A selection of wines from New Mexico. Photograph by Douglas Merriam.
Viña Cardinal, a unique aperitif from Albuquerque’s Vara Winery, pairs well with Marcona almonds, olives, local pistachios, and pecans lightly tossed in chile. Sip this medium dry gently; it has a slightly higher alcohol content. $32.
Vara Winery’s Silverhead Brut Rosado Cava is produced in Spain for the winery. Great for first courses, especially creamy soups or salads boasting autumn apples and fragrant cheeses, this medium-dry sparkler deserves a toast. $23.
Main courses can go either white or red. If your dishes contain chiles, turn to Vivac Winery’s Dry Riesling 2019 to tame the fire. It delivers just enough citrusy notes and tang to stand up to the full flavors on your menu. $19.
Milagro Vineyards’ 2015 Old Church Zinfandel, from Corrales, offers a full fruit and rich lushness that complements both beef and fowl. Vintners Rick and Mitzi Hobson can arrange a private tasting and visit to their fields. $38.
New Mexicans have been growing grapes and making wine since 1692. Explore wineries throughout the state, map out a tasting tour, and purchase bottles at Grape Aid.