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Best Wine for Tacos

At the Wine Club Reviews, not only are we here to help you get started, but we also pride ourselves on helping you get the most out of your wine club membership. 

One of the ways we do this is by looking at popular food and wine pairings. As you learn more about the world of wine, it is great to know what food goes with which wine so that you can thoroughly enjoy your food and wine tasting experiences. If you are a lover of tacos and Mexican cuisine, then you are going to love this food and wine pairing guide.  If you are about to dive into a big Mexican feast of tacos, then this is an article for you!

It is quite surprising to find out that many people do not think of enjoying wine with tacos. But in fact, Mexican cuisine and wine are a naturally good pairing. Wine is increasingly being chosen as the drink of choice (instead of beer, tequila or margaritas) in many popular Mexican restaurants. The Mexican diet and lifestyle share many similarities, so it is very easy to find some amazing wine matches for the different type of tacos that can be enjoyed.

The beauty of tacos is that there is an endless range of fillings that you can use to create your delicious tortilla wrapped delicacies that are a mainstay of Mexican cuisine.  Some common themes in creating a taco are the inclusion of spicy sauces and salsas, guacamoles, splashes of lime and vibrant salads. The type of wine that you choose to complement your tacos will really be dependent on the main filling.

Please find as follows our best recommendations for wine pairing with the four most popular types of tacos. 

Beef Tacos:

Beef tacos are perhaps what everyone thinks of when they hear the word tacos.  Now you can find tacos filled with ground beef, spicy beef strips or smoky barbeque creations. Regardless of the preparation, what you want in wine is something strong and robust to stand up to and enhance the dominant flavors of the beef along with the indulgent toppings.  Wines like Spanish Tempranillos and Riojas are an ideal match for beef tacos. Their earthy flavors and high level of tannins cut through the fat content of the beef filling and cheese topping, serving to soften the flavors which in turn, enhances the wine.

Best Wine for Tacos

Fish and Seafood Tacos:

Fish and seafood tacos are all about freshness.  The delicate seafood flavors combine beautifully with sharp citrus overtones and the zing of green salsas and cilantro garnishes. When you are enjoying fish and seafood tacos, the ideal wines are those with fruity flavors and developed citrus notes. Dry white wines are fabulous in enhancing the seafood flavors and cooling the palate from the salsas and spicy sauces that go hand in hand with seafood tacos.  Try a Vinho Verde from Portugal or Txacoli from Spain, both of which have a lovely acidity and are known as beach wines, which is ideal for food that is often referred to as the original beach food.

Another great choice with your fish and seafood tacos is a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.  This choice tends to have a little more body and a great citrus component that is perfect with cilantro.  Generally, we would say that white wines are better with fish and seafood tacos, but if you are having a taco filled with salmon, you might want to try a lighter red such as a Pinot Noir which works well as a flavor pairing.

Chicken Tacos:

As chicken is relatively mild meat, the style of tacos is very much dependant on the sauces and flavor combinations that are used to enhance the filling. Chicken tacos can range from quite delicate flavors to creations that include strong and powerful tastes. When it comes to the best wines to pair with your chicken tacos, it will really depend on the flavor combinations used. Once you add spicy salsas, creamy dressing and crunchy toppings, wine pairing can be a challenge. What we would say is if you are going to go for red wine, probably steer clear of the full-bodied reds as the higher tannin content can influence the effect of spices. Try a lighter red instead like a Pinot Noir which will quench your thirst and enhance the flavors instead of masking them completely.

If you prefer white wine, then once again a Portuguese Vinho Verde or a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc will do a good job or bridging all the flavors. Wines such as these are readily available and work well with the plainer flavors of chicken but can also stand up to the more distinctive sauce and garnishing options.

Vegetarian Tacos:

Now if you are a vegetarian taco fan, then a wine that we recommend is the rose. The Napa Valley is becoming increasingly well-known for its selection of roses so if looking for the perfect drop for your vegetarian tacos, stay close to home and try a local drop. Rose is great at enhancing the floral notes of spicy ingredients and is also good at enhancing the subtle sweetness of vegetables. Rose is also good at quenching the thirst and keeping the palate lovely and cool regardless of the heat that your Mexican cuisine is delivering!

Just remember as you travel on this food and wine tasting journey to have fun! Our guidelines are as interchangeable as the fillings of your tacos! You should always be inspired by personal preferences and use these recommendations as a guide. They are a great place to start when exploring the world of wine pairing for Mexican cuisine.

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