Drunk All Day The Classy Way
You may be asking yourself, is there truly a way to be drunk yet classy? The answer is yes, and I’m here to tell you my secret.
You tell someone you are going to spend the day drinking 20 different kinds of vodka, you sound like a college frat boy who is more likely to get sick than to impress anyone. However, if you decide to visit a few wineries and sample around 20 wines, you are a wine connoisseur, and that, my friends, is super classy. But where can one enjoy so many tasty wines, you ask? Try the wine in Mexico!
I’ve been to Mexico many times, but I never considered the country to be a place to drink incredible wine. While many areas of Mexico may be better known for their tequila and beer, I found that Baja California boasts some very impressive, award winning wines. I didn’t sample every last one, but I gave it my all, tasting upwards of 20 wines from 4 different wineries in Ensenada, all in one day.
As much as I’d love to be a wino that could describe all the subtleties of each and every wine I sampled, my classiness mostly comes from my ability to enjoy and hold my alcohol well, not by judging it. One thing I loved about all four of these wineries is that none of them seemed snobby or pretentious. Each and every one of them stressed that everyone will experience wine differently, and it is simply meant to be enjoyed. So instead of giving you some bullshit about the bouquet and all that other nonsense, I’ll just discuss the highlights of each of the wineries.
The number one thing you need to know about Santo Tomas is that their tasting comes with a chocolate pairing. They take their pairings so seriously that they make and sell chocolates that are specifically made to be consumed with different kinds of wines. That’s serious dedication to wine and chocolate.
I was really impressed by the difference between consuming the chocolate and wine separately versus allowing the wine to flow over the chocolate in my mouth. The specialized chocolates truly brought out entirely new flavors.
I also really loved that my tour guide explained one of their wine methods as the “Ashton Kutcher method.” My presentation was all in Spanish (though the tours can be taken in English as well) so at first I was sure I had misunderstood him. However, he elaborated, saying that some of their wines are young wines, mixed with aged wines, hence the term “Ashton Kutcher method.” Well played, Santo Tomas, well played.
Balch’é roughly translates to sacred drink in Mayan, at least that is what I was told during my tasting. I’m inclined to believe it, as I was quite pleased with the wines. The Boron part of the names comes from the old idea that wine was once meant for the gods and politicians.
Boron Balch’é is both a restaurant and a winery. They don’t waste too much time or energy on the wine tour or decoration of the area around the barrels, they get straight to the point with the tasting. That’s my kind of tasting. The wines were impressive. My only regret is not purchasing this shirt:
I’ll just come out and say it – Alximia was my favorite winery of the day. It did help that they fed me lunch, but I swear their wines were truly amazing. Plus, this was the first time in my life that I was given a gourmet burger to compliment my red wine.
Everything about this winery made me so happy. The view from the patio, the theme of the four elements for their wines, and the idea that food such as burgers and potatoes could not only be gourmet, but the perfect companion to a tall glass of wine. Move aside, cheap beer, Alximia wines have got you beat.
The food at Alximia is prepared only from products from within the Ensenada region. As for the wines, they keep it simple, with four styles, one to match each of the four elements, water, fire, earth, and wind.
My last stop was Hacienda Guadalupe, where I enjoyed several glasses of wine as well as some weird yet tasty birds.
Hacienda Guadalupe is not only a restaurant and winery, but also a hotel. The hotel itself is separate from the restaurant, and has only a few rooms, all of which are classy, yet simple. One thing I really loved about the location was that none of the rooms have televisions. The owner explained that he didn’t want to give people a substitute living room, he wanted to provide a beautiful place to relax and enjoy life. The owner sat with me through dinner and I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation. As he poured me more wine, he told me that he believed wine is a “social lubricant,” something to allow everyone to become more comfortable and social.
At the end of the day I was able to confidently call myself a classy drunk. A very happy one at that.