Star Wine List's ambassador César Garduño is the sommelier behind our guide to Mexico City, a city he describes as ”the capital of street food".
For César Garduño, the journey into food and wine started at college when he was studying culinary arts. There, he fell in love with craft beer and at the same time had his first wine classes, which eventually led him to work as a second sommelier in Freixenet México.
Until now he has also worked at Pujol in México City, one of the 50 best restaurants in the world, and at the same time continuing his wine studies.
Describe Mexico City as a wine and restaurant city?
”I would say that México City is the capital of street food; there is no corner where you can't find lusciousness. And, talking about restaurants, this city has some restaurants that for years have been ranked as some of the best in the world. Many of them cook traditional Mexican cuisine and work sustainable.”
”The local is important also when it comes to wine – wine lists in Mexico City always have local wine on them, and people are proud to ask you ’Hey, have you tried Mexican wine before?’.”
Right now, natural wine is a big movement around the city and the whole country
How has corona affected the restaurant scene in Mexico City?
”A lot of openings are on standby; others are working with delivery, something that for years has been useful in a big city like this one. Unfortunately for someones, building a restaurant as a second income, the corona finished that dream, but Mexicans are people who always are looking for creation.”
When it comes to wine bars, what are the biggest trends right now? Regions, countries, wine styles, etc?
”Right now, natural wine is a big movement around the city and the whole country. But here in the city, the Mexican palate traditionally loves strong flavours, so there is a lot of interest in skin contact wines and long macerations, as well for wines that are not usually found here, like the ones from the Czech Republic and Georgia for example.”
Anything you want to see more of when it comes to bars and restaurants in Mexico City?
”I would love to see more variety when it comes to natural wines and the knowledge about it. Our food is perfect to pair with these umami, sour flavours.”
Anything you want to see less of?
”Less fear – there is nothing wrong to take the lead when it comes to a recommendation.”
Editor's note - 2022 - César Garduño has left Mexico to work abroad and Star Wine List has a new ambassador.
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