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Cozumel Wine at the Beach

Cozumel Wine Shopping Guide

Below is an overview of wine you can expect to find on Cozumel. Some are always or usually available at the supermarkets. Others you'll find offered in the better restaurants in town.

We have provided a few recommendations but the supply changes often. So this is mostly a generalized guide to get you started on your explorations.

we'd love to Hear from You if you find any wines locally that you'd care to comment on. (In fact, we'll add your 2 pesos to this work in progress.)

 

Mexican Wine.

A number of Mexican vineyards have really come into their own in recent years garnering international prizes.  Two of the most prominent are available for purchase at the supermarkets here: L.A. Cetto and Monte Xanic.  Both producer/distributors  are located on the west coast of Mexico in what Mexicans refer to as Baja California.El Valle de Guadalupe is the Napa Valley of Mexico with good climates for grape growing and irrigation systems set up thanks to rich families and government subsidies.

L.A. Cetto is the largest producer/distributor in the country and, indeed, in all of Latin America.  The company has made a major push in recent years to educate the masses re the joys of drinking wine and this may in fact be a contributing factor to the growing interest in wine on the Riviera Maya.

If you’re on a budget but want to try some decent Mexican wine, check out the L.A. Cetto label and let us know what you think. Right, label from a 2006 petite sirah from L.A. Cetto. We found the 2007 vintage at the Mega for $78 pesos/6 bucks and thought it was purty nice. We didn't care for the cab or the chard we tried. But tastes vary and feedback is appreciated.

Willing to bump up a bit in price? Then check out the Monte Xanic label. 

This is another Italian/Mexican family vineyard.  Their chenin blancs are known to be good and they put out an excellent label called Calixa.  In addition, their Reserve Viognier is reputed to be outstanding.  We sampled a Monte Xanic 2008 Chardonnay priced at $128 pesos (about $10 US at the current exchange rate)and give it lotsa stars. You'll have to let us know about their reds as we were too tight to shell out $200 pesos to sample them.

Chilean Wines:

There's a good selection of Chilean wine available to purchase locally with virtually all of it coming from either the Maipo or Central Valley regions..

The local market is dominated by Concha y Toro.  Their lower priced vintages – in the $5 – 7$ range – may disappoint unless you can get by with Gallo type jug wine. However, a couple of their sub-labels are worth checking out. 

Keep an eye out for their Xplorador label, for example..  My Dad tells me they make a very nice 75% cab/25% merlot.  At least the 2008 vintage was excellent.  He bought it at (you guessed it, Costco in So. Cal) which means that it might now or soon be available at the Mega Grocery store which is affiliated with Costco in some way.

We're also fond of the St. Helena label wh ich is almost always available at the Chedraui. Both their reds and their whites are quite good for table wine and price in at around $70 pesos/$6/bottle.

And keep an eye out for the Vina Maipo label.  We recently sampled a Vina Maipo Reserva cabernet 2007 purchased for $120 pesos/$10 US at the Mega that wasn't too shabby!

Other Chilean labels you may see in the best local restaurants and should watch for in the stores include El Descanso Chards and Merlots, Ikus merlot/t/cabs, merlots,chard and sauvignon blancs,  Baron Philippe Chardonnay, Errazuriz Reserve cabernet and Punta Nogal Chardonnay. 

We're seeing two other Chilean labels at the Mega as of 1 Feb 2010, Palo Alto Reserve and Vina Santa Rita both of which are garnering some accolades on the internet depending on the year, of course. But still worth giving those a shot. (We haven't tried either yet so help us out someone.

Where to Buy Wine

Chedraui -- A large supermarket just off the water front, corner of Melgar and Calle 11. Be sure to check price at the machine found at the bottom of the hard liquor aisle.

Mega -- An even larger supermarket on the waterfront between the Punta Langosta cruiseship pier and mall and Calle 11. Also be sure to price check at the machine located at the back of the aisle opposite the seafood section.

Special Order --Eduardo Mora imports wine weekly for his restaurants and wine bar. He also takes special orders offering serious discounts on minimum 6 bottles (2 bottles of 3 kinds is okay.) EMAIL HIM a week ahead of your vacation and the wine will be waiting for you when you arrive! How sweet is that?

Argentinian Wine

There’s a good selecton of wine from Argentina available locally. But if you're looking for good deals, you're not likely to find any from this country. If you want to sample some of the best of these without having to spring for the entire bottle, Olive Wine Bar carries some interesting choices llike the

Altos Las Hornigas 2007 Malbec pictured right. (Eduardo says he'll be offering one special wine per week by the glass for people to get a taste of these good vintages.)

Argentine Malbecs tend to be much better than their cabs, apparently. And if you're looking for decent champagne, they do this well. It's called "Methode Champenoise”. The Las Moras label is a decent medium-priced wine to try.

Other Countries

We’ve listed these last because the selection is smaller and the price generally higher.  Browse the stores, however and you might find a something interesting and within your price range.

Italian Wine

Plenty of it and plenty expensive.  Good chiantis and whites are particularly in evidence locally and there’s a good Italian champagne, Proseco.  Eduardo offers only one Italian red in his wine bar, the Sicilian, Corvo Rosso and several whites including Santa Margherita Valdadige Pinot Grigio 2009

Spanish wines

Good selection available to purchase locally and sometimes they get lots in at considerably discounted prices.  Watch for deals on wines from the Rioja or Ribera del duero regions..   Olive carries Conde de Siruela, Ribera del Duero 06 and a Torres Gran Sangre de Toro, Catalunya 2008. He also has an affordable Spanish champagne, Freixenet, Mini Nevada 06.

USA Wines --

Poor selection and high prices. Gallo is pretty much it. Much better deals and selection on Mexican, Chilean and Argentine stock.

French wines –

They’re also available here but, like everywhere, they are expensive because the French never seem to lower their prices, no matter what, do they?  So that's it for the air time they'll receive in this article.

Cozumel Aussie Wine

Australian, S. African and New Zealand.

 Yes, you can even get wines here from that far away but prices on the Australian’s can’t begin to compete with what you’ll pay for the same labels in the states.  S. African and New Zealand wine is also available particularly at the Mega and at better prices than for the Australians generally. Eduardo’s bar features one Aussie vineyard, Renmano with a moderately price Shiraz Mataro and a River Breeze Reisling. (Pictured left)