Bienvenidos a Oaxaca.
I’ve been summarizing a bit of my travels as of late but the biggest trip of all was leaving Tucson with a full suitcase and a one-way ticket to Oaxaca City, Mexico. I’ve visited a couple times before. My fiancé works for a mezcal brand, a fantastic one at that, and was asked to come down to the home base for mezcal production and well, I went with him.
I came down here to write more and I have been and intend to. Starting fresh in an international space makes you feel somewhat like a child, relearning steps you thought you had already made, relearning spaces and places and how to get around. For me, it also means creating a new workspace and trying my hand at something new, something solitary, and at something that’s really testing my discipline along with my circadian rhythms.
There’s no map for the bus system. There’s no English spoken. Hell, there’s no Target and paying my AT&T bill has taken a month to figure out with three different trips to the store and a Spanish-speaker in tow. There’s been multiple times I’ve just wanted a cigarette to calm my nerves and I ended up ordering menthols. Clothes haven’t dried for a couple days because I only have a line and it rains a lot during the summer. God damn, do I miss Parmesan cheese.
On the other hand, it’s been a month. I’ve had multiple conversations in Spanish with lovely human beings. Chedraui sells everything including tires (can Target really say the same?), my phone bill costs $30, and well, there’s quesillo, which makes everything better. I also breathe more and my face regained color.
I knew there’d be some challenges, some I realized, some I didn’t, but being down here is pretty damn rad. I do drink a lot of mezcal but those who know me well, know that my bubbly wine intake has suffered here in Oaxaca. To celebrate the idea of taking risks and stretching comfort zones, I give you my first bottle of bubbles that I enjoyed with every sip at Origen in Oaxaca.
Analogía is from the state of Querétaro, about three hours northwest of Mexico City. Querétaro is quite famous in its own right for its sparkling wine production or vinos espumosos. Not much is exported or even seen down here in Oaxaca. They celebrate their harvest with a festival in August and their main tourist attraction is their Ruta del Queso y el Vino, a tour or guide to all the cheesemakers and wineries in the region. There’s a mix here of larger companies versus smaller, terroir-driven wineries. Freixenet made their mark down here and owns Sala Vivé and has their hand in a lot of production including Analogía.
The philosophy here though is taking European varieties and harvesting and growing them on Mexican land. Mexican culture was created from blending Prehispanic rituals with European colonization and winemaking is no different. Grapes here are of international varieties along with Chenin Blanc, Colombard, and Macabeo. Analogía is made with Chardonnay and Macabeo and is done in traditional method.
It was deep straw color with notes of grass and crème fraiche, unripe pears, and savory herbs. We ordered two bottles in lieu of the cheap Taittinger on the menu (after conversion). I'm enamored with Querétaro and hope a trip there happens sooner rather than later.
I am now on a mission to find more of these bottles.
I can drink them while I wait for my clothes to dry.