5 Mexican Sparkling Wines For Cinco De Mayo

This is your sign to try South-of-the-border bubbly for your May 5th revelry.

Every fifth of May, party people all across the U.S. gather to festively celebrate Cinco de Mayo—a holiday rooted in the Battle of Puebla where an under-equipped and outnumbered Mexican army defeated the French army on May 5, 1862. This significant feat inspired a sense of pride and patriotism in Mexico, and the victory served as a national holiday for the entire country for several decades, until the Mexican Revolution.

In modern-day Mexico, it’s no longer denoted as a statutory holiday, but public schools all across the country still do close to commemorate it. Of course in Puebla and neighboring Veracruz, it remains a full-blown celebration with parades, food, and music, and a day off work.

So how did this Mexican holiday become popular in the States? With the close proximity between California and Mexico, it’s said that sometime in early 1863, Mexican mine workers received word of the French defeat and were so excited that they spontaneously celebrated with fireworks, singing, and patriotic speeches. The celebration continued locally until sometime in the 1940s when a political, social, and cultural movement in the U.S. known as the “Chicano Movement” inspired more widespread interest in celebrating Mexican heritage, including Cinco de Mayo.

Spurred on by product marketers (especially those at beer and spirits companies) a more commercialized version of the holiday emerged in the 1980s, which gradually morphed into the festive cultural celebration it is today.

In a poetically symbolic way, Mexico is replicating their independence from what would have been a French-ruled regime by establishing their own distinct identity in the wine industry. The Mexican wine industry has continually raised its profile over the last several years, emerging from the shadows to position itself as a viable player in the field. 

Production and exportation is still limited—but the search is worth it. Major online shopping options include the U.S.-based La Competencia Imports and Patrick Neri Selections. Big box retailer Total Wines consistently has some selections, too. If you’re really lucky, however, you live in a city that has a wine shop that specializes almost exclusively in wines from Mexico, like the incredible Vinitos wine shop in Dallas, Texas, or you’re able to attend Mexican wine-dedicated festivals like Freixenet’s annual “Bubbles Fest” and the upcoming Tinto Bajio in Leon (listed in the Q1 and Q2 2024 editions of The Sip Schedule, respectively).

Photo: Courtesy of Pouya Wines

In short, Mexican wines are having a moment. And although the celebration of Cinco de Mayo is usually synonymous with tequila and margaritas, what could actually be more apropos to drink for a celebratory occasion of any kind than sparkling wine? We’ve rounded up five great bubbly bottles for your Cinco celebration, with some perfect pairing suggestions to boot.

EP + bn–Espuma de Piedra Blanc de Noir Brut (Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California) – $35

A traditional method sparkler made of 100% Barbera? Yes, please. Barbera’s flavor profile traditionally presents notes of red berries and cherries, with soft tannins and vibrant acidity. The EP delivers all of that in spades, plus some juicy yellow citrus and green apple notes in the aromas. This bottle can also be found at Total Wines

PAIR WITH: shrimp tacos, oysters on the half shell, birria tacos

El Bajio (Valle de Bernal, Querétaro) – $30

Made by Freixenet México, this cava-inspired, traditional method sparkler is a blend of 50% Macabeo, 40% Xarel-lo, 10% Ugni Blanc, and is a nod to the Spanish heritage that is part of Mexican wine history. The winemaker’s tasting notes: “…aromas of Meyer lemon flowers, jasmine, pear, and hints of Brioche bread. The palate is fresh, clean, and dry with notes of white flowers, apples, and bright acidity…” 

PAIR WITH: chicken fajita nachos; cheese quesadillas (especially since Querétaro is also known for its marvelous cheeses); tempura fish tacos

Bichi Winery “Pet-Mex” 2022 Rosé Pet Nat (Tecate, Baja California) – $28

This pet-nat rosé’s stunningly gorgeous hue is a hint at the winemaker’s distinctive winemaking POV. With an emphasis on biodynamic and organic practices, the grapes are dry-farmed and hand-harvested, and the wine is fermented with natural yeast. The blend on this pet nat varies from year to year, but some deep sleuthing revealed that the two latest vintages, the 2022 and 2020, were comprised of 100% Misión (aka Listán Prieto or Criolla Chica) and a field blend of Dolcetto with Misión while the varietals used for 2018 and 2017 are largely unknown to anyone except the winemaker. Other varietals regularly used also include rare varieties like Rosa del Peru (aka Moscatel Negro), as well as Tempranillo and Carinena. Made in the “metodo ancestral” style, this wine is bright and super fresh, with mouthwatering red fruit notes. 

PAIR WITH: Pork al Pastor tacos (works beautifully with smoky chiles, cumin, and paprika), chicken mole, and sushi.

Photo: Courtesy of Pouya Wines
Pouya “Remix 2023” Espumoso Rose Pet Nat (Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California) – $40

This woman-owned and operated micro-production winery is helmed by owner and winemaker Fernada Parra, a Baja native, who has an M.S. in enology, ampelology and viticulture and was trained in Sicily and Burgundy before coming back to Mexico to launch Pouya. This wine’s blend vibrantly changes from year to year: the 2021, (which I tried), was 40% Tempranillo, 30% Cinsault, and 30% Mourvedre; 2022 was 60% Grenache, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot,  and 10% Sauvignon Blanc; and 2023 is 65% Grenache and 35% Merlot. Floral notes and ripe stone fruit aromas roll into watermelon, peaches, and delicate orange peel notes on the palate. 

PAIR WITH: lobster tostadas, tuna tartare with capers and olives, beef short rib ramen

Symmetria “Lumminaria” NV Blanc de Noir (Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California) – $55 (delivery to CA, FL, ID, NM, NV & Washington, DC)

Symmetria is a 5.0-acre property in the corazon of Valle de Guadalupe that saw its first harvest in 2014. Winemaker and owner Mauricio Soler employs a strict adherence to Méthode Champenoise techniques to make this 100% Grenache Noir. The winemaker’s tasting note: “With an intense and elegant nose, it presents classic characteristics of long-aged sparkling wines, such as brioche and sweet almonds. The palate is full of orange and citrus zest with a touch of vanilla flower.” 

PAIR WITH: beef enchiladas, charred octopus, fresh beet carpaccio with goat cheese


There are no reviews/comments yet. Be the first one to write one.

Write A Comment

You May Also Like...