When we first started coming to Puerto Peñasco in the ’80’s, your choice of wine was Padre Kino and it remained that way until El Tapeo opened up about 3 of years ago. All that changed under the plan of Laura Palacio from Laos Mar Hotel. After speaking with her, I learned a great deal about how it evolved. She had many who said, “it’ll never work, people here don’t know or care about wine and craft beers”. She has proved them wrong!
For Laura, this all began as a dream of owning a wine and tapas bar and at the encouragement of her daughter Bernadette, Martin and her family she has pulled it off. She said in my home, I have a huge kitchen and when I had friends over, I would always make tapas and wine. They also encouraged her to open her own place.
When the market hit a down turn here, the little breakfast restaurant in Laos Mar could not sustain itself, so being a good business woman, she said “I already own the liquor license so why not make use of it?” So from going to visit her daughter who was working in Ensenada and encouragement of her friends and family, she began checking out what Ensenada and the Valle de Guadalupe was doing and thus began El Tapeo.
She admits that when she first started going to the Valle de Guadalupe (wine region of Baja), the wine makers were hesitant and also did not think people in a little fishing village could succeed. She explained that she wanted a place where people could go for the fine wines of Baja (there are many of them) and the local cheeses and other products of Baja in a quiet relaxed setting, without having big screen tv’s, and noise. Well she has had our attention since she opened here in Puerto Peñasco. We can take friends and sit inside with the quaint wall sayings and rustic but comfortable surroundings and when it starts to cool down now, we can sit outside and watch the sunset over the Old Port while sipping fantastic wines and enjoying tapas. When we met last night the place was pretty much packed and everyone was having a great time.
When she first opened, she had several wineries coming over here for wine and food pairings. This is a great way to learn not only about wine, but how to pair food with those wonderful wines. We took friends, who were not wine snobs, and they had a wonderful time. It was exciting for us as the wineries realized that we did know what they were talking about as my husband Bill and I love our wine. They made a point of translating for us and telling us about the climate where the wines are grown and produced. These wine tastings will resume now that it is cooling down and she is planning a “Wine and Beer Festival” in the very near future. The 1st wine festival she put on in the Laos Mar parking lot had over 500 people in attendance and with the fabulous music, has left us all still talking about it. The east wall of Laos Mar makes the perfect back drop for the music as well as videos, etc. When she selects a date, we will be sure to let you all know about it.
I talk about a “Wine and Craft Beer Festival” as that is the other part of the dream. Laura and her partner Martin always wanted to have a bar and their ideas were the same on how to make it and because both of them love craft beers, they added that to the mix. Baja has many micro breweries with more coming all the time. Their beer like their wines can be put up against anything in Califonia and El Tapeo shares the best of both of them with you.
If you enjoy wine and micro beers at all, take the time to stop by and enjoy the perfect end to a perfect day here in Puerto Peñasco… we don’t have bad days here. You will find wines in all price ranges. You can also purchase your favorite wine there to take to your home or condo.
Check out the wonderful wines from Cava Maciel, MD Wines, Dubacano, 101 Wines, MD Vinos, and many other new wines that she is bringing in. Try the cheese and meat sampler and the great Olives Palacio style and don’t miss the chicken rolls and Paella on Thursdays.
Last before I close, I want to remind you of the “Tribute to the Beatles” on Oct 3rd. The group is from Cananea, Sonora Mexico and has played at El Tapeo several times before. They impersonate the Beatles in complete costume and will start off the show with a 30 minute video on the big wall to set the mood for their performance. Food and beverages will be available and if you have not already reserved your table I would contact Laura after 5 daily at El Tapeo. The cost is only $150 pesos and starts at 7 with the Beatles playing at 9:30 to 1.
You will also be able to see famed muralist Mauriel Morejon from Scottsdale, AZ exhibit his talent. He is noted for his huge wall murals all over the country.
Make El Tapeo in Puerto Peñasco your wine bar away from wherever you are from, you will not be disappointed. As the saying goes “Wine a bit, you’ll feel better”.