Mi Sueño Wines Pair Perfectly with Mexican-Inspired Cuisine

Successfully pairing wine and food together will enhance any dining experience. It can seem overwhelming to know what wine to pair with what dish. The goal in pairing food and wine is to create harmony, as well as for the wine and food to complement each other. One simple way to pair wine and food is to think of regional pairings. For example, when you eat Italian food, pair it with Italian wine. Same for French food with French wine, Spanish food with Spanish wine, and on and on. But when it comes to Mexican food, what we do normally pair with it? Beer or margaritas. 

Mexican cuisine is known for its intense and varied flavors, and it is natural to think about enjoying the food with beer or a margarita. Most Mexican restaurants do not have proper wine lists. But I am here to tell you that Mexican cuisine pairs beautifully with Chardonnay, Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and more, and especially with the wines of Mi Sueño Winery in Napa Valley. 

Mi Sueño was created in 1997 by Rolando and Lorena Herrera. Both were born in Mexico, Rolando first came to Napa in 1976. After five years, his family returned to Mexico but two years later, at the age of 15, Rolando returned to Napa to live with his older brother and finish school. Hard work and an outgoing personality led to an opportunity to work the harvest at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars. Rolando spent a decade at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, mostly as the cellar master, and also studied winemaking at Napa College. Rolando then worked as a winemaker at Chateau Potelle in St. Helena before starting Mi Sueño.   

On a trip to Napa Valley a few months ago, I stopped at Mi Sueño for a tasting with owner and winemaker Rolando Herrera. As we were talking and tasting, my friend who I was with told me about a memorable event she had attended at Mi Sueño that paired the wines with recipes prepared by Lorena Herrera. Using fresh produce, Lorena’s recipes, which include shrimp ceviche, chiles rellenos, pork tamales, pork pozole, and chicken mole rojo, are from her Mexican ancestors and have been handed down generations. 

I was intrigued. I thought about the spices and the rich flavors and wondered how a Napa Cabernet or a Syrah would work. So, I connected with chef and sommelier Lucia Palm and challenged her to come up with dishes to pair with the Mi Sueño wines


We selected four wines from Mi Sueño:

Mi Sueño 2018 Los Carneros Chardonnay ($42)

Sourced from the Tierra Blanca vineyard in Los Carneros, the grapes underwent native fermentation and spent 18 months in French oak, with 30% new. The wine underwent 100% malolactic fermentation and lees stirring. The wine is a brilliant pale-yellow wine with aromas of yellow apple, stone fruit, lemon curd, and brioche. Bright acidity and a tart roundness result in a lovely textured wine with a long finish. 

Mi Sueño 2018 Sonoma Mountain Chardonnay ($55)

The Chardonnay grapes come from the Pugash Vineyard in the Sonoma Mountains. The grapes were fermented and aged for 17 months in 65% new French oak and underwent malolactic fermentation. A clear, pale-yellow wine, the Chardonnay has aromas of pineapple, melon, apple, lemon, wet stone, and a touch of vanilla. On the palate, the vibrant wine has fresh acidity with a soft roundness in the mid-palate. 

Mi Sueño 2017 Syrah, Napa Valley ($60)

Aged for 20 months in 55% new French oak, the Syrah has aromas of dark fruit, plum, white pepper, espresso, leather, sweet tobacco, and vanilla. On the palate, the wine is rich and round with flavors of black cherry and chocolate. The wine finishes with good acidity and soft sandpaper-like tannins. 

Mi Sueño 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley ($75)

Aged for 22 months in 65% new French oak, the wine was aged in the bottle for an additional year before its release. A deep, dark garnet color, the wine has ripe fruit aromas of blackberry, black cherry, plum, and blueberry, as well as sweet tobacco and baking spice notes. The fruit notes continue on the palate and the wine finishes with juicy tannins. 


Lucia, who posts her recipes on her Instagram @lucilovesfood, prepared four dishes, inspired by Mexican cuisine but with creative touches:

Guacamole with Charred Corn and Chips

Corn was sauteed with miso and butter and then added to the fresh guacamole, giving it a nice nutty flavor.

Crispy tempura battered shrimp tacos with Vietnamese and Thai-inspired slaw

The shrimp was dredged in a tempura batter, then quickly fried twice to get them extra crispy. A quick slaw was made incorporating ingredients commonly used in Thai and Vietnamese cooking, such as fish sauce, Thai basil, and cilantro, and lime juice to tie it all together.  

Carne Asada tacos with guacamole and charred corn salsa

The flank steak was marinated in lime juice, garlic, and various spices and then cooked on high heat. Sliced thinly, it was served with warm tortillas, and topped with guacamole with charred corn, Pico de Gallo, and crumbled cotija cheese (which is like feta). 

Pasilla peppers stuffed with Oaxaca cheese and chorizo

Pasilla peppers were de-seeded and then sprinkled with shredded Oaxaca cheese (which is like mozzarella). Cooked chorizo was crumbled on top and then more cheese was sprinkled on top, and then they were baked in the oven at 400 for 10 min. 


Lucia and I sat down and tasted each dish with the wines. We agreed as to which wine paired best with which dish. 


We tried the guacamole with both Chardonnays and the Sonoma Mountain Chardonnay was our choice. Between the sweetness of the corn, the herbaceousness of the cilantro, and the tartness of the lime, the acidity and brightness of the Sonoma Chardonnay was a perfect match. We even found that when paired with the wine, the guacamole tasted even creamier. 

Fried Shrimp Tacos:

Showing harmony between the wine and the food, the Los Carneros Chardonnay was the winner with the tacos. It was the body, texture, and acidity of this wine that worked so well. The acidity in the Pico de Gallo matched the bright acidity of the wine while the batter, fat, and weight of the shrimp was a match to the weight and texture of the Chardonnay. 

Chili and Chorizo:

I was not sure how red wine would work with the spice from the chorizo, but the Syrah really worked well. The richness of the wine held its own while the dark fruit aromas tempered the heat of the chorizo and brought out sweet notes in the chile. It was the fruit flavors of the wine that made this pairing work so well, and a meatier styled Syrah might not have worked as well with this dish. 

Carne Asada Tacos:

Pairing the tacos with the Cabernet Sauvignon was cohesive. The umami flavors of the carne asada softened the tannins in the wine, letting the fruit and spice notes of the wine shine.

Next time you enjoy your favorite Mexican meal, try it with a bottle of Mi Sueño wine instead of a beer. 

The post Mi Sueño Wines Pair Perfectly with Mexican-Inspired Cuisine appeared first on Monarch Wine.

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Liv-Ex 1000 index: il prezzo dei fine wine ai massimi storici

Lo scorso mese di settembre il Liv-ex 100, indice che rappresenta le variazioni di prezzo dei 100 vini più pregiati al mondo è salito fino a quota 364,44, valore di un soffio inferiore al record di sempre del giugno 2021 (364,69 punti). L’indice Liv-ex 1000 (che allarga a 1000 fine wine) ha invece trovato, sempre nel nono mese del 2021, il suo massimo storico, con una crescita del 2,5% fino a 396,37 punti. Questi ed i seguenti valori suggeriscono che il 2021 sarà tra gli anni migliori di sempre per il fine wine, dato che il Liv-ex 100 è cresciuto del 17,4% rispetto ai dodici mesi che vanno da settembre 2020 a settembre 2021; il Live-ex 1000 del 12,5%.

La regione di produzione più “performante” in fatto di prezzi è stata la Borgogna. Il sotto-indice di Liv-ex 1000, e cioè l’indice Borgogna-150 è in rialzo del 5,7% (fino a 630,97 punti) ed ha già superato il precedente picco che era stato stabilito a novembre 2018. Secondo maggior rialzo per lo Champagne (+4,5% a settembre). Più lenta la crescita del l’index Italy-100 (che traccia le variazioni di prezzo del vino di qualità italiano), cresciuto a settembre del solo 0,8%.


Dai Mercati, fine wine, liv-ex, prezzi, vino di qualità

CBrands: birra e vino high end trainano le vendite del gruppo

Sta dando i suoi effetti il piano di Constellation Brands di fare rotta verso la premiumizzazione: una strategia avviata a partire dal 2009 e già oggetto di diverse operazioni, tra cui ricordiamo la cessione a Gallo di 30 marchi low-end di vino e superalcolici ed anche l’apertura di una divisione dedicata al vino di lusso e ai superalcolici artigianali.

Nei tre mesi terminati ad agosto il gruppo di Victor (NY) ha registrato una crescita delle vendite su base organica del 5%, fino a 2,37 miliardi di dollari. Locomotiva di questa impennata sono state la birra (in su a doppia cifra) ed i vini higt-end, grazie in particolare alla popolarità dei marchi The Prisoner, Kim Crawford e Meiomi. Bene anche i risultati trimestrali di vini e liquori bio, con vendite cresciute nel complesso del 15% fino a 510 milioni di dollari.

Risultati cui tuttavia – così si legge su Shanken News Daily – corrisponde un calo dell’utile operativo dell’’8% (fino a 730 milioni di dollari su base organica) per effetto, in particolare, dell’aumento dei costi e dal rallentamento del fortuna degli hard seltzer.


Dai Mercati, Cbrands, constellation brands, Shanken News Daily

Could robot cats solve Japan’s waiter shortfall?

A fleet of 2,000 robot cats will stand in for human waiters at a Japanese restaurant chain to plug the human resources gap.

Like many countries, Japan is currently suffering from a chronic staff shortage in the hospitality sector, with government data revealing the number of Japan’s tourism and restaurant sector workers have dropped from 4.05 million in 2020 to 3.82 million in 2021.

But one Japanese restaurant chain has come up with an innovative solution to the problem.

A litter of robot cats, called BellaBots, will stand in for human waiters at Skylark restaurants to make up the shortfall. There is also the added bonus of the robot felines having a lower risk of spreading Covid-19.

It is unclear why the robotic waiters are ‘cats’ rather than robot people. But one thing’s for certain, Japan’s robotics industry has boomed during the pandemic, alongside contactless payments and digital menus, as companies seek to explore ways to minimise human contact, and keep customers safe.

Skylark Holdings will roll out more than 2,000 BellaBots, which come souped up with an array of facial expressions and 3D obstacle-detecting sensors.

Made in China, the black and white bots, with a digital face display, will be capable of carrying food for up to four people on an in-built tray, as well as removing dishes when customers have finished eating, according to financial newspaper Nikkei Asia.

Skylark, which operates 3,000 restaurants across Japan, will introduce the robo-cat waiters at many of its venues over the coming year, including its famous chain of Syabuyo hot pot eateries.

Last month, Softbank Robotics announced a partnership with China’s Keenon Robotics, geared towards installing robot waiters in restaurants across Japan and Singapore.

Recovery Plan: gli incentivi per l’agricoltura in un dossier speciale sul Corriere Vinicolo

Con il Piano nazionale di ripresa e resilienza (Pnrr) il quadro delle misure a sostegno delle imprese agricole si arricchisce di nuove agevolazioni. Tra queste i contributi a fondo perduto per l’innovazione e la meccanizzazione in agricoltura, una nuova forma di incentivo che incoraggia la transizione digitale ed ecologica al centro del maxi piano per la ripresa dal Covid “Next Generation EU” e di tutta la programmazione dei fondi europei 2021-2027.

L’argomento, già introdotto su Il Corriere Vinicolo n. 21 dello scorso luglio in un articolo in cui abbiamo dato voce al ministro Stefano Patuanelli, è ora approfondito in un dossier speciale realizzato in collaborazione con Warrant Hub-Tinexta Group, a pag. 11 del numero 33/2021 de Il Corriere Vinicolo.

I contributi per l’agricoltura di precisione e l’agricoltura 4.0 non sono infatti l’unica novità rilevante per il settore, che può contare su diverse linee di investimento del Recovery Plan e sul rifinanziamento dei contratti di filiera e distretto ad opera del Fondo complementare al Pnrr. Senza dimenticare il Piano Transizione 4.0, che è stato potenziato dalla legge di Bilancio 2021 grazie al contributo dei fondi europei del Recovery e viene completato da un nuovo regime di aiuto a fondo perduto previsto dal Pnrr per incoraggiare gli investimenti in macchinari, impianti e attrezzature per produzioni di avanguardia tecnologica.

Corriere, CV 33/2021, Piano Transizione 4.0, PNRR, Recovery Plan, Stefano Patuanelli, vademecum, Warrant Hub-Tinexta Group

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