$5 wine San Diego

$5 Rose from Mexico wins “Best of” at San Diego International

Monte Xanic’s Winery from Baja California, Mexico gained some critical acclaim recently at the San Diego International Wine Competition.  Their “Calixa de Monte Xanic” Grenache Rosado (Rose) won the top prize for Rose’s “Best of Show Rose”.  While winning the top prize may  be considered exciting by itself, the fact that this wine retails for $5 a bottle is sure to create a lot of excitement.

The name Xanic comes from the Cora Indians and means “flower which blooms after the first rain”. Monte Xanic was founded by 5 friends in 1987, just after Mexico opened up its markets to international wine. Even though many local producers were unable to survive the general perception that all imports were better Monte Xanic boldly pushed forward and today is widely considered one of Mexico’s best.

Monte Xanic is located in what is considered Mexico’s Napa Valley – Valle de Guadalupe.  Located near the town of Ensenada on the northern tip of the Baja Peninsula, about 85 miles south of San Diego.  Vineyards and wineries in the area date back to the 17th century and were producing wine of such great quality, that, as the story goes, the Spanish government decided it was a major threat and banned all production.  Luckily renegade monks continued to produce wine and according to historians in the area, much of Napa’s stock originated south of the border.  Valle de Guadalupe boasts no less than 17 boutique wineries nestled in amongst its lush rolling hills

And now the technicals on the award winning Rose!

Monte Xanic “Calixa”  Rosado, Valle de Guadalupe, Baja Mexico

Grapes: 100% Grenache

Production: “partial fermentation in stainless steel, with partial maceration”

Alcohol: 13%

Price: $5

I haven’t had an opportunity to taste this wine yet, so I am referring to the winery literature for the tasting notes:

“Nose: delicious red cherry bouquet, wild strawberries and red grape fruit.  Mouth: balanced with slight acidity, and a flavor of sun drenched ripe citric fruits, very fresh and vivacious.”

It’s always interesting to me to balance the locavore philosphy with a quest for new things from less known regions.  I am going to be on a quest to find this wine.  Have you tried any Mexican wines? Have you tried this wine?

Xanic Winery Website

More on Valle de Guadalupe

A visit to ENO oENOlogy Wine bar, Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego

I took a trip to San Diego to attend my brother’s graduation ceremony.

Wine Cheese and Chocolate

He graduated from Scripps with a doctoral in Philosophy.  Interesting thing about the sciences I learned: Your degree is called a degree in Philosophy and that’s it.  There are no other letter codes such as M.D. at the end!  His area of expertise is stem cells.  So to celebrate we packed up the family and headed to San Diego.  We gathered with some of his friends one night and had dinner at the Hotel Del Coronado.  But before we met up, I took him to a little place called ENO.  Eno wine rooms are located in Chicago and California.  They specialize in wine, cheese and chocolate.  On Friday nights ENO has a happy hour with an assortment of wines for only $5 a glass.

Riedel stem ware

And the wines are only served in Riedel stemware.  Top notch.  The wines are stored sideways in a temperature controlled glass room, which is incorporated into the design of the bar.  There is bar seating, table seating and long tables with various varietals of grapes backlit in the tables surface.

Interesting table top

Eno has a great assortment of cheese flights, specialty meats, and amazing chocolates.  Click here to view the menu

My brother and I enjoyed “The Great Cheese Experience” which is 6 of the staffs top pics, and includes  Brindisi,

The Great Cheese Experience!

Noord Hollander Gouda, Robiola a tre latti, Gruyere, Brebis and Roquefort.  I really liked the Gouda, the Roquefort was very strong!

We also had the Charcuterie which was an assortment of Prosciutto, Sopresseta, Salame, and Duck Pate.  Followed by a bowl of Olives marinated in chili, thyme, garlic and citrus.  Delicious!

Last but not least was the Sea Salt Caramel!

Sea Salt Caramel

To enjoy this treat, you turn it upside down and place it on your tongue allowing the salt to melt before sucking on the melting chocolate and caramel.

While we were there we were introduced to the  assistant sommelier at the Hotel Del Coronado, Joe Weaver.  Super nice guy, a little shy, but super nice.  Ladies…take a trip down to this wine bar and meet Joe..wink wink.  We also met Ted Glennon,wine director.  Ted is also a super nice guy.  Friendly, out going.  Both guys are really down to earth.  If you are looking for wine snobs you are in the wrong place!

I almost forgot…the wine!  We sampled 4 wines:

Click to enlarge, you can see a man in the wine!

Four Vines “Naked” Chardonnay, Santa Barbara, 2008.  Un-oaked Burgundian, Crisp, clean, and if I’m not mistaken, not buttery.

Vina Nora 2008, Albarino.  Delicious, fruit forward, tangy pineapple and citrus.

Andrew Lane Gamay “nouveau” Suisun Valley, 2009.  I really loved the bright vibrant color on this wine.  Crisp, fruity, very light on the tannins.  Served slightly chilled this wine would be a great summer refresher.

Maipe, Bonarda, Mendoza, Argentina 2008.    Yes, Bonarda.   Ripe black fruit, almost fig like with sweet herbs and a rich oaky finish.  I am going to have to buy this wine and give it a more thorough review.

Thanks again to the staff at ENO for a wonderful experience, I will definitely be visiting the next time I am in San Diego!