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James Suckling’s One Wine One World Vino Tinto

Reading Time: [est_time] Some of you may be aware of James Suckling's fondness for Mexican wine and his amicable friendships with the wine producers in Valle de Guadalupe. And so perhaps it is no surprise to

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Some of you may be aware of James Suckling’s fondness for Mexican wine and his amicable friendships with the wine producers in Valle de Guadalupe. And so perhaps it is no surprise to some that he would make wine in Mexico.

In 2010, Suckling released a red wine and a white wine under the name “One Wine One World”. The red is a blend of mostly Grenache, with some Carignan, Syrah, Petite Sirah, and Cabernet Sauvignon; the grapes came from the Wente Vineyards in California, Roussillon in the south of France, and Valle de Guadalupe in Mexico. The white—a blend of Pinot Grigio, Friulano, Ribolla Gialla, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Furmint, and Chevalier—is made with grapes from Hungary, Italy, and Slovenia. About 550 cases of the red were produced and 250 cases of the white.

The proceeds go to a London-based interfaith charity: The Maimonides Foundation, whose mission is to promote understanding among Christians, Jews, and Muslims.


Front label of James Suckling’s One Wine One World Vino Tinto. Photo credit: jamessuckling.com

The genesis of this wine occurred in the summer of 2010 during a lunch in Ensenada, Mexico. Together with Canadian writer, director and producer James Orr and Mexican vintner Humberto Falcon, Suckling discussed the idea of making a wine from the grapes of Mexico and the United States to signify what the two countries had in common instead of what was different.

The idea quickly evolved into a series of actions with the help of Mexican wine pioneer Hugo D’Acosta (check out the interview that Amanda Barnes of Around the World in 80 Harvests did with D’Acosta here), who facilitated the process of obtaining the grapes and making wine in Mexico. In fact, the French grapes were acquired from D’Acosta’s own vineyards in Roussillon and the Californian grapes came from the stainless steel vats in his own cellar. The rest of the Mexican grapes came from a group of small wine producers in Valle de Guadalupe.

Suckling wrote on his website:

“Not only was the wine for a good cause, I also wanted to find out if a wine could transcend borders and terroirs and still be a good and interesting bottle. I wanted to understand in the end if the virtues of good quality wines have more in common than not. It was very much like Khalili’s [David Khalili of The Maimonides Foundation] ideas about men and women. We all have so much more in common as human beings than not, regardless of our faith or our ways of life.”

In this video, he explains how the wine is tasting.

We chanced upon One Wine One World Vino Tinto (red wine) at La Contra wine shop (623 Zona Centro Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico), which D’Acosta owns. The retail price was USD13.

james suckling one wine one world

Back label of James Suckling’s One Wine One World Vino Tinto.

Tasting Notes: On the nose, this wine bears some resemblance to Alvaro Palacios Camins Del Priorat 2013. The bouquet reveals notes of lambskin leather, forest floor, dried green herbs, sweet tobacco, and dark fruit. Expansive and textured on the palate with ripe fruit characteristics without crossing into being jammy and heavy. I adore the balance of the fruity and savory characteristics. The gentle acidity gives energy to the wine and adds tenacity to the peppery finish. This wine is showing its peak performance; drink now.

Food Pairing Suggestion: One of my favorite restaurants in Ensenada is Da Toni. Toni, the owner and chef, makes a Tuscan-style Tagliata with beef from Sonora, Mexico. The Tagliata is perfectly charred on the outside and pink and juicy inside. There are no fancy herbs and spices, just the classic cracked black pepper and rosemary to go with the fresh meat. It isn’t an intensely flavored dish so the savory-sweet flavors of the wine will work well with the peppery char on the meat. The wine is only lightly tannic but rich enough to work with the fat on the Tagliata ribeye.


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