An enthusiastic crowd welcomed Black Mesa Winery to their new tasting room in downtown Taos this past Friday, May 10. A perfect addition to the historic fabric of town, it’s bright and expansive, auspiciously located directly across the street from the Harwood Museum, and is the ideal place to expand one’s mood while reflecting on art. The timing is perfect, as this upcoming Friday sees the release of the R.C. Gorman retrospective: The Early Years. Black Mesa’s Tasting Room sits at the foot of R.C.’s old residence and gallery: a garden of byzantine delights which over the years shocked or amused the intrepid traveler. As he was rather fond of the grape, I’m sure, were he alive today, R.C. would be a regular customer.
From bubbles to off-dry whites, from Montepulciano to Pinot, Black Mesa’s got it all. While we know R.C. won’t ever show up, one can still revel in the fact they might be fortunate enough to talk wine or Aikido with manager Craig Dunn. A sommelier, and owner of Taos Kihon Dojo here in Taos, Dunn ran the Doc Martin’s wine list for years, and is responsible for multiple Wine Spectator “Awards of Excellence.”
If you do get a chance to meet him, no doubt he’ll enthusiastically describe the wines and the vineyards in New Mexico, as the state’s burgeoning wine industry continues to grow at a rapid rate and New Mexican wines continue to impress. It’s a wonderful time for wine enthusiasts: both locals and travelers, as Black Mesa’s tasting room joins Dixon-based La Chiripada’s, just up the road at 103 Bent Street, a block north of the Plaza, affording one the opportunity to stroll from either tasting room on Taos’ new “Wine Trail.”
Local eateries often carry Vivác Winery — also based in Dixon — selections by the glass. The wines are quite good, so ask for them. There’s good food and a world-class independent bookstore in Moby Dickens along the way. Get out of the car and stretch your legs; oenophiles will be glad they did.