Meet Nina Goodhope

Puerto Vallarta’s favorite wine purveyor

(This article was commissioned by Gay Entertainment Directory, and it first appeared in their October 2019 edition.)

When intrigued by Puerto Vallarta’s evolution as an international tourist destination years, one can easily expect a lively conversation with any of the many anglophones that have called our city ‘home’ for some time. That said, if you happen to enjoy wine or are intrigued by discovering new vintages, you owe it to yourself to pay a visit to local wine purveyor Nina Goodhope at her shop, Cork+Bottle.

Like many others, Nina visited Puerto Vallarta many times before making a permanent move, some three decades ago. “I was living in Seattle at the time,” she recalls, “but came to the realization that I liked Puerto Vallarta more than anywhere else I had ever been.” 

Prior to relocating to Mexico, her relationship with wine was that of a consumer. It was just happenstance that two years after she moved to Puerto Vallarta she was offered a wine distributorship in town. “There were plenty of opportunities back then. Most restaurants and hotels were used to only carrying a red and a white, and that’s it, and there weren’t nearly as many places to dine and stay as there are today. With only three distributors in town, it seemed like a good move at the time.”

For better or worse, there are still many people out there that are not even aware of the fact that Mexico is a wine-producing country

In the following years, Nina carved a niche for herself, working directly with restaurants all over Puerto Vallarta and surrounding communities, building wine menus to satisfy the increasingly wine-savvy foodies. She was primarily involved with California and French wines then.

Nina’s love affair with Mexican wines began when she opened Cork+Bottle—her retail operation—10 years ago, and the affair continues to date. “By the time I opened the shop, I had built a solid relationship with the community and other distributors, who began introducing me to wines from Argentina, Chile, and of course, Mexico (Casa Madero is the oldest winery in the Americas).” Presently, the vast majority of wines she carries at Cork+Bottle are from Mexico, along with a selection of Mexican spirits and artisan beers.

When asked about foreigners’ initial reactions to Mexican wine, Nina chuckles. “For better or worse, there are still many people out there that are not even aware of the fact that Mexico is a wine-producing country, and that several local vineyards are bringing home important accolades from competitions all over the world.” 

To keep the conversation open, as well as her clients’ palates, she hosts intimate wine tasting events at her shop on a monthly basis. And if the introduction to Mexican wines is on a one-to-one basis, she usually first asks about the client’s particular wine preferences before suggesting a specific bottle. “Wines produced in Mexico include the whole gamut of whites, reds, rosés, sparkling and dessert wines, so the exploration is endless.”

Cork+Bottle is located at Los Mercados, a small collection of specialty shops in Colonia Emiliano Zapata that includes a deli, organic produce and pastry shops. At Nina’s shop, one can conveniently order a glass of wine to try before buying a bottle or enjoy it with lunch al fresco at Los Mercados’ intimate courtyard.

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