ABQ Trolley Co. has another way to see and experience the quirkiness that is Albuquerque. Its new 14 passenger “party bike,” called the Duke City Pedaler, began service last month for the bar and pub-hopping crowd. “It’s like a party on wheels,” says Mike Silva, co-owner of ABQ Trolley Co. with Jesse Herron. “It’s an opportunity for people to get together and have fun in a unique environment.” The leg-powered vehicle offers seating for up to 10 pedaling passengers and four non-pedalers. The two-hour rental is time enough to hit three or four establishments along a predetermined route, running Friday and Saturday nights, with expanded service in the summer. Visit for more. Pedal on, dudes!

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2015 James Beard Finalists Announced!

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.

Photo compliments of Del Maguey

Photo compliments of Del Maguey

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.



Photo by Gabriella Marks

Photo by Gabriella Marks

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!

Get Out the Hard Stuff!

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Everywhere I look, trees have thrown off their colorful robes. Crackly piles of yellow leaves lie everywhere, piling up in corners and covering the ground between tree trunks. The afternoons, ever shorter, have a wonderful crisp feel and most days I can smell piñon and cedar fires burning in nearby kivas. Wool sweaters and hats are being pulled down from the top shelves of closets and we’ve all got our eyes on the Santa Fe ski basin, waiting for snow. It’s here: winter has crept up on us. I’ve traded in my salad bowl for the Crock-Pot and likewise it’s time to retire mojitos and mint juleps in favor of darker spirits and warming winter cocktails. I asked some of northern New Mexico’s most talented bartenders for their favorite cold-weather creations. Their original recipes and twists on old classics will have you feeling warm and fuzzy through the holidays and beyond. Continue reading

Tim Gaiser on Submodalities and Tasting

Tim Gaiser

Photo courtesy Santa Fe Wine and Chile Fiesta

Tim Gaiser is one of the world’s top wine experts and educators. One of only 219 people in the world ever to achieve the title Master Sommelier, he is the former Director of Education and Education Chair for the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas. Tim is also an adjunct professor at the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley. In the course of his more than 25-year career, he’s taught thousands of students at all levels about wine and spirits. Tim is one of the most influential teachers I’ve had the pleasure of working with. He was a great resource for me when I was studying for the Certified Sommelier Exam, particularly when it came to advice on how to become a better blind taster. The Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta is proud to host Tim each year for the week’s events, including the highly anticipated Guest Chef Luncheon and Master Sommelier Throw-down as well as various wine seminars. Continue reading

A New Accent at the Anasazi

Is there anything new to say about an old city? A city already different? A mañana town that bends you to its will then leaves you to its ever-scented burg whose mountain overlords assert that 400 years is not so very old?  Well, yes. In Santa Fe, where traditional nourishes creativity in the same way old soil renews fresh growth, we’ve embraced two recent Argentine imports: Malbec, a phenomenally popular wine with plush, dark-berried mocha flavor and Chef Juan Jose Bochenski, the cosmopolitan, self-assured executive chef at the Anasazi Restaurant. Malbec and Bochenski have more in common than Argentina. Both transplants have succeeded here in Santa Fe. Continue reading

Sommelier’s Notebook

Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 2.37.22 PMWhether you’ve got a cellar full of Burgundy or just a couple bottles stashed in the fridge, anyone can appreciate a good value when it comes to wine. Sometimes all you need is a bottle to wash down your green chile cheeseburger, but it’s getting harder to find inexpensive wines from regions like the Napa Valley. As a young sommelier, I am often asked by friends and family members on budgets what to buy. The trick to finding delicious well-priced wines is to move away from the big-name regions like Napa and start exploring lesser-known regions and their unique grape varietals. Sicily, southern Spain, Austria and Germany are just a few of the places I’ve been finding amazing deals. I’ve chosen wines that average in price from about $10 to $20 in a retail shop; they cost more on a restaurant wine list.

Italy is famous for its Chianti Classico and Barolo, but some of my favorite wines come from farther south, on the island of Sicily. Originally known for its marsala wines (which were only rebranded as “cooking wine” in the 20th century), the island is home to many indigenous varietals that thrive in its warm, dry climate. Grapes like Frappato, Nerello Mascalese and Nero d’Avola produce light red wines with plenty of bright red fruits and juicy acidity. Because of their freshness and light tannin, these are ideal wines to pair with almost any food. I was thrilled to discover Tenuta Delle Terre Nere’s Etna Rosso, made from organically farmed Nerello Mascalese grapes grown in the volcanic soils on the slopes of Mt. Etna. The light-colored wine (grapes are macerated only until fermentation is complete) is beautifully aromatic, full of strawberry, raspberry and cherry candy with an earthy undercurrent. I can’t think of a better wine for pasta and fresh cheeses.

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