Tag Archive | La Cumbre Brewery

SW National Parks Trip: NM Wine and Beer

After our visit to the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, we went back to the hotel to chill out and rest for a little while.  Jon wanted to go find a record store he was interested in – so we got in the car and headed over.  You can tell how much I enjoy record stores when you consider the fact that I had to think just now for several minutes to remember the visit…  But I remembered!  It was a Hastings music store, which I like more than other record stores because they have books!  And this one had chairs!  I spent a while perusing the local New Mexico book selections.  It was an enjoyable way to spend some time, but I resisted the urge to add more books to my collection – that was hard!

After Hastings, we stopped by the grocery store to check out some of the local wine selections.  I knew that there are some New Mexico wineries, but we weren’t really going to have time for visit any on our trip – we were focused on the National Parks!  We did find two wines that we were interested in though; a red and a white, both from St. Clair Winery in Deming, New Mexico.  St. Clair was established in 1984 by two brothers, although the family has had 6 generations involved in wine-making.

The red was a Cabernet Sauvignon/Zinfandel blend, with 50% of each, with 12% ABV.  It had a garnet red color, not as opaque as your typical Cab or Zin; more like a Pinot Noir.  The mouth feel was very light, and the nose was of strawberry and fruit punch.  And the taste?  Well, it was more like a Concord grape wine, with flavors of strawberry, grape and fruit punch; however, it wasn’t a super-sweet wine.  The second day, after wiggling around in the car for a couple of hours, this wine opened up and lost that Concord grape taste.  I could actually tell that there was Cab and Zin in the wine… and I liked it much better!

The white we chose was a Riesling; it was a nice, semi-sweet wine with flavors of lemon and peach.  I liked it better on the first night than the Cab/Zin blend.  The wines certainly were different than we are used to, and probably won’t win any fancy awards when pitted against the Napa or Washington wines, but they were good everyday drinking wines that would appeal to many.

St. Clair Winery - Riesling

St. Clair Winery – Riesling

After the grocery store, we headed back to the hotel to walk to a Spanish tapas restaurant that I wanted to check out.  It was right in the Santa Fe historic district, only a few blocks from the hotel.  And so we headed over… to find it closed…  A victim again of the “Closed on Mondays” curse in Santa Fe!  DRAT!  So now we didn’t know where we wanted to go, but we didn’t want to drive anywhere, so we wandered around the historic downtown until we stumbled upon the San Francisco Bar and Grill.  The menu looked good, with a mix of dishes.

The San Francisco Street Bar and Grill was a nice place with plenty of seafood options. They also brewed their own beer – a theme on this trip! I had the Mahi Mahi with Spanish rice and seasonal vegetables. I paired my meal with the La Cumbre A Slice of Hefen Hefeweizen. Jon had the Ahi Tuna with tomato jam and risotto. His went with the La Cumbre Elevated IPA. The fish was delicious – we were really enjoying it; when a fight broke out.

Nope, dear readers, it wasn’t Jon and me fighting.  That’s right – up at the bar, two guys, one with a Scottish accent, started yelling at each other.  Loudly…  Several of the waiters had to run over to serve as bouncers and they threw the Scottish guy out. He was yelling and cursing the whole time down the stairs. Jon had a blast watching!

Grilled Mahi Mahi at the San Francisco Grill

Grilled Mahi Mahi at the San Francisco Grill

Fortunately the fight didn’t last long and we were able to finish our meal in relative quiet.  Then it was back to the hotel, El Chimayo, for an early evening and a restful night’s sleep…