New Mexico, New Mexico, New Mexico True, Vineyards, Wine, Wine Words, Wineries

Passing the Time

Years before I had any interest in the New Mexico wine industry, someone gave me a bottle of wine from Pasando Tiempo Winery. While I don’t remember the varietal (or possibly a blend), I remember thinking it was one of the best wines I’d ever tasted, and I remember the label. I’m not sure, at the time, that I even registered it as being a New Mexico wine, but it was also the first time that my husband and I actually consumed a whole bottle of wine in an evening—it was that good!

As time passed (see what I did there?), I became more familiar with New Mexico wines and when I decided to go all in promoting New Mexico wines, I knew I had to make a visit to Pasando Tiempo as soon as I could.

Meet Chris Carpenter, wine maker extraordinaire, and his beautiful wife, Martha!

What began as a desire to grow their own grapes and make their own wines for family and friends, has turned into an award-winning, beloved business in Corrales, New Mexico. Chris and Martha planted their vines in 2005 and while the vines were taking root and drinking in all the offerings of the Middle Rio Grande Valley terroir, Chris and Martha passed the time creating a beautifully landscaped lawn and a perfectly sized tasting room on their homestead. In 2011, they opened their doors to the wine-tasting public and thousands of people have passed their time relaxing with a glass of wine, laughing with friends, and enjoying the many community events hosted by Pasando Tiempo. I have visited hundreds of wineries around the world and, honestly, Pasando Tiempo is the only winery that has made me wish I lived nearby.

Pasando Tiempo has won multiple awards—and not only for their wines. They have received awards for being the best local winery, having the best local wine, and, for Chris, the best vintner. Most recently, they won the Albuquerque 2022 Best Family Business award. Corrales is a small village outside of Albuquerque. There is a relatively high concentration of very good wineries in a very small radius, so each of these awards is highly coveted.

I think one of the reasons the Carpenters and their winery are so well-loved is because they are very involved in the community. The winery has so many fun events for all types of wine enthusiasts. You can attend a movie night or an evening of pairing foods and wine. Real wine lovers will enjoy participating in a competition where you try to name the wine in a blind tasting. The best way to learn about events at Pasando Tiempo is by getting on their email list. You can send an email to Martha and she will add you to the list.

One of the best qualities of New Mexico’s boutique wineries is that visitors get to know the winemakers. Chris and Martha couldn’t be more pleasant. They talk to all of their guests as if they’ve known them forever. I felt like an old friend hanging out at a friend’s house enjoying some wine.

Now for the most important part—the wines! Chris primarily makes red wines, though he does make Chardonnay and a Rosé. I tasted the Rosé on my visit and was not disappointed! I also tasted Chris’s Tempranillo, Merlot, and Spanish Dancer Syrah. All of them were spectacular, but my very favorite was the Carpenter Family Meritage.

Let me take you on a little side trip into the Meritage world. When you see the word Meritage on a wine label, you can know that the wine is made from the best grapes of the vintage in accordance to specific standards set by the Meritage Alliance. Meritage is a New World wine blended in the Old Word tradition of Bordeaux wine. The wine must be handcrafted from a blend of traditional Bordeaux varietals. Meritage wines have great aging potential so you should be able to buy a bottle and put it away for years. On the other hand, it can usually be very approachable when it’s young. Meritage is a licensed name so a winery must meet several wine-making requirements and then be admitted into the Meritage Alliance in order to put the name on their bottle. If you want to be sure you’re purchasing the real thing, you can check out the member list here. Only 4 wineries in New Mexico have been accepted into the Meritage Alliance.

Wineries can make both red or white Meritage wines, but Pasando Tiempo makes a very smooth, rich red Meritage from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab Franc, and Merlot. If you can only choose one wine, choose this one!

Pasando Tiempo doesn’t have a wine club, but they do ship their wines to most states. The best way to get to know their wines is to visit the tasting room. They are located at 277 Dandelion Road, Corrales, New Mexico 87048. The tasting room is open every Friday from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.  I always recommend calling ahead and you can do that by calling them at (505) 228-0154.

I can’t think of a more charming way to “pass the time,” than with a visit to Pasando Tiempo. When you do make a visit, call, or email, please let Martha and Chris know you heard about them from Wine of Enchantment.

Please feel free to comment or email me with your winery visit, wine tasting, or wine travel experiences.

Until next time…