This new S.F. bar could also be the primary within the nation to serve solely Mexican wines

When Cantina Los Mayas opens on July 14 in San Francisco, its house owners imagine it is going to be the primary wine bar within the U.S. serving solely Mexican wines.

“We need to train San Francisco about Mexican wines,” stated wine director Joe Bonadio. Mexico’s primary wine area, the Valle de Guadalupe, is “briefly rising as one in all the most up to date new appellations on the planet,” he stated.

The bar, which comes from the crew at the back of Clement Boulevard’s Taqueria Los Mayas, is situated within the former Sushi Bistro house at 431 Balboa St. within the Inside Richmond. (Sushi Bistro moved around the boulevard throughout the pandemic.) Just like the taqueria, Cantina Los Mayas’ meals menu — overseen through spouse Juve Carillo — will concentrate on Mayan and Yucatecan delicacies, whose signature dishes come with panuchos (tostadas stuffed with black beans) and cochinita pibil (slow-roasted red meat).

Taqueria Los Mayas, which opened in 2017, has served a small number of Mexican wine for the final couple of years. However till lately, Mexican wines had been exhausting to return through, stated spouse Morgan Anderson (who additionally owns the Richmond’s Bella Trattoria), since there weren’t many Bay House wine vendors that bought it. That’s modified; they’re now operating with 4 native vendors of Mexican wine, stated Bonadio.

Carillo has lengthy sought after to open one thing extra upscale than the counter-service Taqueria Los Mayas and Panuchos, the short-lived North Seaside eating place that he and Anderson opened in 2016. He regarded as increasing into the yard patio on the taqueria, however couldn’t make it paintings. Then they realized that the Sushi Bistro house used to be to be had a couple of blocks away.

The wine listing at Cantina Los Mayas has 45 bottles, and on any given day 20 to 30 of them shall be to be had through the glass. The glass pours will price between $10 and $20, whilst the bottles will lengthen upwards of $100. The crew hopes to introduce instructional flights and plans to host prix-fixe dinners each and every two weeks with guided wine pairings. However for now, “the hope is simply to inspire folks to take a look at new issues,” Anderson stated. Reservations are to be had however no longer required.

This new S.F. bar could also be the primary within the nation to serve solely Mexican wines

From left: Spouse Morgan Anderson, wine director Joe Bonadio and spouse Juve Carillo at Cantina Los Mayas, a brand new Mexican wine bar in San Francisco.

Esther Mobley / The Chronicle

The grape sorts widespread in Valle de Guadalupe — in addition to within sight Baja areas Valle de Parras and Valle de San Vicente — shall be acquainted to many Bay House wine drinkers: Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon. Winemakers there actually have a budding hobby in Nebbiolo, the tannic crimson grape of Italy’s Piedmont area; Cantina Los Mayas carries 4 other Mexican Nebbiolos.

Valle de Guadalupe wines, particularly white wines, are well-known for their distinctively salty taste, a results of salinity ranges within the vineyards’ soils. “The whites have only a tiny little bit of the ocean,” stated Bonadio. “It’s no longer one thing you’re going to seek out in a continental wine.”

Herbal wine fanatics might acknowledge the playful bottles of Bichi, a manufacturer with Lucha Libre-style drawings on its labels that has already received a big Bay House following. Its Puppy-Mex, a petillant-naturel glowing wine, is on be offering at Cantina. There’s additionally orange wine from Bodegas Henri Lurton, every other well known vineyard based through a Bordeaux vintner.

Meals-wise, the menu will encompass 15 to twenty small plates and about 5 entrees, together with a chile-rubbed filet mignon and duck mole. All tortillas are made in space with masa; the entirety is gluten-free. Mayan condiments like sikil pak, a dip made with pumpkin seeds, may also be a point of interest.

Natural wines from Mexico: Bichi’s Pet-Mex, a sparkling wine; and orange wine from Bodegas Henri Lurton.

Herbal wines from Mexico: Bichi’s Puppy-Mex, a glowing wine; and orange wine from Bodegas Henri Lurton.

Esther Mobley / The Chronicle

Each dish has some Mayan affect, Carillo stated, however the menu as a complete isn’t as conventional as at Taqueria Los Mayas. “It’s going to be a large number of the smoky, highly spiced, candy flavors of Mayan cooking,” he stated.

The gap doesn’t elevate a complete liquor license, however Cantina Los Mayas will serve cocktails made with agave wine (a lower-alcohol Tequila choice constituted of agave sap) akin to tropical micheladas, negronis and margaritas.

Through the years, then again, the house owners hope to regulate the menu and structure according to comments they get from consumers. “Mexican wine remains to be so new for such a lot of folks right here,” stated Anderson. “We’re excited to look how folks adore it.”

Cantina Los Mayas. Opening July 14. 5-10 p.m. Thursday-Sunday. 431 Balboa St., San Francisco.

Esther Mobley is The San Francisco Chronicle’s senior wine critic. E-mail: [email protected]
Twitter: @Esther_mobley