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Enchanted flavors: Food Tour New Mexico explores ABQ, Santa Fe

Learn what makes New Mexico mouths water with the help of Food Tour New Mexico.

The company offers four tours in Albuquerque and in Santa Fe. Taste Old Town Albuquerque centers on the city’s historic area and takes patrons to Garduños, Seasons, High Noon Saloon, Backstreet Grill, Old Barrel Tea Co. and Church Street Café.

“The tour is 2½ to 3 hours and includes a couple of margarita pairings and we go over the history of New Mexico, the history of our food and why it is what it is,” said Nick Peña, owner of Food Tour New Mexico. “They get a full meal. It’s about appetizer-size portions at most spots. People think it is more than enough.”

The tour company started in Santa Fe in 2011. It now has several tours there, including Sample Santa Fe, a New Mexican-themed lunch tour; Savor Santa Fe, a progressive wine pairing dinner; and Taste of Santa Fe, an eclectic lunch tour with pairings.

“The most popular is Taste of Santa Fe,” Peña said. “It’s a little more eclectic. It’s a little more of a variety. We have a tapas restaurant on there. We have a modern American restaurant on there. It varies. We’re working with awesome chefs on that tour. There are drink pairings on all our tours. That one seems to be the most popular out of everything we do.”

The Savor Santa Fe wine dinner was launched last year and has been successful, according to Peña.

“Everything is paired with wines,” he said. “Each chef has full range of what they want to serve and work with their sommelier on that tour. We have SantaCafé, Taberna, Georgia and (the tour) ends at Vanessie’s with some dessert. The tour is pretty amazing.”

Food Tour New Mexico is now also offering Culinary Creations, a cooking class held at Georgia restaurant. The hands-on cooking class is held from 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Participants will even learn how to make a craft cocktail during the intermission.