Feature

Baja: Mexico’s wine country

A Spanish conquistador ordered the first vineyards planted in 1524.

Mexico’s wine industry easily predates America’s, said Shane Mitchell in Saveur.com. A Spanish conquistador ordered the first vineyards planted in 1524, and the Old World cuttings thrived, particularly in Baja California, where the Valle de Guadalupe provides “the perfect microclimate” for grapes.

2008 Viñas Pijoan Leonora ($36). This cabernet-merlot blend, like many Baja wines, has “a uniquely briny quality.” With its rich “cherry and bacon notes,” it pairs well with a smoky-sweet mole poblano.

2008 Balché Zinfandel ($95). This “peppery, herbaceous” zin is quite versatile, pairing well with “everything from chiles rellenos to chicken guisado.”

2010 Monte Xanic Chardonnay ($19). This “buttery yet balanced” chardonnay features hints of “toasted almond and tropical fruit.” Serve it with enchiladas.

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