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Travel From Your Couch Through These Latin American Wines

travel for Latin American wines

A tour of Latin American wines you can take right at home

by Erin Ortiz


The past few years have been fraught with climate change, political battles, a global pandemic and an uncertain economy. Wine has endured war, disease, politics, and more. In the end, the industry always comes back stronger, better, and bigger. Even when travel was impossible, a good bottle of wine with an even better story allows you to travel from your couch to a place you’ve never been and grow to understand, experience, and celebrate culture from inside a glass. 


Let’s begin our wine celebration in Mexico. Mexican wine seems like an overnight success, but in reality, Spanish colonizers planted vines there in the 16th century. Wine production was so successful that it overshadowed the popularity of Spanish wine, and in the 17th century, King Charles prohibited grape growing in new colonies to slow production. As Mexico struggled to gain their independence, Mexican wine production fell by the wayside. 

Now, as the country regains its footing, the increase in production is in part due to the heroic efforts of wine professionals like Jill Gubesch, wine director of Frontera restaurant group, Arce Mota, owner / chef of La Contenta and La Contenta Oeste and Jose Pastor. If you’d like to experience a wine from the suddenly buzzy region you can pick up a bottle of natural red Bichi “Listan” for $35. Pair it with some street tacos and head to the nearest park. 


Next, we have Brazil, which boasts the only DO  for sparkling wines as of November 29, 2022. Chilean winemaker Mario Geisse was the first to discover the potential of Altos de Pinto Bandeira to produce exquisite sparkling wines.  He founded Cave Geisse in 1979, just three years after moving to Brazil to make wine for Chandon. The terroir in this area is comparable to Champagne and Franciacorta. 


Last but certainly not least, one country that knows a thing or two about celebration is tiny, but mighty Uruguay. Amanda Barnes, in an article for the World of Fine Wine, says  “Although relatively quiet and unassuming, Uruguay isn’t afraid to ruffle a few feathers either, proudly claiming its title as the world’s first football champion at the World Cup, the birthplace of tango, and home to the world’s longest carnival. Uruguayans certainly do know how to have fun and exude that Latin joie de vivre.” 

They also make killer wine in 99 different soil types that favor Spanish, Italian, and French varietals at a fraction of the cost of many of its European cousins. For example, you can pick up a bottle of Bouza Pan de Azucar Riesling. Take it to the Fourth of July BBQ, and pair it with BBQ meats and vegetables.

Three years after lockdown things are returning to normal. We are getting off our zooms and getting on to planes, out to restaurants, and on to live our lives. Still, it’s nice to know that going forward we can find ways to live our lives under any circumstances. Should you ever need to be housebound again for any reason, remember that you can always bring the celebration and exploration to yourself by cracking open a bottle of these Latin American wines and traveling from your couch. Be sure to check out our Sip Consciously Directory for other wines in other regions around the world!

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