Beans and wine you ask? Well, here at Ceja we get down and grub on the nontraditional food and wine pairings…and why not? Growing up in a Mexican household, beans, tortillas and rice have been a staple of ours since I can remember. They have also played a stereotypical role in American culture that have downgraded the authenticity of beans giving them a bastardized symbol of a poor mans Tex-Mex meal. I happen to think otherwise.
I have been cooking alongside my mom since I was a little girl. I remember standing on a stool next to the kitchen counter using both hands to stir the pot of arroz con
leche or Mexican hot chocolate, as tantalizing smells of cinnamon and sweetness infiltrated our kitchen. From that moment on I knew that food would always play an integral role in my life where wine would slowly make its grand entrance down the road.
However, given that I come from a huge extended family, fiestas and gatherings were always a prominent excuse to bring the goods to the table: homemade tamales, chiles rellenos, sopes, enchiladas, salsas, flan and so much more. Funny enough, there was as much food on the table as there was wine. Yep, more wine than beer or margaritas.
Now, when it comes to pairing wine with Mexican food, the most important rule to remember is to just drink and eat what you like! Although this rings true for many of us, there are some Mexican dishes that just plain taste better with certain wines. Here are some of my foolproof combinations that I absolutely love (all dishes are available under the recipes tab on our website).
*Mole Negro de Oaxaca paired with Ceja Syrah
*Salmon Ceviche paired with Ceja Pinot Noir
*Camarones a la Dalia paired with Ceja Chardonnay
Stay tuned for weekly mouthwatering recipes that will leave you begging for more…
Dalia Ceja takes you on a hot and spicy adventure with two of her favorite summer recipes: spicy guacamole and Mexican classic Pico de Gallo or a tangy fruit salad. Dalia perfectly pairs this duo with Ceja Vineyards crisp dry rose Bella Flor.
A few times a year I make it a point to take a mini getaway with some of my childhood best friends. This time we decided that Cabo San Lucas was the place to meet for some sun, fun and some much needed R & R. Being that this was my first time in Cabo I thought it was the perfect opportunity to escape the busy summer workplace and go to a destination where words like- private beaches, bottomless margaritas and vibrant nightlife, would entice the quadruple threat of four California women. It was destined to be nothing less then a memorable trip.
We arrived in Cabo in the early evening just as the last rays of sunshine fell behind the dry dessert mountains. Hot winds welcomed us as we descended the airplane into paradise. The first evening commenced into pure relaxation. We feasted on ceviche and cocktail de camarones, followed by the most thirst-quenching margaritas a girl could ask for. Sitting outside in 75 degree weather overlooking the ocean was simply a perfect introduction.
The next few days we lived as beach bums; swimming, boozing and bikini strutting, my three favorite summerlicious things to do. Dining out in local restaurants became our second priority, as we were not fans of the commercialized restaurants targeted to tourists. I became obsessed with Sopa de Tortilla, which consists of pasilla chile and chicken based broth, topped off with avocado, lime, crema and tortilla chips. I was also in heaven everyday with the succulent street food that came our way like, hot dogs wrapped in bacon and tacos galore. How could I resist?
The morning of our departure we were lucky enough to catch the Mexico vs. Uruguay World Cup game at a local bar right on the beach. As part of my travel traditions, I happened to bring a bottle of Ceja Chardonnay as my little traveling gnome and as a symbol for good luck. Servers were dressed in there festive Mexican jerseys, ready to win the battle. Sadly, we lost that match but cheered up after some locals offered to buy us a round of Palomas: (tequila, limejuice, grapefruit juice and soda water), probably the most refreshing drink ever. A definite must try. Period.
After an extended weekend filled with nonstop laughing, indulging and schmoozing in the tropics of Cabo, we came back as bronzed beach babes, refreshed and ready to take on the world once again!
Until the next adventure amigos…
Dalia Ceja cooks up a wonderful treat just in time for summer - chicken skewers with spicy peanut sauce! Paired with Ceja's Sauvignon Blanc, this is a treat worth sharing with family and friends!
A friendly breeze welcomed us as we arrived at the Love Field airport in Dallas. This was the first time that I had set foot on Texas soil and I felt a wave of excitement surge through me as we began our exploration through this unfamiliar but thriving Metropolis. Upon hailing down a taxi, I received my first real introduction to Texan culture; Taxi driver: “Y’all California folk? Now that’s a long way from Dallas…well, y’all enjoy and take care, ya hear.” I immediately fell in love with this place. Who wouldn’t? Texas accents were like music to my ears.
Our agenda for the next few days was quite simple. We were there because my darling mother was being recognized as one of the Women Wine Stars, alongside legendary vintners like Dolores Cakebread and Katheryn Hall by the prestigious Les Dames D’Escoffier. It was quite the honor and I was thrilled to join her side to represent Ceja as the next generation in the wine industry.
There was a buzz in the air the day of the big event. A sense of excitement seemed to radiate off everyone, as we were each interviewed by The Wine Channel T.V. with hostess Just Jess. After a few laughs on camera we cruised to La Duni, a very chic and Latino inspired restaurant. I can tell you one thing, Texans know how to eat. We feasted on a yummy brunch of chilaquiles paired with fresh squeezed tangerine mimosas. My kind of food heaven.
A few hours later I was standing in my BCBG gold stilettos walking through F.I.G. or the Fashion Industry Gallery. The who’s who of Texan society was there and the event itself turned out to be a huge success. Halfway through the event, the honorees were celebrated by parading through the crowds of thirsty admirers waving flags of their respected winery, followed by brief speeches on their trials and tribulations. It was inspiring to hear the voices of such powerful women who've made such remarkable impacts in the wine industry.
The F.I.G hosted over 600 guests who sampled over 50 delicious wines from California and nibbled on a handful of top Dallas restaurant tapas. As the evening continued I couldn’t help but smile and think to myself; you know you’re in Texas when it’s a black tie event and half the men are wearing cowboy hats and a few women are in cowboy boots. An amazing sight. I envied them. My feet were killing me and I would’ve traded in my stilettos for boots in a second.
The next day, after a successful meeting with our new wine distributor we had a free afternoon and decided to explore Dallas by foot. Our journey began in the historical downtown district through the delightful afternoon sunshine. As we were taking advantage of the glorious sun I stumbled upon what I consider an amazing treasure- an authentic Western/cowboy store. I walked straight in and the heavy smells of leather welcomed my nose. The wall to my right was lined with over two hundred pairs of colorful cowboy boots and to my left a gorgeous display of antique turquoise jewelry. I spied a pair of low heeled chestnut boots and knew that they had to be mine.
As we walked back to our hotel, I felt a positive admiration for the city and its deep passion for food, wine and authenticity. I felt almost at home and could imagine what life would be like living in such a flourishing city. The Texan sun began to set, illuminating the sky with deep red, pink and orange hues. It was the perfect way to end our trip to Dallas, but it definitely won’t be the last.
Until the next adventure amigos…
For all of you with a sweet-tooth out there we have just the recipe for you! Dalia Ceja prepares one of her all time favorite desserts - almond infused flan with a sweet and tart berry salsa. Try this rich dessert with Ceja Vineyards' velvety Syrah!
It's pizza time folks! Dalia Ceja, Sales & Marketing Manager at Ceja Vineyards shares one of her favorite pizza incarnations made with fresh and zesty ingredients. Paired with Ceja Vineyards' Vino de Casa Red blend, this delectable dish will have you singing "Mozzarella!"
Try something new with one of Dalia Ceja's exciting new culinary creations - a savory open face sandwich with golden baked cinnamon bread topped with spicy jalapeño pepper jack cheese. Pair it with a glass of Ceja Chardonnay and you're on your way to a sensory epiphany!