Drink with: Fish tacos with mango salsa, chips & guac, or this Tortilla Chicken Soup with Kale
Jair Tellez, chef/owner of the progressive Laja Restaurant in Valle de Guadalupe (Mexico’s wine country), is the guy behind Tecate-based Bichi, the only known natural winery in Mexico. A few years ago, he decided to make the kind of wine he wanted to pair with his food, and began resurrecting old vines in Baja to make delicious, authentically-made wine from grapes suited to Mexico’s hot, dry climate – with awesome label art (bonus!). Jair’s partner in crime is Luis-Antoine Luyt, pioneer of natural winemaking in Chile, so of course they’re working naturally: organic farming, native yeasts, and as of this vintage, no so2 whatsoever. These are, in my opinion, some of the best wines made in South America today.
“Bichi” is slang for being naked, and this dry Muscat absolutely lets it all hang out: pure, raw and a bit wild, almost over the top, but with a strong backbone of acidity to keep the fruit in check. Think overripe pineapple on the grill. Or an exotic, surprising cocktail (mango-habanaro?), distilled down to it’s essence. Whatever you call it, it is crazy, delicious wine that should be drunk now, as an aperitivo, or with fish tacos with mango salsa, or spicy guac with fresh tomatoes, or anything Mexican, really.
The Bichi guys also make a killer Nebbiolo, that I swear has chipotle infused somehow. So good, but definitely not your dad’s Nebbiolo. And a fantastic, Gamay-like lighter red from the new world’s very own Misión grape. They don’t make a lot of wine so Bichi bottles are tough to find, but grab any that you can and marvel about the future of Mexican wine! If you need help sourcing these wines, contact me via Rock Juice.