Pick It Apart

Examining Salpicon's wine list

For appetizers we’re going to share:
Flores de Calabaza
Squash blossoms stuffed with goat cheese and epazote, dipped in a light batter, sautéed and served with a roasted poblano cream sauce.
This sounds light and fresh, and totally in need of something clear and crisp like the 2005 Riesling, Grosset, Polish Hill, Clare Valley, South Australia

Trio de Tamalitos
Three fresh corn tamales: one filled with queso fresco and serrano chiles, with a spicy mocajete salsa and crema; another with black beans, rajas, and Chihuahua cheese with a black bean purée; the third with zucchini and chipotles
Moving into spicy regions here, so the added richness of an aged wine will come in handy and I’m thinking of 2000 Riesling, Smaragd, Kirchweg, Rudi Pichler, Wösendorf.

Tostaditas de Tinga
Crispy small tortillas mounded with shredded pork and chorizo in a roasted tomato-chipotle sauce topped with Mexican crema and avocado.
Here we’ve gotten a bit spicy and with the avocados we’re in need of something bright, yet rich enough to take on the roasted tomato chipotle sauce. A nice Barbera would be fine here and there is one on the short list, but I think the spicy 2006 Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato, Bric d’ Bianc might be an even better match.

And for entrees we'll have:
Chiles Doña Queta
A poblano chile stuffed with huitlacoche (earthy corn mushrooms), fresh corn and zucchini, served in a roasted poblano cream sauce and an ancho chile filled with potatoes, Chihuahua and cotija cheese with a sweet-spiced roasted tomato sauce.
This sounds like a killer dish and when paired with the 2002 Radikon, Oslavia, you better get ready for an umami explosion. I wonder if the wines are in the menu specifically for occasions like this?

Codornices en Salsa de Chile con Miel
Garlic-marinated and grilled Manchester Farm quail served in a sauce of ancho chiles, garlic, caramelized onions and honey with a potato, cilantro and queso añejo cake.

Okay, we’re moving back into red wine territory here and this dish sounds like it would be good with half of the wines on my list. I’m going to be conservative here and slide in the 2003 L.A. Cetto Nebbiolo, Private Reserve. It should be an excellent pairing and I really wanted to get one of the Mexican wines in play, so insert wagging tongue emoticon here!

Filete de Res en Salsa de Moritas con Hongos
Grilled Certified Angus Beef tenderloin topped with Chihuahua cheese, served in a spicy tomatillo-morita sauce with shiitakes; Mexican rice.
Man, it’s not often that you find Montefalco Rosso on a list, rare still that it would have some age on it and this is probably the only Mexican restaurant in the world to have it on the wine list. So how could I not order the 2000 Montefalco Rosso Riserva, Arquata from Adanti when it has a dish like this that sounds like it was made for it?!?!?


My hat is off to Salpicon. Vincent Satkoff, the wine director and co-owner, has done a remarkable job elevating the wine selection where one might never even think about ordering wine. It must have been a hard road to hoe, but it must also have been worth it!

I’ve now got Salpicon on my list of must-visit restaurants and I haven’t even touched on its extensive selection of tequilas and dessert wines. I can’t wait to get there!

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  • I think that the absence of Mexican wines is a glaring oversight of some wonderful products. Especially appealing are some of the wines made in the Guadalupe Valley of Baja California.

    I spent a week there tasting through a variety of producers, and was absolutely amazed by some wines made by French trained viticulturists and wine makers from Mexico.

    Jun 29, 2011 at 1:09 PM

  • Snooth User: Huaino
    811541 105

    Write your comment here.

    Jun 29, 2011 at 10:28 PM

  • Snooth User: Huaino
    811541 105

    Agree with Alan, the Northern Baja wine producing region is vastly overlooked and there are amazing vineyards, forward-thinking restauranteurs & entrepreneurs, boutique b-n-b's and grape harvest events (vendimia).
    The drawback to Mexican wines is the "special tax on product and services" (IEPS) they are imposed by the feds. It certainly limits their export capacity for foreign consumers and even the domestic market is affected. But the growers are attempting to reach beneficial agreements.
    I live an hour away from this area and look forward to increased interest and confident it will flourish.

    Jul 02, 2011 at 2:04 AM

  • I made my own pairing with Mexican food and believe me! is a new experience. Red wines, white and pink from Mexico.
    He left on the palate is notorious.
    I tried "pozole", "menudo de res", "tamales", "steak arriero", "Tinga beef", "fish Veracruz," "Lobster Puerto Nuevo with beans and wheat flour tortillas"
    The wines have been from Valle de Guadalupe, Parras Coahuila, Aguascalientes and San Juan del Rio Queretaro. In Mexico.
    I recommend a "2006 vino de piedra 2006", "2009 Chenin-Colombard Monte Xanic".

    Jul 03, 2011 at 10:00 AM

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