As a food and wine lover from Northern California, I’ve eaten and drank my way through Napa, Sonoma, Monterey, Livermore and Temecula Valley wine country. I’ve discovered the culinary delights of Bellingham, Washington and noshed my way through Oregon wine country. When I was asked to attend the Cancun Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival 2014 I willingly joined in to see Mexico’s take on culinary cuisine. What I’m about to share with fellow foodies may surprise you.
California wine country
Living less than an hour from California wine country has its advantages. There is never a lack of things to do in Napa, California. However, there is a downside to this convenience – I call it “California palate fatigue.” My taste buds have become accustomed to Northern California wines and, to be honest, that’s how I decide if I like a particular wine. This is not a fair way to taste wine. In fact, this approach to wine tasting is limiting my horizons rather than expanding them. I needed the Wine & Food Festival Cancun – Riviera Maya to broaden my horizons.
Mexico’s Guadalupe Valley
When I checked into my hotel room at the all-suite Secrets the Vine Cancun, I was not surprised to see a bottle of wine waiting for me. Upon closer examination I saw that the wine was produced in North Mexico’s Baja Guadalupe Valley. Grapes are grown in Baja California? Why, yes, is the answer to that question and they are producing mighty tasty wines, thank you very much!
I tasted quite a few Mexican wines in the Gourmet Tasting Village during the annual Wine & Food Festival held at the Moon Palace Arena. In addition to wine & spirits tastings and celebrity dinners taking place during Cancun Wine & Food Fest, the Gourmet Tasting Village offers guests a chance to sample small plates from a wide array of Cancun and Riviera Maya’s top Mexican restaurants.
Cancun Wine & Food Fest celebrity dinners
Like Auction Napa Valley, the Cancun Wine & Food Festival attracts world famous celebrity chefs such as New York’s Daniel Boulud, Mexico’s Guillermo González Beristain, Federico Lopez and Aquiles Chávez, in addition to Canada’s Daniel Vezina and Normand Laprise. The final dinner is a veritable who’s who in the culinary food and wine world, accompanied with excellent food and wine.
Several hotel’s in Cancun – Riviera Maya partner with the Wine & Food Festival. I stayed at Secrets the Vine Cancun as this all-inclusive, adult only resort has a wine focus and seemed a perfect match for the festival.
Festival attendees are able to purchase multi-day tickets to the festival or individual event tickets, depending on availabililty. Check the website for details. For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter and follow Cancun Riviera Maya Wine & Food Fest @crmwinefoodfest on Twitter.
If You Go:
Article and photos by Food & Wine Writer Nancy D. Brown. I was a guest of Cancun Riviera Maya Wine & Food Fest. All opinions are my own.