Mariatinto arrived under special circumstances--a tasting staged as a preview of the Food & Wine Festival March 22-24 in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo.
Presented by Food & Wine magazine and the Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo Convention and Visitors Bureau, the festival will include cooking demos by top chefs from both sides of the border and a tasting of more Baja wines than you might ever be able to find in one place.
A mini-tasting (at top) took place at the preview, which was held at Vinotéque in West Hollywood.
Accompanying Mariatinto was one of the partners in the company that produces it, Guillermo González Beristaín (above). Chef and creator of the Grupo Pangea, which has six restaurants in Monterrey in northern Mexico, he'll give one of the demos at the festival.
It's an easy, food-friendly wine, perfect to accompany anything from the pork belly tacos and ceviche tostadas served at the preview to the Asian cuisines popular in California.
The other wines tasted were from Baja's Santo Tomás, including a Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Xalac, which is 100% Tempranillo.
Wine personality and author Mark Oldham, who led the tasting and will conduct wine and spirits seminars at the festival, said, "Even wine snobs don't know about Mexican wines," adding "I think a lot of them can compete with the world's good wines."
The spirits poured at the preview were Partida añejo tequila, with a sangrita chaser, and Zacbé mezcal.
Other chefs from Mexico who will appear at the festival are Patricia Quintana, Alfredo Oropeza, Federico López and José Ramón Castillo. U.S. chefs to be featured are Beard award winners Michael Symon and Marcus Samuelsson.
The three-day event will include a chocolate tasting, visits to local restaurant kitchens, an architectural tour, a tasting on the beach under the stars and a catamaran cruise along the coast.
For the program schedule and ticket information, go to the festival website, which will tempt you with photos of what took place last year and the gorgeous food that the chefs prepared.