
Daniel said each tasting would be with a very nice wine, and this day was no exception. The following are the five wines that were presented, and enjoyed. Remember, each tasting is different but you can find these wines available for purchase in The Swedes Wine shop to enjoy at home.
Hacienda Florida, or simply, a ranch that is blooming. This white wine was produced in Parras de la Fuente in the state of Coahuila, one mile above sea level, in a picturesque valley that is only two hours south of Tijuana. A rare combination, as it is a major challenge to mix Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
For this reason, the acidity must be perfectly balanced between the two. When successful, the benefit of this mixture is a completely original flavor, a very unique and hidden jewel. It pairs nicely with seafood, especially oysters and clams. This offering was harvested in 2022, and is priced at $560 pesos for the bottle.
Danza del Marquesa, or simply, dance of royalty. This pink wine was produced in the city and state of the same name, Queretaro. A unique combination of; nebbiolo, tempranillo, and grenache.
Daniel described this selection as “white wine with color,” smiling, he admitted, is an unorthodox way to view a Rose^. It pairs nicely with seafood; especially fish, as well as salads. This offering was also harvested in 2022, and is priced at $480 pesos for the bottle.
Verdades, or simply, Truths. This red wine was produced in the Valle de Guadalupe in Baja California, by the largest wine maker in Mexico, LA Cetto. A cabernet sauvignon, it is well balanced, with a hint of oak, a dry sensation is there, but it is not uncomfortable.
Daniel described it as “an easy going wine, that is easy to drink, and can fit any situation.” It pairs nicely with food that is heavy with grease; sausage, barbecued pork, a great wine to enjoy with a hamburger from the grill. This offering was harvested in 2019, and it is priced at $320 pesos for the bottle.
Nacion MX, or simply, Nation Mexico. This red wine was produced in central Mexico, in the city and state of the same name, Aguascalientes. Grown at a very high altitude, it is a rare combination of cabernet and tempranillo grapes. A heavy wine, it will be perfect to enjoy in the cooler months ahead. The mixture of the French cabernet, and the Spanish tempranillo would be illegal in either France or Spain. It pairs nicely with food that is spicy; pork, beef, gravy with pepper, or anything mustard based. This offering was harvested in 2021, and it is priced at $470 pesos for the bottle.
El Perdon, or simply, the forgiveness. This red wine was also produced in central Mexico, in the city and state of the same name, Aguascalientes. This is an extremely rare mixture of cabernet, syrah, and malbec. According to Daniel, it is very hard to get this mixture to balance perfectly, “many have tried, but few have succeeded,” he stated. In this case the pure talent of the enologist at this vineyard made the realization of this serious wine possible. It pairs nicely with Gouda cheese and some bread. It is so complex; it should be enjoyed with a small amount of food, so as not to overwhelm the subtlety of the flavor of the wine. This offering was harvested in 2018, and it is priced at $440 pesos for the bottle.
As the tasting ended, I left with a greater appreciation of the history of wine, the process of making it, and the knowledge of the best way to enjoy drinking it. A lovely evening was had by all in attendance.
You can make a reservation for the tastings online at www.theswedespv.com
Hope to see you there, I know I will be returning soon.
6 to 7: 30 p.m.
Oct. 12, 2023
Nov. 9, 2023
Dec. 14, 2023
Photos by Oscar Almeida: