People around the world hailed Mexican food for its vibrant flavors. To name a few, we love guacamole, enchiladas, tacos, and ceviche. And, of course, it’s better to wrap Mexican dishes with a cool, refreshing drink like other flavorful meals.
Most of the time, what’s come to mind is a beer, tequila-based drink, or a Margherita. But definitely, wine is something that would spark our curiosity. So, come along, and together, let’s find out these 8 best must-try wines for your favorite Mexican dish.
Secrets to Successful Wine & Mexican Food Pairing
At the onset, pairing wine with Mexican food may be a challenging endeavor to start. But once you’ve done it, you’ll find it rewarding and fulfilling. Since Mexican foods are naturally spicy and full of herbs, it’s a golden rule to pair them with wines that can match their boldness and intensity.
If you want to magically pull off a fantastic wine and Mexican food pairing, you’ll find our tips handy and helpful. So here are they:
· Herb Color
The herb ingredient is the first thing to consider when looking for the best wines with your favorite Mexican food.
Mexican cuisine loaded with green herbs would work magically with an acidic white wine like the Sauvignon Blanc. In addition, fruit-forward wines will help balance out the flavors coming from intense spices.
Another thing to remember is this useful wine pairing rule: white wines always go with white meats. On the other hand, red meats love red blends. While there may be a few exceptions, it’s a rule of thumb to match the meat’s color with the wine’s color.
· Rule of Spice
Lastly, the heat level of Mexican food will always influence your wine preferences. So, if you have spicy or hot Mexican food, it’s best to serve it with a sweeter and colder wine.
Those blends with fewer tannins and low alcoholic content can take the heat away. After all, we don’t want spices to dominate our taste buds.
Top White Blends Choices for Mexican Food
Traditional Mexican cuisine is famous for its herbs and spices. And as you try spicier Mexican dishes, it’s best to pick sweeter and colder wines to wrap it up. That’s why it’s not surprising to find white blends a natural choice for this authentic cuisine.
So, we will not keep you waiting. Here are the best white wines you must try with your favorite Mexican dish.
1. Sauvignon Blanc
Featuring a crisp and fresh aroma, sommeliers hailed Sauvignon Blanc as one of the most uniquely flavored white wines globally. If you are fond of this wine, you’ll realize that this white blend has different versions from oak-based, herb, citrus, and mineral.
Because of its citrus and herb undertones, Sauvignon Blanc is highly favored for Mexican cuisine. This wine complements the fresh ingredients found in most Mexican dishes. On top of everything, Mexican food loaded with herbs calls for a wine containing excellent acidity.
The fruity Sauvignon Blanc with high acidity would complement the herb-infused Mexican cuisine. For a start, this white wine would be the perfect choice for tomato-based and smoky tinga sauce.
Try this lovely wine with Mexican favorites like Chile Rellenos, Tomatillo Salsa, and Escabeche. Sauvignon Blanc should be your top pick when you’re having chicken fajita salads and prawn dishes.
2. Pinot Gris
Here’s another crisp and light-bodied white blend you could have with Mexican food. Pinot Gris is a fruity wine showcasing mango, melon, apple, lime, pear, and pineapple flavors. Once you have it, your taste buds will not miss its vanilla, nuts, and honey undertones.
Because of its floral aroma and fruity taste, Pinot Gris is one of the best palate cleansers. And since it has low tannins but high acidity levels, this white wine is the ultimate duo of spicy food.
You’ll get a hint that it will magically work with Mexican spices. But here’s a pro tip: go for this wine’s heavier styles to best enjoy Mexican dishes. You can start with some personal food recommendations: spicy chicken tacos, spicy Mexican seafood, and pico de gallo.
If you’re searching for a white wine that will pair with your hot Mexican food without searing the taste buds, Riesling is the one!
This white blend is sweet, light, crisp, and highly acidic, making it food friendly. Since it has natural sugar and good acidity, you can expect that this wine balance the intense spiciness of Mexican food.
Riesling can also act as your natural palate cleanser that would prepare your taste buds for another round of delicious Mexican dishes. The flavor of pork tacos, spicy chicken, burritos, and corn tortillas will surely complement the taste of Riesling.
Mainly found in Portugal and Spain, Albariño is a premium white wine that would pair beautifully with Mexican cuisine.
People love this blend for its refreshing citrus flavors, high acidity, and delicate salty and dry taste. It’s a wine full of orange peel, nectar, pear, grapefruit, honeysuckle, and pear aromas.
So, the next time you’re having lots of cilantro, jalapeno, lime, and tomatillos in your Mexican dish, Albariño might be an excellent place to start.
For instance, classic Mexican cuisines filled with bright citrus flavors like Tostadas, Tacos, and Salsa Fresca would look for crisp fresh white blends like the Albariño.
Fantastic Red Blends Picks for Mexican Food
Since many drinks seem like a natural choice for Mexican food, like Margherita, beers, and cocktails, you may find red wines quite odd.
But while red wines can be quite challenging and tricky to have with Mexican cuisine, it does not mean that this wine and food pairing can’t be done.
Sweet red wines with low tannin and alcohol levels are light on the tongue and would balance spicy Mexican food. The other way around, if you like bolder tastes, go for dry and full-bodied red blends. So, let’s get started. Here are the top red blends picks for Mexican food.
Originally sourced from the Rhone region in France, Syrah makes one of the top red varietals that makes a good pair for Mexican food.
Its flavors include truffle, pepper, licorice, blueberry, plum, blackberries, spice, chocolate, and earthy. On the other hand, the wine exudes a slight hint of smoke.
Since Syrah has spicy and peppery notes balanced with lush fruit flavors, it would make a perfect match for meaty Mexican food. Or you can have a beef mole, chicken, and pork with younger Syrah wine varietals.
In addition, since it’s fruit-forward like the Zinfandel, Syrah is also a perfect choice for a delicious Mexican marinated steak like the Carne Asada.
Zinfandel is a grape commonly grown in the United States. While it may not rank as one of the famous wine varietals, this red blend would make an excellent partner for Mexican cuisine.
Zinfandel would work well with spicy Mexican dishes as a medium to full-bodied wine with light tannins and moderate acidity.
All in all, this red blend is a burst of heat, earthy, and fruity flavors. It can be a fantastic pair of pasillas. On top of everything, Zinfandel would work magically with Mexican dishes having red-chili adobo sauce or achiote paste.
You can also have this wine with cheesy Mexican food. Finally, a juicy red Zinfandel will go well with Mexican cuisine of beef burritos and smoked or grilled meat.
Among the red wine blends with low alcohol and tannin levels, Beaujolais would surely stand as one of the ideal pairs for spicy Mexican food.
This drink is light with fruity undertones of raspberry and cranberry. Once you sip Beaujolais, you’ll realize why it would make a perfect match for Mexican dishes.
Its fruity flavor and low alcohol levels make it easier to blend than other wine varietals. And if you’re craving spicy Mexican food, you’ll find a light wine such as Beaujolais handy to drink with larger sips.
8. Pinot Noir
Next on our list of best red blends is one of the ultimate favorites, Pinot Noir. This wine is light and sweet, with low levels of tannins because of the grapes it came from.
Due to this fact, you’ll find Pinot Noir blending well with an array of Mexican dishes. So, whether you’re craving mild cheese quesadillas or a spicy burrito, this blend is a true one-size-fit for all Mexican favorites.
On top of that, Mexican cuisine prepared with chicken, beef, and pork call for a subtle red blend for which Pinot Noir is an excellent option. Other choices include Mexican food with rich and smoky sauces or jalapeños ingredients. You can have it too with bean tacos and shrimp dishes.
While it may not be usual to have Mexican food over wine since you can have it with other alcoholic drinks, there are still a lot of wine varieties for a surprisingly excellent pairing.
Whether you’re up for a glass of red or white wine, it’s all up to you. So, the next time you’re thinking about a beverage for your Mexican favorite, try one of the wines on our list and let it unfold its wonders.