Saturday, December 4, 2010
Uncorked in Mazatlan
When we first arrived in Mazatlan last year, we were invited to attend Uncorked in Mazatlan, a monthly wine tasting event. Many of the people we met that evening we now count as good friends and we had such a great time that I volunteered to help co-ordinate the tastings this year.
Uncorked in Mazatlan is not a truly serious wine tasting, rather just an ever increasing group of people who enjoy getting together and sharing a glass, or two, of wine. The group has grown by leaps and bounds and we now have 50 to 60 people on our list. Of course, not everyone is able to attend each tasting. The group is growing and it can often be a bit of a challenge for the host and/or hostess to accomodate such a large group. We have been lucky so far this year, as each host has indicated they will be able to handle the whole crowd.
We did split the group this year, as there were several members who wanted to pursue a more traditional style of wine tasting. We are still part of the original group, but plan to attend the 'traditional' tastings as well.
Everyone who attends contributes a bottle of wine, and also provides an appetizer. The appetizers, according to my husband, are often the best part of the evening! We do discuss the wine, a bit, as in "Do you like it?" This season we have also requested that each bottle of wine comes with a label, indicating where it was purchased and what it cost. It is a bit frustrating when you answer "Yes" to the question and are then unable to locate the wine you enjoyed. We are also making everyone wear a name tag, at least for the first few gatherings. We all admit it, we're getting older and sometimes we just forget things, like names, and other things we won't mention here!
Mike and I hosted the tasting this month and made several interesting discoveries. One was the fact that we had approximately 30 guests, which was the perfect number - not too crowded, or too loud! It was just the right number as we were able to spend time with and to enjoy each person who attended.
Each month we try to feature the wines of a different country. November we focused on Mexican wines and Mike and I picked Italian for December. Big mistake there - you can find the odd bottle of Italian wine in Mazatlan, but it is expensive, and invariably red. Which of course doesn't work at all if you prefer white wine. This was a somewhat frustrating discovery as the invitations had been sent out before we realized the problem, but, this is Mexico, not big deal, we just reissued the invitations and told everyone to just bring along a 'favourite' wine to share!
Then we started the hunt for wine glasses! We have been to some tastings where the hosts actually had enough glasses for all of us, but that is definitely not the case here at the Casita. Actually, I don't have that many glasses in Canada either. Once again, we figured, no problem. We would provide plastic wine glasses and those who didn't wish to use plastic could bring their own "glass" glasses. We've done this at previous tastings. Another suprise - there is not a plastic wine glass to be had in this city, at least that we could find. We checked Mega, Soriana and Leys (the biggest grocery chains in town). We also wandered the aisles of Walmart as we were told they always have plastic glasses. Not this time, not a plastic wine glass in sight. We also scoured the streets in Centro checking out every party/kitchen supply store we could find. No luck there either.
But everything always seems to work out in Mazatlan. Mike and I were walking home from the market a few days ago and stumbled across a little party rental store and, eureka, they had wine glasses for rent. So, for 3 pesos a glass we rented 50 wine glasses (that's around $12.00 for the lot) and now everyone had a real glass to use.
We borrowed a table for the appetizers, collected a few extra chairs and set everything up on the terrace. The evenings have been a bit chilly lately, but we lucked in as the weather on the evening of our "Tasting" was lovely. It was a wonderful evening and everything went perfectly.
We were tired as it was a lot of work getting set up, but it was worth it! We pretty much finished the tidy up after everyone left and moved the furniture back into place the next morning. After washing 30 wine glasses Sunday evening, it was just time to make a cup of tea and settle down with a book!