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By Susan A Mahalick

Photos by Robin MacKenzie

March 30, 2015 (Baja, California)--A not too hot day with lots of sunshine was the setting for a spring event in the wine valley.

JoAnn is my first winemaking friend here in Baja. I used to go to her gallery and outdoor café for many years in Cantamar.  I met interesting people and enjoyed every minute of my time. Wine bars and art. What a lovely combination.

Recently she had an event at her cava and home in Guadalupe Valley. She combined her two favorite things, wine and tango for her friends and others to enjoy. Nestled in the same area as Baron Balché and Adobe Guadalupe in Porvenir, we enjoyed excellent fare and her wine. My current favorite is her 2011 Zinfandel. The meat was done to perfection and presented on rosemary skewers. The bread was freshly baked and contained sun dried tomatoes. Master Chef Erick Saenz directed the creation of the food and is slated to open a restaurant at Vintango. It will be called Quinto Elemento (Fifth Element).

There were two performances. Two different women danced, same man, Florentino Guizar, Sarela Uribe (first) and Lily Piedmont . According to Robin who stayed until the end, dessert came via a long line of the staff, like baby ducks, each holding a plate, which included Pat Haley’s Almond Roca which was melt in your mouth delicious. It was impressive.

The tango started at four on a small stage built for dancing close to the seating. As is usual with tango the dancers were elegant and sensuous.  A singer followed the dancers and completed the entertainment portion of the evening.

Martin DeLeón sang,  is from Buenos Aires and has sung at Carnegie hall among his many venues. Singing lights up his face as he expresses his joy with music. He has presented in Japan, Canada, Mexico, and Nicaragua along with many cities in the United States.

One tasting and one glass was included. Her 2012 Zinfandel complemented my meal and congenial conversation with friends at my table in the shade of a small tree. I bought a bottle of her 2011 Zinfandel to bring home as it has always been my favorite. It cost $20, a good value for a wine of this quality

The empty bottle is a start for the new collection of women winemaking friends for my kitchen. I hope to someday build a glass cabinet for them like the ones in the wine museum in the valley. I will have to be careful as wine bottles can accumulate quickly and are known to breed when one is not looking just as books can.

Call for a tasting appointment and directions or send an email:

646-0072  Mex cel      619-630-1170 US

Susan A Mahalick has written for the Secretary of Tourism, The Baja Times and has a book on Amazon called My Gold Coast, Baja---A Practical Guide.


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