Red wine dominates the offerings from Mexican wine makers as red grapes do well in the warm climate and produce full-bodied, ripe, and robust wines. Many of the early wine producers immigrated from Italy, France, and Spain to Mexico and brought vine cuttings of their favorite grape varietals. As a result the main red wine grapes grown in Mexico are Tempranillo, Nebbiolo, Barbara, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Many Mexican red wines are made up of a blend of grape varietals and frequently in combinations not seen elsewhere in the world such as Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, and Merlot. But classic Bordeaux, (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot) and Cotes du Rhone (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre) blends are also favored by Mexican producers.
The majority of Mexican wine production occurs in the north in the Valle de Guadalupe and Valle de Parras regions. The Valle de Guadalupe region in Mexico is well-regarded for its wine production. The area is often called the Napa Valley of Mexico and is home to over 70 wineries. The dry hot days and cool evenings make this an ideal region for wine production. Further south is the Valle de Parras region. Due to its high elevation (5000 feet in some areas) and cooler climate, the Valle de Parras region is ideally suited to a number of popular varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, among others.
Serve this braised pork dish with a wine that mirrors the recipe’s spice and dark fruit flavors. The Mexican winery Casa Adobe from the Valle De Guadalupe produces a wine called “Kerubiel.” It’s a blend of grapes and made in a classic French Southern Rhone style with flavors of ripe raspberry, chocolate spice, roasted nuts, with soft tannins and a long finish. If you cannot find this wine in your area, which may be difficult depending on where you live, you can substitute a French Cotes du Rhone from Rasteau, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, or Gigondas which should be easy to find at your local store.
For more information on Mexican wines read our article on white wines from Mexico.