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Grassfed Ribeye with Steak Butter and Grilled Oyster Mushrooms Paired with Monte Xanic Cabernet Sauvignon

 Our monthly offering to the readers of the #WinePW (Wine Pairing Weekend) is to share what we learned about Mexican wine.  We were offered the opportunity to hear Max Murphy, founder of Zuni Imports.  He spoke to us about the wine of Mexico and I want to share some of my favorite moments of that zoom meeting.

Max is very knowledgeable about Mexican wines.  His expertise comes from being a Certified Sommelier and the Founder of Tozi Imports.  Max shared that Mexico has been producing wine since the early 16th century. This happened when Cortez defeated the Aztecs.  Spanish sailors drank wine, so they brought cuttings with them and planted them.  From 1521-to 1699 Mexico became the hub of all winemaking in the New World, so much so that the King of Spain banned the export of Mexican wines in order to protect Spanish vineyards.  I found it interesting that he noted that wine was made for religious services.

Mexican Wine Regions

Mexico has five wine regions.  Aguascalientes, Baja California, Guanjuato, Queretaro, and Zacatecas.  Each of the areas is listed below, with a few more details.

Aguascalientes is the fifth-largest wine-producing region in Mexico.  The elevation is a little over 6500 feet above sea level on average, with a semi-arid climate.  Parts of the region are a little cooler than others.  It has hot water springs and believe it or not, it gets hail.  Their most popular grapes are Nebbiolo, Malbec, and Sauvignon Blanc.

Baja California produces 90% of all Mexican wines and is affectionately called Mexico's Napa Valley, The Valle de Guadalupe.  It is the northernmost wine-growing region with a Mediterranean climate and granite-rich soils.  Favorite grapes grown here are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Tempranillo, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc.

Guanajuato is in Central Mexico.  The elevation is around 6500 feet above sea level and has hot days and cool nights.  They harvest early due to late summer rains.  Favorite grapes here are Malbec, Tempranillo, Merlot, Syrah, and Muscat.

Queretaro is the southernmost region to produce wine in the Northern Hemisphere!  It is arid, with sea levels of over 7000 feet.  This region is known for its sparkling wines that are made somewhat like Cava.  Favorite grapes are Xarel-lo, Parellada, Macabeo, Malbec, Tempranillo, Nebbiolo Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay.

Zacatecas is home to some of the highest elevations in Mexico for wine growing.  It has a cool, dry climate and mineral-rich soil.  Favorite grapes are Malbec, but you can find Nebbiolo, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Viognier grown here, too. 

We purchased the Mexican wine we paired from Urban Imports.  I chose to try Monte Xanic Cabernet Sauvignon to go with the grass-fed ribeye we purchased from the Farmer's Market. In the webinar, the wine was tasted and very much loved.  100% cab, 

Tasting notes from the participants:  Eucalyptus, mint, drinks like a California cab, new world style, bright fruit, easy to drink on its own. 

Pair with steak, mushrooms or mushroom sauce.

We paired the bottle we purchased with a grass-fed and finished ribeye purchased from our local Farmers Market.   Bob first added salt and pepper to the steak and set it in the refrigerator for 24 hours (this step to start a dry-aging process) and after that he sous vide the steak at 125 degrees for 90 minutes.  He heated the grill on high.  He removed the steak from the sous vide bath, dried the steaks well, then reapplied salt and pepper.  He seared the steak on both sides for about 2 minutes to get a nice rare inside.  He set the steaks aside after covering them with a tent of foil. 

He prepared the mushroom by brushing it with extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper.  He grilled the mushroom until he saw grill marks and turned it, then grilled longer until he got a char.

For the other side dish, he made salt-encrusted baked potatoes.  With the steak, the Monte Xanic was the perfect complement to the steak.  With the layers of cooking, the layers of the wine came out, first the fresh mint, then the more earthy eucalyptus.  As the wine sat, it grew even more complex and deep, making it the only dessert we needed.  We did have a piece of dark chocolate with the last of the wine.  Bravo.  Mexican wines will now be on our shelves continuously.  Particularly this bottle of Monte Xanic!

See how the #WinePW bloggers paired their Mexican wines here!
  • Wendy from a A Day in the Life on the Farm will share "Mexican Foods and Wines always provide for a Perfect Fiesta"
  • Susannah from Avvinare is "Discovering Mexican Wine"
  • Jen from Vino Travels is taking "A First Look at Mexican Wines Including Italian Grapes"
  • Carlos from Carlos' Food & Wine is serving up "Mexican wines featuring sparkling wine risotto & grilled hanger steak with mushroom-red wine sauce"
  • Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla is sharing "Outside the Pigeon-Hole: Pairing Mexican Wine with Thai Cuisine"
  • Gwendolyn from Wine Predator Gwendolyn Alley features "Sparkling Wine from Mexico For #TacoTuesday"
  • Robin of Crushed Grape Chronicles will share "Mexican Wines – 2 wines from the central Mexican highlands of QuerĂ©taro #WinePW"
  • Linda from My Full Wine Glass is "Saying ‘hola’ to Mexican Tempranillo and sparkling wine"
  • Martin from ENOFLZ Wine Blog will share "Exploring Mexican Wine Beyond Baja"
  • Nicole from Somm's Table is "Sipping Mexican Wines with a Bowl of Birria"
  • Liz at What's in that Bottle will post "Salud a Los Vinos de Mexico!"
  • Terri from Our Good Life will pair "Grassfed Ribeye with Steak Butter and Grilled Oyster Mushrooms Paired with Monte Xanic Cabernet Sauvignon"
  • David from Cooking Chat will pair "Roasted Beet Pesto Pasta with Mexican Merlot"

Would you like to comment?

  1. Oh Terri, your pairing sounds Divine! I have a sous vide machine and I will definitely be trying this recipe! The Cabernet sounds delightful!

  2. Oh my YUM. I'll bet that was an amazing pairing. I love when the weather warms. I immediately want to light up the grill and make steaks.

  3. Cab and steaks - that has "yum" written all over it!

  4. This looks like an amazing steak night with a perfect pairing.

  5. What a mouthwatering pairing Terri! And that Mexican Cab sounds delightful!


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