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  • Writer's pictureSharon Wix

Albuquerque Wine Festival

Updated: Jul 3

First of all, I find it pretty cool that I am writing about this particular Wine Festival, held in Albuquerque, New Mexico and that they [New Mexico Wine] are still holding it during the same weekend [Memorial Day] at the same place [The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Field] as almost 10 years ago to date from the first time I went!!

Also, is anyone else thinking “It’s the [bleeping] Catalina Wine Mixer... POW!?” HA!!

This really is a genius idea… a summer kickoff celebration!! “Raise a glass to summer at this New Mexico tradition.”


I didn’t know it at the time, but this festival has been going on for like the last 30 years!! The idea of New Mexico wines began some 400 years ago when the first grapes [smuggled in from Spain] were planted on the banks of the Rio Grande... tended to and harvested by a group of monks to use for ceremonial reasons.


What began as a sacred tradition grew into a thriving craft that produces well over a million gallons of wine each year at the 50-ish wineries across the state!! The purpose of this festival is so much more than just gathering roughly 13,000 wine lovers to taste wine, it’s a celebration of New Mexico’s culture, supporting local vendors, vineyards, and the families who own and operate them.


Viva Vino!! [Italian translation… Long Live Wine!!]

After parking, Shawn and I walked out onto the Balloon Fiesta Field [which was way cool itself] and there was a booth with security to check through your purse or backpack, [almost like being at the airport] as well as your ID [since I look so young… LOL] to make sure you were of wine tasting age. Once you showed the proof, they gave you a bracelet [which reminded me of a hospital wristband] and stamped your hand. You were then given a souvenir wine glass and tickets "to ride" [kinda like being at the state fair] and off you were to find the tents where you wanted to “spend” your tickets... those that had the wines you wanted to taste!! I not only had my tickets, but Shawns too!!


It was a lot of fun to walk around, meet the vineyard families, and learn a little about their vine locations and the wines they produced [not to mention getting to taste wine!!] I was honestly surprised by how many people were there, walking around the field with wine in their glasses like it was an everyday occurrence... There was live music playing , multiple food trucks around, and you could grab something to eat, take it to a table at the music tent, sit with your wine, and just enjoy the day!!


Can you think of a better way to learn about local wines and wineries, meet the families who pour their blood sweat and tears into their craft and then be able to taste the fruits of their labor than attending a wine festival!? [rhetorical question.. hehe]


I have also learned that in the fall New Mexico Wine holds a Harvest Festival around Labor Day Weekend which is also at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Field!! It’s a way to gather and celebrate the harvest and all the hard work that was spent in the vineyards for that year.  


If you happen to live in, or are traveling through Albuquerque during the time when either of these events are taking place, I don’t think you’d be disappointed if you went to check things out!!


Up next... One of my favorite little wineries [with very big wines] that I have visited many times up in Jemez, NM. Wine with Wixy will be back next Wednesday, to reveal a true gem in a place you'd never expect!!


Cheers to you my wine loving friends, and TTFN!!

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