Category Archives: Food & Beverage

El Corcho Rosa Summer Solstice

Along with FREE tastings of our summer wines, there will be an #alacarte menu

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Wine and Cheese Pairings

Which wines pair best with what cheeses?

Bajadock: A rules follower I ain’t.  Exploration, learning what I enjoy and finding new adventures is my thing.  Friends, a bottle and a cheese plate with bread can make a grand evening.  What’s yours?

Armed with the right information, you can create amazing wine and cheese pairings on your own. Let’s take a look at some classic wine and cheese pairings and why they work, so that the next time you’re on a wine and cheese getting mission, you’ll have no doubt what to choose!

Wine and Cheese Pairings Poster by Wine Folly
This Wine & Cheese Chart is available as a poster on the Wine Folly store.


Tip #1: Pair wines and cheeses with equal intensity.


This tip is the most important takeaway for creating your own pairings. The delicate flavors of Gruyère would be overwhelmed by a big, bold Cabernet Sauvignon, but are perfectly balanced when paired alongside a Pinot Noir.

As a general rule:

  • Wines over 14.5% ABV are more intense and taste better with more intensely flavored cheeses.
  • Wines under 12% ABV are less intense and match nicely with more delicately flavored cheeses.

Tip #2: Bold red wines pair best with aged cheeses.

As cheese ages and looses water-content, it becomes richer in flavor with its increased fat content. These two attributes are ideal for matching bold red wines because the fat content in the cheese counteracts the high-tannins in the wine. For the best results, select cheeses that have been aged at least a year, including Cheddar, Gruyère, Manchego, Gouda, Provolone, or Parmesan-style varieties like Parmigiano-Reggiano and Grana Padano.

Tip #3: Match super funky cheeses with sweeter wines.

Sweeter wines like Moscato, Gewürztraminer, Late Harvest dessert wines, and Port match wonderfully with stinky, washed-rind, and blue-veined cheeses. Why? The sweetness in the wine helps balance the “funk” in the cheese and makes it taste creamier. Also, the “stink” of the cheese will help balance the sweet taste of the wine.

Two classic pairings you must try if you like funky cheeses are Port with Stilton and Sauternes with Roquefort. Delicious!

Tip #4: Sparkling wines are incredible with soft, creamy cheeses.

Sparkling wines have high acidity and carbonation, which offer a palate cleansing effect to creamy, sticky cheeses such as Brie, Muenster, Camembert, Cremont, or Époisses de Bourgogne.

Tip #5: Wines and cheeses from the same place pair well together.

More often than not, you’ll do well to trust the local traditions and match wines and cheeses from the same region together. A few great examples of this include Sauvignon Blanc with Goat Cheese (Loire Valley, France), Chardonnay with Époisses de Bourgogne (Burgundy, France), and Garnacha with Manchego (Spain).

Tip #6: When in doubt, get a firm, nutty cheese.

If there are several wines being served and you’re not sure which cheese to pair, one of the safest bets and most popular choices with all styles of wines is a firm, nutty cheese. The cheese will have enough fat to counterbalance tannin in red wine, but enough delicacy to compliment delicate whites. A few examples include Swiss, Gruyère, Abbaye de Belloc, Comté Extra, Emmental, and Gouda.

Sensual Storms

Thanks to friend, the “Coolest Bean”, here is a peak into my excitement, could be lust, for big storms.

I have never experienced a recorded hurricane, but, my now neighborhood, on the south end of Ensenada, Baja California, has seen at least three 80+MPH storms in my 10 years of residence.

One of my favorite storm memories was in Steamboat Springs, Colorado with my girlfriend in 1987.  We enjoyed a huge dwelling at Kutuk Lodge with big windows viewing south on a summer weekend.  While wining and chopping veggies for a salad, the wind became fierce.

We stopped our butcher block bingo dance in favor of the view through a huge window showing a dark grey wall of water in the sky approaching from the south with a decent-but-no-recuerdo bottle of grape juice.  It was at sunset. The storm event likely lasted a total of 30 minutes.

But that Colorado evening of thunder, wind, rain, food, wine and ensuing frolic have stayed with me for more than 30 years.  I have lost track of D.A.S. and hope she is well.

Having lived most of my life in the desert of Colorado(28 years) and now the desert of Baja, rain is a sensory rich event for my soul.  My home in Ensenada receives approx 8 or 4 or 6 inches(must be a guy thing) of precipitation annually.

The mini squalls of approx 1 mile diameter that dance across Bahia Ensenada during “winter” are amazing entertainment.  They excite me more than a tv sit-com…do they still make those, or am I too old and white?… or a reality click bait program…or the “my politician is better than your politician” gaggle of adolescent baby bummers.

My friends are as different as each storm cloud formation.  Eccentric buddies are a postive energy field for me.

If I am lucky enough to enjoy a front seat to a storm, a bottle of wine, a simple dinner and share it all with good friend, I am lucky enough.

My wish is reality, as I am in Florida sharing my dream today with my favorite girl: mom. Two inches of rain fell today.  Two bottles of wine are also down. A.C. Jobim is playing.  Buena suerte.

Ensenada Wine Competition 2017

Organized by the Autonomous University of Baja California with headquarters in the School of Oenology and Gastronomy , Will be held on 19,20 and 21 May 2017. The International Contest “Ensenada Tierra del Vino” (CIETVO) is a competition International agreement between products of wine origin that will be evaluated by a specialized jury, to obtain recognition based on the established in the definitions of the International code of oenological practices.

To provide the national and international wine sector with a platform for the recognition of the quality of their wines, through a competition endorsed by the UABC, with responsibility and transparency, as well as promoting the development of wine culture, by contributing to academic inclusion for a comprehensive training of professional citizens and promote the link to meet commitment and service to society.

The International Contest Ensenada Tierra del Vino, promoted by the Autonomous University of Baja California, is recognized as a competition with international projection through its link with the wine sector, and UABC’s commitment and responsibility to promote and disseminate with a global vision Wine culture.

Gran Medalla de Oro >=95                    Medalla de Oro  >=90                    Medalla de Plata >=85
U.I.E. Unión Internacional de Enólogos
Bajadock: How many have you enjoyed?

Adobe Food Truck

Adobe Food Truck at Adobe Guadalupe winery is a perfect change of pace for your Valle de Guadalupe wine tour.

My team and I visited last Saturday to enjoy AFT’s delicious food and garden setting.  The Adobe Food Truck experience is a galaxy beyond burritos in foil thrown through a window of a taqueria on wheels.  Here are my top 5 reasons to visit AFT:

5. The scene is peaceful in a beautiful garden with ample shade.  You are at a picnic in the wine valley.

4. The menu and food is always evolving with fresh choices and a variety of options.

3. Service by owner/chef Leda(photo center) is outstanding. Seeing Leda and team scurrying from table to table to assist customers with information, food an beverages is a fun people watching event.


2. Beverage choices are good with beer and wine available to quench your thirst.  The Adobe Guadalupe wine tasting room is in the adjacent building so you can sample and purchase their outstanding wine.  New for me was AFT’s IPA beer with lychee.

1. The food and beverage value is excellent.  You can feed four people on a frugal lunch budget while sharing several different flavors from Adobe Food Truck’s kitchen.

Sandwiches, salads, Iberian ham and small plates are all part of AFT’s offerings.  The chalk board menu inspires your taste buds as you smell the food being prepared in the truck.  You can also check out the choices made by other guests while you wander through the garden.


Our food choices included a salad, shrimp and a savory mushroom dish this Saturday.


This was our “surprise me” dish from Leda with Polish sausage, shrimp and spuds, yum.


Adobe Food Truck gets our 5 road flare award(out of 5 flares possible) to guide your way to the fabulous food and fun at AFT in the Valle de Guadalupe.



Find Adobe Food Truck from the El Porvenir Road that parallels Hwy 3.  At the north end of the El Porvenir town, you will find excellent signs guiding you to the Adobe Guadalupe winery.  phone: 52 646-117-0627

Adobe Food Truck Facebook Page

Ensenada Interactive Map

Our team of cartographers began plotting popular restaurants, taco stands, wineries and other spots in the Ensenada and Valle de Guadalupe area about 5 years ago on the Ensenada Interactive Map.  Click the map above or click here to access it.

The map is constantly updated with new discoveries and is always available on the left side of this website.

No, Hernán Cortés, we can’t possibly map every churro, chicharron and chocolateria location.  The good news is that the map also shows google maps locations that our team has not yet found.  The new Carl’s Jr near the flag in downtown Ensenada is an example.  Blame me, as I’m not a fan of U.S. fast fooderias.

As of May 2017, over 520 locations have been plotted on the map.

When first opening the map, the view can be quite a mess, as Ensenada Centro is dense with business locations.  Zooming in(hit the legend button to remove legend and unhide zoom: lower right) will focus on a more specific area of the city or wine valley.  Click and hold the map to move around.  Hit the legend button again and choose vino, hotel, cafe/Wifi, etc. to search.

The locations plotted by our team, when clicked, will open an info bubble that includes an underlined link to that business website or Facebook page.

Youbetcha, we gladly accept requests to plot on the map.  We will only focus on Ensenada and Valle de Guadalupe with the area from La Mision as a northern boundary and Santo Tomas as southern boundary.

Thanks for any suggestions, criticism and commentary on our Ensenada Interactive Map.


Valle de Guadalupe area of map showing winery locations plotted.

Mogor-Badan Farmer’s Market

At Mogor-Badan in the Valle de Guadalupe, a small farmer’s market is available on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 11a – 1p.  We arrived at 12:15 Saturday and were a bit late for the best goodies.  But, there were still plenty of fresh veggies from the organic garden, cheese, marmalades, vanilla, olive oil, olives and eggs.  Can’t believe my camera forgot to catch the goose eggs!

Samples of the marmalades and cheese were available for tasting.


If you are heading to wine tastings, it never hurts to bring along some bread and cheese to non-restaurant wineries to share with your hosts or fellow guests.  Of course, ask first when you arrive at the winery, to get approval on your BYO food.  Generally you will gain quick friends with this gesture.

At Mogor-Badan on a Saturday, you could hit the triple play of the market, a wine tasting and lunch at the excellent Deckman’s Restaurant(opens at 1pm).

Muelle 3 Restaurant Ensenada

My maiden voyage to Muelle 3 restaurant in Ensenada was this past Friday.  What has taken me so long? This iconic seafood restaurant is one of the few spots on the water in Ensenada that offers excellent food in a small, comfy setting.

With more than 12 miles of waterfront available from the Ensenada Hwy 1 toll booth south to Estero Beach, finding 5 decent restaurants with an ocean view on that stretch is a dining challenge.  Muelle 3 is a welcome port for sensory treats.

Muelle 3(“mway-yay tres” – Dock or Pier 3) is small, but dishes out some of the best and most unique seafood dishes in Baja.  They are usually busy in late afternoon, because they close at 7PM.  We luckily only waited about 10 minutes for a table at 5:30.

First order was fresh oysters with our beers.  They offer both Wendlandt and Agua Mala microbrew selections.  Wine is also available.

Next up was Pulpo Huitlacoche.  This may be the most creative octopus dish I have ever enjoyed.  I had seen/heard of Huitlacoche(see video at end of this post) before, but, these were my first bites, combined with slices of octopus and veggies.  I jokingly guessed grits on the green salsa support, but, it was polenta with cilantro.  The tortillas made for mini taco bar fun with the pulpo mix.

Yellowtail and veggies

Yellowtail and risotto was my “surprise me” dish.  90+% of my restaurant orders are “sorpréndeme, por favor”.

Both of our seafood main dishes were simply seasoned and seared perfectly.  No sauces or extra goop were added to disguise the fresh fish flavors.

Maybe Muelle 3 can squeeze in 20 diners maximum.  Owner/chef David Martinez is in the yellow shirt out on the patio here entertaining guests.

Our servers also handled kitchen’s last call smoothly.  Noticing that we had only ordered appetizers as of 6:30PM , we were asked if we would like to order more before the chefs shut down for the evening.  There was also no rush to the services that followed, even though we were 2 of only 4 diners remaining, thank you.

Muelle 3 gets our 5 anchor award(out of 5 possible) for flavors, atmosphere, service, value and fun.  Best way to enjoy this is with a 4some sharing different dishes and flavors.  Next visit, I will bring 3 friends and begin at 3-ish.

Loved another online review lamenting lack of ambience at Muelle 3.  WTF?  Cozy dining room attached to open kitchen on the waterfront with boats and gulls bobbing and weaving provide an excellent atmosphere at “Dock 3”.

Location is on water at end of Mercado Negro Fish market in Ensenada.  Street parking works or there is a thrifty pay lot on the north edge of restaurant between Muelle 3 and Cocedora de Langosta.

Muelle 3 Facebook.  646-174-0318  Closed Monday.

El Corcho Rosa Wine Bar  for more info, private tastings, private events, contact, Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California, MEXICO



Border Wall Prototype at Bar

Hennessey’s Facebook Page

Bajadock: What company manufactured the inflatable wall?  How many green cards did Hennessey give away?  Is the real Isabel Orlando filing a lawsuit?

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