Home > ModGood, Tasting Notes and Wine Reviews, VeryGood > Dinner at the Historic Taos Inn

Dinner at the Historic Taos Inn


The Taos Inn has served as a hotel since 1936. The hotel consists of several adobe buildings, some of which date to the late 19th century.  Originally owned by Arthur Manby, the renters Dr. Thomas Paul Martin and his wife Helen, eventually bought the buildings, turning them into the Martin Apartments.  When Dr. Martin died in 1933, Helen decided to go into the hotel business and created Hotel Martin in 1936.  In the 1940s Sam and Mary Albright bought the hotel, renaming it the Taos Inn.  In 1946 the hotel was sold to Mr. and Mrs. Street.  They added the thunderbird Taos Inn sign (the first neon sign in Taos), a restaurant, and a bar.

The Taos Inn

Last Saturday, Jenn and I dined at the Taos Inn restaurant known as Doc Martins. The winds had died down, the smoke had cleared, and the intense sun had lowered in the sky. We sat down on the patio for an early dinner. I had taken a brief look at the wine list whilst my daughter ate an even earlier dinner at the Adobe Bar.  At the bar there were three opera students and their instructor from Santa Fe were singing for the first part of the evenings music. I perused the wine list to various arias. The list is fairly broad with selections from all over the world and deep vintages for several wines from California. There is a Mexican wine, several from Washington state, a couple vintages of Heitz Trailside, and irresistible vintage port. I knew I would pass on the New Mexico selections but could not decided what to drink. I decided that I would leave it up to the sommelier.

2003 Quinta des Roques, Reserva

When we sat down for dinner, I was again tempted to just drink a bottle of port with our meal. But sanity prevailed and  I chatted with the sommelier about what we like and with complete obfuscation from my indecision about what we wanted to drink (or was it oxygen deprivation from the 7,000 feet of elevation?)  we started off with Craig’s recommendation.  He recommended the 2003 Quinta des Roques, Reserva, Dao, Portugal. He was careful to ensure we were comfortable with the wine and price range. He decanted the wine and made sure we were happy.

Jenn and I started with the Rattlesnake and Rabbit Sausage along with the Chile Relleno.

Rattlesnake and Rabbit Sausage

Chile Rellano

Craig checked on us a few times and we chatted about wine. He told us the story about Mr and Mrs. Street building a bomb shelter in the 1950s because they were afraid that Taos looked like Los Alamos from the air. The bomb shelter now serves as the wine cellar so you can often see Craig walking off into the complex of buildings then returning with bottles in his arms. There is a wine fridge on the main floor, perhaps holding more popular selections.

Jenn with our five glasses of wine

After seeing us receive our appetizers Craig kindly brought out glasses of the 2008 Gruet, Cuvee Gilbert Gruet, Pinot Noir to try. He was very excited about this new wine and thought it is a great example of New Mexican Pinot Noir. We were excited to try the wine because we had bought a bottle in Albuquerque. We did open the bottle so I’ll post a tasting note later on. He also brought out a glass of German Riesling for Jenn to drink with her Chile Rellano.

We then ate the pork and trout entrees.

Pork Entree

Trout Entree

By the time we finished our meal the winds had died down, it was a comfortable temperature, and we kept talking about drinking some port. There were selections of 1977 Gould Campbell, 1977 Grahams, along with, I believe, 1966 and 1963 Grahams. The prices were on the low-end, if not lower than, the retail listings on Wine-Searcher. Craig explained that he and the owner review the wine inventory once per month and set prices to encourage people to buy wines. They like people to drink the older bottles. Some selections that have been recently drunk up include 1999 Havens Burriquet for $45 and 1999 Beaucastel, Chateauneuf du Pape for $90.

He checked the bomb shelter for half bottles but only found a 1988 vintage port so we settled on the 1977 Gould Campbell. We asked Craig if he could double-decant the port so we could take it back to our room. He was wary about the sediment but did a fine job of removing the cork and the sediment. He returned the bottle closed with a different cork, the original cork in one piece, a glass with the sediment, and glasses for our room.

I highly recommend the Taos Inn and picking wine off the list with the help of Craig.  The wine list alone is enough reason to dine at the restaurant.

1977 Gould Campbell

2003 Quinta des Roques, Reserva, Dao
This took a few hours to open up. Dusty flavors of leather, oak in this restrained wine. There are flavors of minerals and a light amount of blue fruits. Drying tannins in the finish.  ** Now.

1977 Gould Campbell, Vintage Port
Imported by Grape Expectations. We drank this over three nights. The first night it was expectedly showing restrained fruit and alcoholic power. It improved on the second night and was even better on the third.  Dark red fruit, spices, leather.  **** Now-2027.

  1. Shelley
    June 10, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    Doc Martin’s is a fantastic restaurant with a superb wine list that is affordable.
    Craig the wine sommelier is a charming guy with excellent knowledge of the wines he oversees.

    Food is also fresh prepared using local produce that bursts with flavor.
    Doc Martins Restaurant is a treasure in Taos, NM.

  2. June 10, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Shelley, I completely agree with you. I emailed Craig to let him know my thoughts.

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