Finding Good Wines in Puerto Vallarta

You love wines and you know exactly what to get in your local wine shop at home. You get to Puerto Vallarta and suddenly feel like a total rookie because the wine offerings are completely different from what you are used to. Does it sound familiar? If so, this article is for you!

We’ll review some of the classic New World wine styles (think rich, oaky Cabernet Sauvignon, buttery Chardonnay, jammy Zinfandels, etc) and show you options of wines available in Mexico that have similar characteristics. Ready? Let’s get started!

If you like rich, full body California-style Cabernet Sauvignon

American wines tend to be about 50% more expensive in Mexico than they are north of the border. That’s due to high taxes on wine imports in Mexico and transportation costs.

If you don’t want to spend tons of money on a California Cabernet Sauvignon, look for wines from top of the line Mexican and Chilean wineries, especially ones that produce with an international market in mind. 

Here are a couple of options that never disappoint:

  • Torel Jr. Cabernet Sauvignon (Mexico)
  • Morandé Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon (Chile)

If you are feeling adventurous: look for an Italian Super Tuscan. These are incredibly elegant red wine blends, usually showcasing Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes. 

We have all three wines (and several other reds) in our online wine shop with free delivery available in Puerto Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta & Bucerias:

If you love buttery, oaky, flavorful Chardonnays

Chardonnay is the most diverse and the most planted white wine grape in the world, so finding a chardonnay wine should be easy anywhere you go. However, the production methods and the climate strongly affect the end result.

Chardonnay wines from Chablis (France), which are unoaked and produced in a colder weather are completely different from most new world Chardonnay wines from regions like Napa or Paso Robles, for example.

When looking for new world chardonnays that resembles what you get back home, look for wines produced in warmer climates and which were aged in oak barrels for at least a few months. Some regions to look for are Baja California (Mexico), Southern Australia and Mendoza (Argentina).

Here are two options that check those boxes:

  • Roganto Chardonnay (Mexico)
  • Morandé Chardonnay (Chile) 

If you are feeling adventurous: Chenin Blanc is a grape that adapted very well to the Mexican climate, and Mexican wineries are producing high-quality, inexpensive oaked Chenin Blanc. Check out Clandestino, a 100% Chenin Blanc from Valle de Guadalupe.

All three wines (and several other premium white wines) are available at our wine shop with free delivery in Puerto Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta & Bucerias:

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If you love jammy and spicy red Zinfandels

The Zinfandel grape has its roots in Croatia, where it was called Tribidrag. When those grapes were exported out of Croatia, they took the name Zinfandel in the US and Primitivo in Italy. To this day, these two countries are still the main producers of wines with those grapes, but still labeling them differently as Zinfandel in the US and Primitivo in Italy.

California regions such as Napa and Dry Creek Valley (Sonoma) have specialized in producing the best red Zinfandels in the world.

In all honesty, good zinfandels are very hard to find here in Mexico – maybe the hardest on our list. However, here are a couple of tips that can help you out:

Most Italian restaurants in Puerto Vallarta carry at least one option of Primitivo in their wine list. If you are a fan of zinfandels, look for those and you’ll have a very similar wine (it’s the same grape after all).

Here a couple of Mexican wines available in wine shops with “zin” characteristics: 

Incognito, blend of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon & Grenache (Mexico)
Cañada de los Encinos, Zinfandel and Petit Verdot Blend (Mexico)

We hope this helped you understand the landscape of Mexican wine shopping a bit better. If you liked this post, share it with your friends and make sure to join our newsletter for a lot more fun, wine-related updates!