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Old 04-04-2008, 09:58 AM
362 posts, read 1,507,447 times
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I went to several wine and other community festivals while living in NM. I like going to festivals because is a nice window on the community and often feature local artists. The wine festivals are a nice way to sample NM wines and usually make for a nice day outdoors. Besides, NM region has been producing wines longer than anywhere else in the US, so its a little taste of history. Now that said, there aren't many NM wines I actually buy and keep in my house. Gruet is pretty well known for their sparking wines and some years I like their pinot noirs. They have a tasting room right off I-25 in north ABQ, so you can stop in there even if you can't make it to the festival. My favorite NM winery is the Corrales Winery. I bought a bunch of their Cab several years back and have opened one a year to see how it develops over time. Its a small boutique winery and the view of the Sandias from their property is amazing. Its an easy drive over there from ABQ. There are also several other wineries up and down the Rio Grande. St. Clair also has a wine bistro in Old Town ABQ. They usually have jazz music on weekend evenings so you could do a tasting there or have dinner and get to sample quite a few NM wines...a good alternative if you're crunched for time with all the things you hope to squeeze into your trip. St. Clair produces the DH Lescombes wines and I did buy a few of those while living there. Many people like their sparkling wines. I also thought they did a nice job with their port and muscat, which was interesting to me since I don't usually drink a lot of dessert wines. Hmm, all this thinking about wine...yum.

Santa Fe is a must see. There is certainly more to SF than the plaza, but if you only have one day, that's were I would tell any friend of mine to spend the day. Wander around the square. Explore the shops and museums. As for food, there are tons of restaurants...some pretty famous like Cafe Pasquals (make reservations if you want to go there). Some less expensive ones...The Shed..hit it for brunch if you're there on the weekend...and go hungry. There's also a little french style sidewalk cafe near the Georgia Okeffe museum. I like that one when I was in the mood for quiche (girly food I know but hey, I am a girl). I don't remember the name, but you can't miss the bright yellow umbrellas...on burro alley or something of the sort.

You could also go by a deli, grab picnic food, and stop at one of many national forests in ABQ, Santa Fe, Los Alamos, and places in between as you're traveling about.
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Old 04-04-2008, 10:01 AM
Location: Albuquerque, NM
908 posts, read 2,441,627 times
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Sounds great jrod2828. Congrats to your wife on the quick offer, she's obviously well qualified. Consider the Wine Festival a must-do. It's much more than a Wine Festival. There are local food vendors, live music, local artists and people with a lot of New Mexico character having a great time. The Balloon Fiesta park is wide open. There will be tents, but there's plenty of under the sun time, so stay hydrated and bring head wear. The combination of wine tastings, the sun, altitude and not keeping up with water can catch visitors (and locals for that matter) off guard.

I would suggest hitting the Plaza in Santa Fe and planning on a walk-about. There are many things to see and do within walking distance including galleries, Loretto Chapel, San Miguel mission, the Cathedral, The Palace of the Governor. There's a bunch of museums in a nearby area called 'museum hill' if that's your flavor. There's a winding walk up from Paseo de Peralta to Old Ft. Marcy Park with some beautiful views.

As for restaurants, it obviously depends on your mood, but here are some safe bets:

Tia Sophias: across from the Lensic performance theater (Used to be a double decker film theater. I watched Star Wars on the big screen there). Great local food.

Upper Crust Pizza. OK, it's pizza, but it's good, right next door to the oldest mission (San Miguel) and has a small patio front and back.

Cowgirl: Eclectic. Tasty, chock full of character. Very Santa Fe. It's out on Guadalupe st. near Aztec st. but worth the hike.

El Farol: Great food, atmosphere and often live entertainment. Plus a good excuse to walk up Canyon Road, and see the 'old town'. Mostly galleries on Canyon these days, but a fun walk for the sights.
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Old 04-04-2008, 10:27 AM
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,507 posts, read 47,899,411 times
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I am going to print this thread for reference when we plan our next trip (summer 08 posponed due to cost).

I suggest getting a copy of; "Off the Beaten Path in New Mexico" Very good guide to the forgotten places.
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Old 04-04-2008, 12:54 PM
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I second the Shed. It has the best green chili (Hot) and New Mexican food in Santa Fe.
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Old 04-04-2008, 01:51 PM
Location: Albuquerque
5,549 posts, read 13,533,824 times
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casden decided not to spank me for contradicting him:

> OK - OK - you're right ...

... but still insists on ...

> ... world class flamenco ...

Yeah, ... b-b-b-b-but it's a day trip. One hour in the plaza - max - then off you go. Come back later if you wish, but make haste, you've got a lot to see.

I could think of enough stuff to make it a week trip - requiring many overnight stays.

> But I do agree with you about the Plaza Cafe. ... posole ...


I would also add sopapillas. Those not from here, would pass - not knowing ...
I have never had a guest **NOT** rave about them. Get 'em. We're not kidding.

Here is a map of the whole trip:

Last edited by mortimer; 04-04-2008 at 03:13 PM.. Reason: added map
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Old 04-04-2008, 02:06 PM
Location: Albuquerque
5,549 posts, read 13,533,824 times
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I'm also going to recommend as an alternate or second day-trip this unit:

The Enchanted Circle
Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway
Welcome To EnchantedCircle.org

However, don't go from Taos-to-Taos. Rather, go to Cimarron --> Springer on I-25 and return to Albuquerque that way.

Don't listen to the jaded drivers out here if they diss this drive.

The views along I-25 of the vast plains to the East and the snowcapped peaks to the West are great. Later, after passing or stopping by Las Vegas, you will pass through a long pass between mountains and cliffs where I-25 Southbound actually heads North for more than 40 miles to Glorietta Pass.
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Old 04-04-2008, 03:59 PM
Location: Austin
108 posts, read 236,701 times
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jrod2828 said, "I saw that the wine festival is going on during our trip. Is this worth going to?"

in my opinion, any wine festival is worth going to
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Old 04-05-2008, 12:28 AM
Location: Albuquerque, NM
1,419 posts, read 4,200,335 times
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jrod2828, surely you want to experience wine from the oldest vineyards in America? (That's right, NM has the oldest vineyards) Surely you want to try sparkling wine from Gruet who is owned by the same women who owns Crystal Champagne in France? As ILOVEAUSTIN said, what wine festival isn't worth the trip?
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Old 04-05-2008, 11:02 AM
Location: Albuquerque
5,549 posts, read 13,533,824 times
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I'm glad to see all the wine-lovers on here. There have been plenty of positive beer comments also.

We've got gobs of wineries. Microbrew beer is available.

I've heard an up-and-coming thing is microbrew whiskey. There is one in Denver. That's close, but not close enough.
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Old 04-05-2008, 12:46 PM
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico
3,012 posts, read 8,573,708 times
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I am so so so SO anxious to begin trying some of the New Mexico wines when we get there.

I have only had wine from Santa Fe Vineyards - we usually buy several bottles every time we are out there.

But soon I will have time to shop around and try some others.

Anybody got recommendations? (Do we need a new thread? This is pretty off topic.)
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