Summer is sequels. It worked once, why not take it out for another spin around the blockbuster. “Furious” how many? While this isn’t about Vin Diesel, it is a sequel on “vin.” In our February issue, we published “Curious Pleasures,” a valentine to wine varieties that don’t get a lot of love, the redheaded stepchildren like Merlot, Chablis, Beaujolais, Riesling—wines we pass by in lieu of standard favorites. The wines below aren’t meant to replace or change our cup of tea, rather to invigorate discovery. In vino veritas, they say, and, if truth be told, we didn’t finish the job, so here it is: “Curious 2.”
Imagine yourself walking in the woods. The sun blazes high in the sky and patches of dappled light slip through to the forest floor. Trees whisper a hushed lullaby as the wind ruffles their leaves. Here and there, a butterfly drifts on the breeze and squirrels flit across the trail. Nearby, a brook gurgles a melody as robins and jays chorus overhead.
As you stroll along, the brook grows more insistent. It swells from a soft trickle to a rolling stream and you begin to hear a gentle roar in the distance. Your pace quickens as you move toward the sound of falling water. As you draw nearer the roar gets louder, until it’s all you can hear.
Finally, you see it—a cascade of water tumbling over a rocky precipice with untamed exuberance. It crashes over the ledge with rushing fury, then calmly swirls in shimmering pools below.
It’s 6:30 on a Wednesday evening and Paper Dosa is packed. Groups of people stand in the hallway or at the host stand, waiting for a table. The smell of frying onion, cumin, cilantro and mint fills the air while I sip a glass of Vinho Verde. A friend and I are lucky enough to get two seats at the bar, overlooking the kitchen. Our placemats are lost beneath an array of appetizers. We begin with handfuls of crispy pakora: thinly sliced red onion and jalapeño battered in rice flour, which we dip into a creamy eggplant chutney with a heady, earthy flavor. Next comes the cashew calamari, surprisingly not fried. Instead, discs of sliced squid are buried in a thick, spicy cashew curry. The flavor pairs beautifully with the strong, pungent ginger of a cold glass of Thistly Cross Ginger Cider. We lose ourselves in the spicy mango and goat cheese salad, crunching on colorful watermelon radishes and walnuts. Every so often we bite into lusciously ripe cubes of mango coated in spicy red chili.
Images of Lewis and Clark circa 1805 come to mind, shooting the Dalles Class V rapids of the Columbia River in dugout canoes. Interestingly, they’re always looking ahead with wide-eyed intensity. That they survived is testament to the boat handling skills of their “principle waterman” Peter Crusat, and to sheer luck. For them, a river was a means of transportation and rapids were something to be endured. Nonetheless, when they reached calm water at the end of the run, after wiping the sweat and spray off his brow, Meriwether likely turned to William and exclaimed, “Man, that was a hoot!”
Fast forward 210 years and we have Russell Dobson, owner of Santa Fe Rafting, offering trips on our beloved Rios Grande and Chama, in rapids ranging from (mild) Class I to (wild) Class IV. He takes full advantage of inflated rafts that, unlike dugout canoes, bail themselves and usually bounce off things like rocks. Yeah, bouncing off things like rocks is good.
Taylor Streit has been guiding fly fishers in Northern New Mexico for 30 years and is a “Legendary Guide” in the Freshwater Fishing Hall Fame. He has written three acclaimed fly fishing books. His son Nick runs Taos Fly Shop and was on the U.S. Junior Fly fishing team that placed second in the world competition of 1998. They employ several experienced guides who have been hand-picked and trained by Taylor on fishing New Mexico waters.
This is an overall north central New Mexico fly fishing forecast for the upcoming season. Particulars on how to get you hooked up will follow monthly on both the Local Flavor and Taos Fly Shop websites.
For pilgrims traveling the Turquoise Trail in search of Madrid’s famous celebrity, you can’t miss her—she’s mid-town on Main Street’s curve, upfront and sassy, a bevy of motorcycles jockeying for her attention. Pushing 70 in this current incarnation, she’s forever the belle of the ball, Madrid’s own Mine Shaft Tavern.
When we think of a food drive, we may think of going through our kitchen cupboard and searching for items that we can collect to give to our local drive. As the growing season is swiftly upon us, we can go deeper, we can expand our reach to local hungry community members by planting a row of vegetables or fruits.
Together we can bring fresh food to families, seniors and community in need across northern New Mexico. Join this amazing initiative led by The Food Depot, Northern New Mexico’s Food Bank.
“Everyone can make a difference.”
The finalists for the 2015 James Beard Awards—largely considered the Oscars of the food world—have been announced, and we could not be more proud that two of our local stars in the culinary community have made the list.
Ron Cooper of Del Maguey Single Village Mescal in Ranchos de Taos has been nominated for Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional. He is up against four other individuals from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (DE), Littorai Wines (CA), Mina Group (CA) and Buffalo Trace Distillery (KY). Congratulations! We wish you the best of luck.
Martín Rios of Restaurant Martín in Santa Fe has been nominated for Best Chef Southwest alongside five other of the region’s most talented chefs: Kevin Binkley of Binkley’s (AZ), Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue (TX), Bryce Gilmore of Barley Swine (TX), Hugo Ortega of Hugo’s (TX) and Justin Yu of Oxheart (TX). We are thrilled to have you in our local community—best of luck!
Thank you both for putting New Mexico on the map!
Hiking backcountry trails, of which there are many in Northern New Mexico, is one of my favorite things to do. Long distances require that the hiker to maintain a state of calm, both in body and mind, constantly adjust exertion to conditions and conserve energy. In maintaining this balance, your mind becomes quiet and distinctions between person and place fade away … the best nourishment for the soul I know. One such hike is to the Stone Lions Shrine in Bandelier National Monument. It covers 13 miles round trip, beginning from the visitor’s center, over widely varied terrain and nearly 3,000 feet total elevation gain. This hike tests my mettle and teaches me valuable lessons every time. Continue reading
Fishing Forecast for the 2015 season
Things are looking great here in Northern NM. We had a decent snowpack this year, and rain and high mountain snow continue to fall. Though this will mean tough fishing for the next several weeks, a good run-off is vital for the health of our trout streams. High flows carry unwanted sediment downstream, and help to keep water temps cool in June.
For the next month or so, the best fishing will be on lakes and tailwaters. In fact, the Cimarron has been very good lately and Stoneflies should begin to hatch there in 2 or 3 weeks. The Costilla below the Valle Vidal is another good choice this time of year.
As we look ahead to June, The Chama should fish well from June 5th to about the 20th, give or take a week on either end. Every year we see some incredible fishing there- but you have to hit it just right- make plans now!
We expect our 3 different stretches of private water on the Conejos to fish very good with Stoneflies around June 15-20th and Green Drakes right behind them. This has become an extremely popular time to fish and space on the private water is quite limited, so make sure you get your spot soon.
We are also excited for another year on the Trinchera Ranch in Southern Colorado. 180,000 acers of pristine mountains, stream and lakes with abundant wildlife and trout. With Cutthroats and 5 star accommodations- what more do we need to say! We have 4 days available in June (17-20th) and a few days in early to Mid-July. Otherwise the Trinchera is booked up until August. The Brazos River Lodge is also available this year again to our clients. There is a new lodge, and we expect fishing to be outstanding.
The Rio Grande will likely be too high for good fishing through May and much of June. We had some decent Caddis Hatch fishing this April, and we expect the fishing there to be great once the flows come down.
Taylor still has spaces available for his Fly fishing schools. For a list of classes and dates, go to taosflyshop.com. You will also find articles, essays and fishing reports written by Taylor at Muchas Truchas .
As usual, the fly shop is packed to the gills with new gear from Simms, Sage, Patagonia, Winston, and many more. We just got a shipment of Yeti coolers in, and our 2015 Columbia logo shirts are in and going quickly. We have some new shirt and hat designs as well. Check them out at taosflyshop.com where we will be continuing to update product throughout the year.
Our famous guide staff has only gotten better this year with the addition of Tom Harper and Emily Roley. Tom is a FFF certified Master Casting Instructor and Emily brings a long background of fly fishing and other talents to the table. Come by the shop and introduce yourself to Tom and Emily if you have not done so already.
In other news the Habitat Improvement Project on the Red River is just about complete. As the president of Enchanted Circle Trout Unlimited, Nick worked tirelessly to see this near $1,000,000 project come together. Now that it’s just about complete, we can hardly contain our excitement! When run-off tapers off in June, look for a new and improved trout stream at the Fish Hatchery and Eagle Rock Lake stretches of the Red near Questa. The Enchanted Circle TU chapter is having their annual banquet tonight! Get your tickets at Trout Unlimited .