This July, the first Wine Bar by Concours Mondial de Bruxelles (CMB) opens its doors in the business center of Mexico City. With a footprint of 650 m2, the Wine Bar by CMB will offer patrons wines and spirits from around the world, all sporting a Concours Mondial de Bruxelles endorsement of quality. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the opening is more of a pre-launch because current circumstances do not allow the organisers to roll out the inaugural program initially planned.
The Wine Bar by CMB is part of a project, initiated over two years ago, which stems from the close collaboration between sommelier, journalist and communicator Carlos Borboa, who represents the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles in Mexico and is director of Mexico Selection, and Baudouin Havaux, chairman of the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles and director of Vinopres.
The concept behind
The project’s concept goes far beyond a classic wine bar. Its main objective is to create a showcase for the wines awarded by the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, as well as other competitions organised by the CMB, such as Mexico Selection by Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, Concours Mondial du Sauvignon and Spirits Selection by Concours Mondial de Bruxelles. The bar will only serve wines awarded a medal by the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, which represents a guarantee of quality. The bar is opening with 250 wines and spirits, which will be displayed in the Wine Library, with a capacity of showing up to 700 different labels. But according to the chairman of Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, Baudouin Havaux: “ The ultimate aim is to feature on the wine list, all the thousands of winners from all 54 countries taking part in the competition year by year.”
Despite its international scope, the Wine Bar by Concours Mondial de Bruxelles in Mexico places great emphasis on Mexican wines. The competition acts as an ambassador for Mexican wines and spirits, which account for almost 50% of the choice on offer at the Wine Bar.
A further objective of the Wine Bar by CMB is to develop a communications and promotional tool for awarded producers looking to work in the Mexican market. It is designed as a platform where producers from around the world can engage with wine and spirits enthusiasts, as well as industry members such as sommeliers, distributors and importers.
The largest wine bar in Latin America
With its impressive 650 m2 footprint the Wine Bar by Concours Mondial de Bruxelles is the largest wine bar in Latin America and one of the biggest wine cellars in Mexico. It is ideally located in the business center of Mexico City at N°23 Copenhagen Street, Colonia Juarez, which overlooks the Paseo de la Reforma between the Glorieta de la Palma and the Glorieta del Angel. The historic building has been completely renovated to offer visitors a succession of spaces, that are adapted to creating new experiences every time. The unique setting is the work of the interior designers and architects Alejandra Medina and Fernanda Arriola.
The venue welcomes visitors with a monumental blackboard featuring wines by the glass selected weekly by the Wine Bar by CMB sommeliers, dubbed the Wine Geeks. High tables, comfortable European-style benches, Amorim cork walls, specially ordered from Portugal, and a display of over 1,500 Bohemian Royal Crystal glasses available for tasting, surround the large central bar in this spectacular wine venue.
In the backdrop is the MEIKO Lab, an innovative area dedicated solely and exclusively to washing glasses, decanters and glassware. Every 6 months, the area will be equipped with the most modern glass washing technology from Germany, to guarantee world championship-worthy wine and spirits tastings, totally coronavirus-free.
Promoting a number of producer regions across the globe, the Wine Bar by CMB houses the first permanent Ningxia wine pavilion in Mexico and Latin America. The wine cellar is decorated in pure Chinese style, where metallic ceramics and marble are fused with clay amphoras. Wooden niches and state-of-the-art technology, such as LCD screens, will be tasked with storing award-winning Ningxia wines from the different platforms of the CMB.
A real show-stopper is the Wine Library, with the capacity to store 700 bottles from all over the world, decorated with the fine wood and original ornaments of the early-20th-century building, an example of the architectural style of Antonio Rivas Mercado, who was responsible for ‘The Angel of Independence’. The movement of the lamp that hangs from the central dome of the Wine Library, created by the DIEZ COMPANY, imitates the breathing of the wines housed in the Wine Bar by CMB every year. The area stands as one of the largest and most beautiful cellars open to the public in the whole of Mexico and Latin America. Fully air-conditioned, it shows utmost respect for wine storage requirements thanks to its innovative LED lighting design.
At the top of the Wine Library and reserved exclusively for its guests, is the United Airlines Lounge. Here, eight people can enjoy a comfortable and privileged view of 230 wines and spirits awarded at the Mexico Selection by CMB 2019. Marble tables, fine wood, leather and velvet armchairs, as well as an LCD screen reproducing views of vineyards around the world, complement the experience.
For those looking for a more relaxed space, the Oak Room is the right choice. It is inspired by vintage European bars dating back to the early 20th century, with plant motifs and tapestries that reproduce the shape of the European oak (Quercus robur). The walls of the hall, meticulously restored by a professional carpentry team, feature images of the annual competitions and host regions of the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles. The warm lighting, also developed by the BCA Design Workshop, is masterfully blended with modern armchairs, simple tables and sofas in the European style. Gray velvet curtains with gold trimmings and a rare Japanese orange frame the large central window of the Oak Room.
The Mexican wine market
The Mexican market is a strategic choice for establishing the first Wine Bar by Concours Mondial de Bruxelles. Mexico is both a producer and consumer country. It is also one of the most dynamic markets in the world, both in terms of consumption, which has experienced continuous and constant growth for several years, and for the development of its wine industry. Almost every day, new vineyards emerge. As a cosmopolitan mega-capital, Mexico also offers many advantages for testing the Wine Bar by Concours Mondial de Bruxelles concept.
The first showroom in Mexico partnering with MEIKO, a leading company for the development and construction of dish washing and sanitizing machines worldwide.
The MEIKO Lab houses the first glass washing machine produced by the German brand to reach Mexico, which will guarantee the absolute cleanliness and safety of all the glasses, decanters and glassware of the Wine Bar by Concours Mondial de Bruxelles.
For its most prominent travelers, the renowned American airline has developed the United Airlines Lounge. Using a QR code, United Airlines guests can access this private space and enjoy, with a privileged view of the Wine Library and wine regions around the planet, the most exclusive collection of award-winning Mexican wines and spirits from the latest Mexico Selection by CMB.
Ningxia’s first permanent wine pavilion in Mexico and Latin America is dedicated to showcasing winning labels from the numerous competitions organised by the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles. The Ningxia wine pavilion at the Wine Bar by CMB is sponsored by the Chinese wine region and inspired by the materials, colours, shapes and traditions of China that will undoubtedly help promote and develop Ningxia wineries and wines in one of the world’s fastest growing and largest markets: Mexico.
MEXICAN SCHOOL OF TEA | TIANTÉ Tea House
The only Mexican academic institution recognised by the International Tea Committee, which owns its own brand and tea house, TIANTÉ Casa de Té, opens its doors in Mexico City.
On the third level of the Wine Bar by Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, the Mexican Tea School will offer courses, workshops and professional training around tea. The Wine Bar by CMB thus becomes highly relevant in academic terms, becoming a Center for Business and Promotion of wine, spirits and teas.
BOHEMIA ROYAL CRYSTAL
The oldest glassware manufacturer in Europe, based in the Czech Republic, provides most of the glassware used at the Wine Bar by Concours Mondial de Bruxelles.
Every year, thousands of national and international visitors will taste the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles medal-winning wines in high-quality glasses, which are completely lead-free and have a sophisticated design. Grupo Pasbel, the exclusive representative of Bohemia Royal Crystal in Mexico, will also sell glassware directly from the Wine Bar by Concours Mondial de Bruxelles.
AMORIM CORK | TOP SERIES
Through its interior design division, AMORIM CORK | TOP SERIES offers an unrivaled sensory experience on the walls of the Wine Bar by Concours Mondial de Bruxelles.
Dozens of compacted natural cork plates, shipped directly from Portugal, decorate the different areas of the wine complex. In addition to isolating and improving the acoustics of the building, the pieces from AMORIM CORK | TOP SERIES promote the culture of natural cork. Each visitor will literally be embraced by cork, a fundamental element in global wine production.
MEXICAN SCHOOL OF SOMMELIERS
The only academic institution recognized by the Mexican Wine Council, dedicated to training new Mexican sommeliers, is transferring its facilities to the Wine Bar by Concours Mondial de Bruxelles.
Professional diplomas, short courses, tastings and wine promotion events will be periodically organized by the Mexican School of Sommeliers, adding to the venue’s scope as the most important Center for Business and Promotion of Wine, Spirits and Infusions in Mexico and Latin America.