Wine is typically not something people think of when looking for pairings for Mexican food. Most people think of beer or tequila.
However, wine pairs perfectly with Mexican food. The challenge is choosing the right wine to pair with the food.
Tips for Pairing Wine With Mexican Food
There are 3 factors to consider when pairing wine with Mexican food: spice, meat, and herbs. These will determine the right wine to pair with Mexican food.
The rule for Mexican food wine pairings is the spicier the dish, the sweeter the wine. The wine should also be served chilled.
Additionally, the wine should have low alcohol levels. Alcohol can heighten the spicy flavor of foods.
Moderate tannin wines can mute the burning feeling caused by spicy food.
You can use the color of the meat to determine the wine pairing. For example, white wine goes with white meat, and red meat goes with red wine.
Mexican food is made with lots of green herbs, such as cilantro. High-acidity herbaceous wines are perfect for Mexican food.
For example, Sauvignon Blanc is perfect for Mexican food because of its acidity and herbaceous flavor.
What Wine Pairs With Mexican Food?
When it comes to wine and Mexican food pairings, it takes a little work. However, once you find the perfect pairing, you will never drink another beverage like beer with Mexican food again.
Tacos Al Pastor
Tacos al Pastor is a dish that’s heavily influenced by the Lebanese culture.
However, it is one of the most popular Mexican street foods. Tacos al Pastor consists of a corn tortilla, chili-marinated pork, spices, onions, cilantro, and pineapples.
Tacos Al Pastor pairs well with Rose. Rose has a medium to light viscosity and a fruity flavor. The fruity flavor contrasts and enhances the pork’s flavor without overpowering it.
Queso is a cheese lover’s dream. There are lots of options to pair with queso.
Fruity dry wines w such as Sauvignon Blanc and Rose work well with queso. Cabernet Franc, Tempranillo, and Garnacha are the best pairings for queso if you prefer red wine.
Fruity dry wines can cut through the queso’s richness and cleanse the palette.
Tamales are made with masa. Fillings such as pork, cheese, vegetables, or chicken are encased in this sweet dough.
Tamales pair beautifully with Tempranillo, Rose, and Riesling. These wines have juicy fruity flavors such as cherry, citrus, and pear that contrast beautifully with savory tamales.
Quesadillas are a Mexican staple loved by people all over the world. Quesadillas are grilled cheese-filled tortillas. They can also be stuffed with chicken or steak and served with red or green salsa, onions, and guacamole.
Quesadillas can be paired with Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, or Chardonnay. Cheese is a fatty food, so it needs a crisp acidic wine that can cut through the richness of the cheese.
These wines also have a minerality that will accentuate the vegetables and the tortilla perfectly.
Burritos wine pairings are similar to taco wine pairings. The goal is to pick a wine har can withstand the intense seasoned meat.
Wines with low alcohol levels are perfect for burritos. Wines with high alcohol content can make the burrito seem spicier than it actually is.
Wines such as Tempranillo, Sangiovese, or Montepulciano are perfect for burritos. The seasoned meat will not overpower the wine’s flavor.
Carnitas are made by simmering pork until it is super tender. Clean, crisp white and rose wines and soft red wines work best for carnitas.
White wines have an acidity that balances out the pork’s flavor.
Rose is also acidic but has a fruity flavor that contrasts beautifully with the pork. Red wines have an earthiness that complements the carnitas flavor perfectly.
Wines such as Chenin Blanc, Torrontes, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc are perfect for carnitas.
When it comes to carne asada, look no further than red wine. Carne asada is made with marinated steak.
Zinfandel, Bordeaux, or Syrah is perfect for the robust flavor of carne asada. The dominant fruity flavors contrast beautifully with the seasoned steak.
Fajitas are a Tex-Mex food. Initially, they were only made with beef.
However, they can also be made with shrimp or chicken. The protein is cooked with peppers and onions and served on flour tortillas.
Fajitas pair well with medium-bodied red wines with dominant fruity flavors. The fruity flavors can withstand the robust, savory flavors of the fajitas.
These wines will also cut through the spicy flavor of the fajitas better than high-tannic wines. Fajitas pair well with Tempranillo, Zinfandel, and Mencia.
Chiles Rellenos are deep-fried green chilies. The chilies are filled with cheese and breaded in masa before they are fried. Chilies Rellenos topped with chili sauce and pickled veggies.
Sauvignon Blanc works really well with Chiles Rellenos. Sauvignon Blanc cuts through the rich, fatty cheese and the grease.
The wine also accentuates the herbaceous flavor of the chiles.
Ceviche works well with many white wines. Alberino, Chablis, and Riesling work well with ceviche. However, Sauvignon Blanc is a stellar pairing for ceviche.
The vivid, crisp notes of lemon, lime, grapefruit, and herb flavors pair perfectly with the seafood and citrus in the ceviche.
Enchiladas are tortillas filled with a mixture of potatoes, beans, meat, and vegetables. The enchiladas are topped with flavorful red chili sauce. Riesling is the perfect option for enchiladas.
It will help cut through the rich cheese. It pairs perfectly with the spices in the dish and balances out the flavor of the enchiladas.
Fruity rose wines are also a great pairing for enchiladas. The rose wine will balance out the flavor of the enchiladas.
Mexican food is full of rich, robust flavors. The next time you make or buy Mexican food, put the beer down and pick up a glass of wine.
You won’t be disappointed if the Mexican food is paired with the right wine.