The Hatch chile festival and the New Mexico Wine Harvest Wine Festival are just around the corner! This Labor Day Weekend celebrate the New Mexico culture with the New Mexico wines and chile. The Franciscan Festival of Arts will also be held during Labor Day Weekend.
The Wine Harvest Festival will be held August 30 - September 1 at the Southern New Mexico State Fairgrounds. For more info go to wineharvestfestival.com
The Hatch Chile Festival will be held in Hatch August 30 - 31! For more info go to hatchchilefest.com
And if you're in the mood for some art then head over to the Franciscan Festival of Arts also August 30 - 31! This will be held at the Holy Cross Retreat. For more info go to holycrossretreat.org
Here is some great information on pairing Chile and Wine for the upcoming festivals!
I focus my chile and wine tastings on red, green, chipotle, habanero, crushed red pepper and fresh jalapeno chile peppers. They are all very distinctive and unique. Selecting the best wines for each enhances the culinary experience.
With Mexican food, or any with a lot of spicy or hot flavors, it’s always best to look for wines with low tannin and high acidity. Any light-bodied reds like Pinot Noir or Grenache made with a delicate hand, but there may be even more options with whites. Bubbly and fruity are the two characteristics that stand up to spice in Mexican Cuisine! Mexican food should be paired with lively, playful wines that have some structure.
For example -
1. Freshness of crisp, spicy jalapeno peppers- Ceviche (raw fish, onion, jalapenos, and tomatoes marinated in fresh lime juice – requires a high acidic white - residual sugar – Riesling or Moscato ( a bit sweeter). A sparkling California wine is a nice choice as well.
2. Fresh, spicy jalapeno, onion & fresh tomatoes based Salsas w chips – works well with a Demi Sec (Sweeter) or Riesling.
3. Earthiness of rich, red chile in a Red Chile Con Carne (roasted meat smothered in red chile sauce) dish would got well with a light red - as well as the full red - Malbec/ Cali Zin, Additionally, a Pinot Noir is any Chef’s best friend pairing well with Mexican food due to light nature and balance of fruit and acid.
4. Fresh roasted, green chile has a unique flavor in a dishes such as Green Chile Enchiladas – I suggest a dry white - yet fruity - Champagnes... Chenin Blanc or an Extra Dry 100% Chardonnay (Semi Sweet). The Extra Dry has just a little residual sugar that goes nice with the green chile chicken enchiladas. When it comes to wines and spicy southwest or Mexican cuisine, the bubbly is a fun experience in a chile and wine tasting…I suggest trying Champagnes and sparkling California wines with Anahiem and New Mexico green chile.
Typically a sweeter wine with a spicy jalapeno or fresh green chile is delightful.
However, personal taste varies due to how we react to different levels of heat in chile. Malbec’s of Argentina are delightful with an earthy red chile dish, such as red chile enchiladas, posole or carne adovada. If considering a wine over a margarita, try a Rose`. Again, “bubbly” selections are perfect for Mexican chile laced tastings.
Additionally, I suggest some wonderful New Mexico Wines I have served in my wine and chile tastings – Gruet, St. Clair’s, Amaro so many to choose in our beautiful valley!