Did you know…Mexico and wine go way back. The oldest known winery in North/Central America is located in Coahuila, Mexico, established in 1597.
For a long time I thought it was difficult to pair Mexican food with wine. There are a few reasons for this:
- I grew up in a very large Hispanic family. We looooved to eat and have bbq’s and I don’t ever remember wine being served, it was always beer for the adults, Kool-Aid and soda for the kids. To me, our food and wine just didn’t happen.
- Mexican restaurants are synonymous with tequila and Coronas. Think about it: when was the last time you saw a wine list at your favorite taco joint?
- Mexican food is spicy. Spicy is difficult to pair wines with.
How wrong I was! In today’s wine market, there are so many varietals to choose from that pairing Mexican food with wine (or any other food, for that matter) has never been easier. Here are some guidelines to help you have the best Cinco de Mayo ever (with wine!).
- Contrary to popular belief, not all Mexican food is spicy, but if you like it hot, just remember that the spicier the food, the colder and sweeter the wine should be. Think icy Moscato, Isabel, or chilled Beverino.
- With dishes like chips and guacamole, crunchy tacos, tostadas and chalupas, try a good dry rose, like Fiorella or a fizzy red, such as Vernaccia Nera.
- For stuffed dishes (enchiladas, tamales) with light spice, try a lighter red wine. Our Tempranillo is perfect for dishes like these.
- My personal favorite Mexican dish ever is Chiles Rellenos. Vermentino makes a wonderful counterpart.
- If you’re grilling up carne asada for your celebration, go for a red that stands up to spice such as Tempranillo or even Malbec if the meat isn’t too spicy.
- For Mexican pork dishes like tacos al pastor or carnitas, uncork Rose Spumante and feel free to go crazy with the hot sauce. The wine can handle it.
- When in doubt, make Sangria. Get a recipe here.
–How are you celebrating Cinco de Mayo this year?