Once in a while, we get a complaint from a guest (often European) why we don’t have French or Italian wines on our menu? We then explain that we try to be as local as possible with our culinary offerings by serving food that is locally grown or harvested in our restaurants. In the case of beverages and especially wine, this is a bit more complex though.
While we do serve only locally brewed beers as well as Costa Rican Sugar Cane “Guaro” and a variety of Central American high-quality rums, there are a few spirits and wines that we need to bring in from abroad. In order to keep with the regional or local theme as much as possible, we decided only to serve wines that are grown and produced in Latin America. And since we are the Cayuga Collection, they also have to be either Organic or Biodynamic.
The majority of our wines come from Chile and Argentina but recently we have included some very interesting wines from Uruguay, Peru, and Mexico at Arenas del Mar Resort and depending on how our guests respond to this new offer, we might bring those “exotics” to some of our other hotels and lodges.
Costa Rica has a high import tax on almost everything, but especially on wine. This is another reason why we don’t offer wines from the US or Europe as our guests might find them overpriced in comparison to what they would pay for them back home.
And don’t be surprised to see us serve red wines chilled with your meal. Room temperature in a Chateau in France is a bit different than “room” temperature in the tropics. It will only take minutes for the wine to warm up to perfect drinking temperature. Salud!