Pairing Wine with Tacos 6 Ways
Want to grab some tacos? How about some wine? Pairing wine with tacos is made easy with this pairing guide.
The answer to this question is, invariably, “yes!” Who doesn’t want to eat a taco or two right now?
It’s the season for eating outdoors, and tacos are super easy to eat anywhere – by design. Did you know that tacos have been the preferred lunch for workers in Mexico for a couple centuries? The exact origin of the taco is up for debate, but historians generally agree that by the 19th century, it was common for women to make tacos for workers in many towns across Mexico.
Today, taco trucks carry on this proud tradition, allowing people to enjoy tacos basically anytime, anywhere – whether you’re outside, at the beach, or standing around someone’s backyard. Oh, and there are usually a bunch of options and they’re all super delicious.
The only question that remains is, “What should you drink with your favorite taco?”
While there’s nothing wrong with an ice cold beer or a pitcher of margaritas, we have some good news for wine lovers: Wine pairs very well with tacos, as long as you know how to pick the right vino.
Here’s a pairing guide for Taco Tuesday.
Hot Tips on Pairings
While there are many different varieties of tacos to try and to love, you can generally expect tacos to be heavily seasoned and, often, muy caliente.
Because of this, you generally want to avoid wines that have a lot of tannins or have been aged in oak. Instead, stick with wines with zippy acidity and – if the tacos are spicy – a touch of sweetness. Slightly sweet, low-alcohol wines are your best friend when enjoying spicy food.
Thankfully, white, rosé, and red wines can all go well with tacos, so whatever your vino preferences are, you have options. When you’re sharing a mixed platter of tacos, Grüner Veltliner and Riesling are generally good white wines to choose, whether your tacos are filled with meat or fish. Dry rosé and light red wines are also great choices.
Taco & Vino Pairings
These mouthwatering tacos made with grilled, marinated pork have a unique history. They pair well with a fruit-forward red wine like Rioja, Zinfandel, or a Pinot Noir from a New World region like Oregon.
Since chicken is a milder protein, it’s usually dressed up with spices like cumin and chiles. Your best bet is a light, acidic white like like Vinho Verde, or a light, fruity red like Pinot Noir or Gamay.
If you like your tacos with delicately grilled fish, go with a light, zesty white wine with a hint of saline. Sauvignon Blanc or Spanish Albariño are great choices. Crunchy fried fish tacos pair best with a bone dry white wine like Txakoli – popular in Spain’s Basque country – or a sparkling wine like Cava.
Tacos with crunchy greens go well with Grüner Veltliner, a light white wine with lean, peppery notes, or a dry rosé with bright notes of rhubarb and celery. Starchier vegetarian tacos, like patatas bravas, pair well with a dry white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or a dry sparkling.
These marinated sliced steak tacos tend to have a smoky, charred flavor. They go well with a fruity Argentinian Malbec. For ground beef tacos, you could go with a lighter-bodied red wine like Grenache or Tempranillo.
Juicy braised pork tacos pair well with a brightly acidic fruity rosé or a light red like Pinot Noir. If you love white wine, you could also choose a medium-bodied White Rhône Blend with notes of lemon and brioche.
In Vino Finito
The right wine can help bring out the many flavors in your favorite tacos. Remember to chill your wine for maximum enjoyment – whether you’re celebrating Taco Tuesday on your porch, or packing a bottle of vino and some ice packs for a picnic.
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