The Latin Kitchen and Wine Enthusiast – together with Mexico Tourism, Baja Tourism, Instituto Cultural de Mexico, and Delta Airlines – are bringing the best of Baja to the Big Apple with the launch of Baja Meets New York, a series of Mexican wine and food events occurring from February 26 through March 1. The event will take place in cultural and dining venues throughout downtown Manhattan.
“We are thrilled to support the inaugural Baja Meets New York event,” says Lauren Michaels, President of Latina Media Ventures. “The timing for this type of event is perfect, given that Latin cuisine dominates the ethnic food market, and food culture continues to capture the imagination of both Latino and non-Latino audiences.”
Baja California’s beautiful Valle de Guadalupe is responsible for over 60% of the country’s wine production. Native Baja Californian and American vintners alike coexist in bacchanalian harmony in what’s been called the “Next Napa Valley”. El Gringo has enjoyed several visits to “The Valle” for food, wine and relaxation, and it is a natural and culinary experience on par with perfection. Among rolling mountains, expansive vineyards and a uniquely Mexican environment, both larger producers and artisan vintners are crafting some of the best wines in the western hemisphere.
Vines have existed in the Valle since the 1700’s. In the 1980’s, better vineyard maintenance and modern oenological advances helped Mexican wine production improve in Baja California. Hugo d’Acosta, a French-trained winemaker from Mexico City, inspired the movement and has since become a champion of Valle de Guadalupe’s independent winemaking community. In 2014, Wine Enthusiast named Valle de Guadalupe one of the year’s Top 10 Wine Destinations, based on its rich history in viticulture and cultivation of quality vines over the last two decades.
A series of multi-day, multi-format culinary events, Baja Meets New York will welcome five Baja winemakers, led by Hugo d’Acosta of Casa de Piedra and Aborigen. Other winemakers will include Amado Garza (Viñas de Garza), Phil Gregory of Vena Cava Winery, Joaquin Prieto of Vinas Tres Valles, and Mauricio Cantú of Cava Aragon 126.
Although Baja’s wine is fairly established, the region’s culinary offerings have just begun to evolve and become noticed over the past decade. “Baja Med” cuisine is a symbiotic combination of fresh, local ingredients prepared in an imaginative style and adhering to Mexican and Asian preparation and cooking traditions. At the forefront of this culinary movement are Baja’s most successful chefs, including Diego Hernández of Corazon de Tierra, Javier Plascencia of Mision 19, and Drew Deckman of Deckman’s en el Mogor. All of who will be creating regional food pairings with Baja’s wines throughout Baja Meets New York.
The Baja Meets New York program includes an opening cocktail party at Hotel Americano’s Artico rooftop space, dedicated wine tastings at the Mexican Consulate‘s Octavio Paz Gallery and Casa Mezcal, and paired multi-course Baja wine dinners hosted by NYC chefs Roberto Santibañez, Julian Medina, and Danny Mena. An 8-course paired wine dinner, or cena maridaje, featuring all Baja chefs and winemakers will close out Baja Meets NYC! on Saturday, March 1st.
All this talk about food and wine has made El Gringo hungry! But since I’m fortunate enough to live in San Diego – within an hour and a half of some of Baja California’s BEST cuisine and wine – all this goodness is within my reach. If you’re not in the area, or just want to drift away on a foodie foray, check out Baja Meets New York for some of the freshest, most imaginative and delicious cuisine and amazing wines that you’ve ever experienced! Start spreading the news…
Your Gringo in Mexico,
All events are ticketed and sold on the dedicated website: www.bajawinefoodfestival.com. Prices range from $60 – $200.