Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Mexican Lou and La Ciudad

Whether you call it Mexico City, México D.F., La Ciudad or just DF, we've arrived at one helluva grand city. Largest city in the Western Hemisphere, one of the most populated cities in the world and the largest Spanish-speaking city anywhere, including Spain. Neither Boo nor I have ever been here before but we thought it would be an incredible place to visit now that our amigo, Mexican Lou, has been back in his birthplace for a couple of years now.

Unfortunately, our arrival time wasn't so great in terms of syncing with Lou's work and rush hour. So, we simply grabbed a cab and hoped we'd make it to his place in one piece. Actually, we were happy to even make it in the first place. We arrived at the Miami airport only to find out that our flight had been changed to a flight that left two hours earlier and that we'd received no notice of the change. Luckily, there were seats on a second flight that would get us there almost on schedule.

So, it was a major relief when Mexican Lou was just crossing the street as the cab arrived at his place. He had us inside and had some welcoming tequila poured within minutes.

Now, little did I know - especially when the Tequila was poured into those little shot-like glasses - that we weren't meant to shoot our drinks. Turns out that our Maestro Dobel Diamante and Herradura Reposado were sipping Tequilas and that, by downing my Maestro, I'd just shot back the equivalent of a high end single malt Scotch.

Oh well. Welcome to Mexico, I figure. Besides, after our airport worries, I needed a strong and quick drink.

Lou was going to have to head into work in the morning; so, he thought that a bit of a tour of the neighbourhood would be a good way to help us get some bearings for the days to come. He lives in La Condesa district and, again fortunately for us, it's one of the nicest parts of the city. We didn't even walk around for an hour but we could easily see how Lou's stories of renovation and gentrification of the neighbourhood had manifested themselves.

Our wanderings left us feeling like we'd somehow ended up in a little known part of New York City - albeit warmer and way more Spanish. Lou lived by a couple of local parks and by any number of streets with very enticing restaurants but we decided to simply pick up a few grocery items (including wine and juice for mix) and head home.

 A little of Lou's home cooking and our first bottle of Mexican wine just seemed like an easy way to catch up and to make some plans for the days to come.

1575.  2012 Bodega La Resistance - Tolochos (Mexico)

While I've had a couple of Mexican wines over the years, the first thing I learned about wine on this trip is that I was going to have to rely on the kindness of strangers if I was ever going to make a decision on what wines to try. I took a quick look at the wine section when we hit the grocery stores and there were certainly more Mexican wines than I'd ever seen or heard of before. What was going to make it even more difficult, however, was that I wouldn't be able to understand any of the store assistants or any sommeliers. Lou picked this one out for us. So, I managed to get through our first wine decision unscathed.

I couldn't find out much about the wine or the winery - in either English or Spanish - but I did discover that Bodega La Resistance has a Facebook page (en Espagnol) and that it is a newer winery with limited production. Owner winemaker, Thorsten "Thor" Schocke, is part of a new generation of winemakers that studied at El Porvenir school in Baja California and, between those studies and a stint in the South of France, he's created two red blends in Mexico and one in France.

Tolochos is a blend of Zinfandel, Petit Sirah and Cab Sauv from grapes grown in the Valle de Guadalupe - one of the foremost wine regions in the country. Tolochos is produced as an approachable sip - a "picnic wine" as I saw it referred to online - and that's exactly what it was. It didn't overpower our chicken mole and, while there was plenty of fruit, it didn't blurt out pure commercial fruit bomb.

Much to Lou's relief, as our first Mexican wine of the trip, it certainly left us thinking that we need to find some more.

As we dined and wined, Lou gave us the lowdown on the neighbourhood and the best route to follow in order to take in some of the sights, museums and their equivalent of NYC's Central Park and Stanley Park back home. Things are looking good.

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