Welcome to Wine of Enchantment. This blog is dedicated to promoting the amazing wines, wineries, and winemakers in the Land of Enchantment—New Mexico.
Wait! New Mexico…is that a state or a country?
A state. It’s a state.
People make wine in New Mexico?
Welcome to my frequent conversations with relatives, beer drinkers and strangers.
I think wine made in New Mexico is some of the best wine in the United States, if not the world. And, it has become my passion to let the world know about it. BUT, if you aren’t from New Mexico, I hope that won’t deter you from reading the blog. There is so much to know about wine and, wherever you live, there will be something in each blog post that will help you on your journey toward becoming a wine enthusiast. If you are already far above my wine skill level, you will, at the very least, be amused by my writing and maybe you’ll even read about something you’ve never considered.
From this blog, you can expect:
- To read interesting stories about individual wineries and winemakers.
- To be introduced to some amazing varietals and blends from around the state.
- To find out what kinds of grapes grow in New Mexico and why those grapes make such great wine. (A lot of them grow in other states, too!)
- Find out what I’m learning about wine-making in New Mexico.
- As an added bonus, I will also be writing about my visits to a few family wineries from around the United States.
My purpose for starting WINE OF ENCHANTMENT is multi-faceted. Of course, I want to help promote the wine industry in New Mexico, but I also want my readers to embrace a lifestyle that includes wine. I have discovered, over the years, that the more I learn about wine, the more I enjoy drinking it. All wine is NOT created equal and not just any old wine will pair with your green chile enchiladas. Choosing wine is like choosing the perfect accessories for your outfit.
Where it all began:
I attended my first New Mexico Wine Festival in 2010. Excuse my French, but Le vin était dégoûtant! I suppose living in the borderland, I really ought to use my Spanish and say, El vino estaba asqueroso. Honestly, it doesn’t matter how you say it, the plain and simple fact was I thought the wine was disgusting. I threw out far more than I drank and, as we had only just moved to New Mexico, I was really sad.
The good news is that my disappointment faded enough over the year for me to buy a ticket to the wine festival the next year….and the next…and the next. And you know what? The wine got better and better. I became familiar with different wines from several of the wineries near me and I began to realize that the wine was becoming more complex, nuanced, and some of it was downright delicious!
One of the challenges facing New Mexico wineries at the wine festivals is that the vast majority of festival goers like sweet wine, so the wineries were catering to those palates. I,on the other hand favor dry wines and in those early years, I just couldn’t find many wineries who made a good solid dry red. Even the standard “dry” varietals seemed sweeter in New Mexico.
About 5 years ago I decided that the best way to know New Mexico wine was by visiting individual wineries. Many of them make wonderful wines that they don’t take to the wine festivals because they know it won’t appeal to the average festival goer.
New Mexico has 4 major wine festivals each year—Two on Memorial Day weekend and two on Labor Day weekend. The festivals are sponsored by the New Mexico Wine Growers Association. One is held in Albuquerque and the other is held in Las Cruces. The festivals are huge events for the wine industry in New Mexico and I’m sure, regardless of where you live, the same is true of wine festivals around the country.
Serious wine enthusiasts may attend wine festivals to get a snapshot of what’s happening in the wine industry, but they know that the best way to experience new wine is in a winery’s tasting room. At least that’s my favorite way to taste wine and I am a serious oenophile.
I hope you will join me as make my way across New Mexico tasting and writing about wine. I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to comment on the post or drop me an email. If you live in New Mexico or have visited a New Mexico festival or winery, I’d love to hear more about your experience.
Until next time…. #CHEERS