In Vino Veritas

(CBS/The Early Show)
Mark your calendars for this time next year, and in large block letters write the words CABO and WINE, and then underline the word wine several times. I just attended the first annual Cabo San Lucas Wine Festival, which was held last weekend at the three Pueblo Bonito resorts, and by the looks of things, the second, third and fourth festivals are going to be well worth attending.

This year, a grand tasting was held in a ballroom that featured liberal pours of great wines from Castello Banfi, Chateau St. Michelle, Napa's Meadowood, and many more. Mexican wines, perhaps not as well known or quite up to the level of the wines of, say, Argentina or Chile, were also there for the tasting, and delivered some interesting flavors. It will be fun to see how they develop. Wineries like the Wente Vineyards and Domaine Louis Latour hosted dinners that featured several courses of food paired with wines, all of which were well-attended by the Cabo crowd.

The casual, low-key atmosphere of the festival was characterized by a talk that organizer Chris Davies, the Chairman of Wine Country International magazine and festival promoter, gave one day at the Wine Bar of the Puerto Bonito Pacifica hotel. Dubbed "Wine 101," the seminar was an introduction to tasting wines for people who want to get into the swing of wine touring and sampling, but are intimidated by wineries and the whole nomenclature of wines (i.e. descriptions like "cherries and tobacco and aged leather, with well-developed tannins.") Davies had a group of eight participants sip glasses of chardonnay, cabernet, moscato and sauvignon blanc in between nibbles of things like salty olives, ripe tomato slices and cheddar cheese to see how the flavor combinations affected the wines.

As for me, I just drank about three gallons of wine at the open tasting, and found them all to be…uh…delightful and intoxicating. In a good way, I mean. Davies promises as many as two dozen participating wineries next year. Sounds to me like an excellent reason to get to Cabo in January.