Best Wine For Mexican Food: Pairings You Should Try!

Mexican food is great for many reasons but one of the best has to be its diversity.

From fine dining and street food to anything in between, there’s a huge variety of different foods to choose from.

Best Wine For Mexican Food: Pairings You Should Try!

There’s also a wide range of different things that go with Mexican food. One of those things is wine.

Mexico might be better known for its tequila and beer but that doesn’t mean we can’t serve our fresh Mexican food with a crisp glass of wine.

If you’re looking for wine pairings for your Mexican food, you’ve come to the right place.

In today’s post, we’re going to show you the best wine for Mexican food, looking at the best pairings you should try.

We’ll talk to you about bold reds, white wines, rosé, and more. Let’s get started, shall we?

Wine & Food Pairing General Rules

Before we start looking at the best wines to pair with Mexican food, there are a few things you need to know.

We’ll start with the general wine & food pairing rules that will always help you pick the best wine.

Generally speaking, there are three things you need to think about before choosing your wine. Those three things are:

  • The rule of spice
  • White meat = white wine
  • Herb color

If you think about each one of these things when picking your wine, you’ll find the perfect pairing. We’ve detailed each of these trade secrets below!

The Rule Of Spice

The general rule is that the spicier your food, the colder and sweeter your wine should be.

Moderate tannins and wine with lower alcohol content are effective when it comes to dissolving the burning sensation.

White Meat = White Wine

More often than not, you can match the color of your wine with the color of your chosen meat. If you have red meat, opt for a red wine. If you have white meat, opt for white wine. 

Herb Color

You also need to think about herb color when choosing the best wine for your Mexican food.

Foods that contain lots of green herbs usually pair better with wines that have higher acidity and a more herbaceous flavor.

The herbs and spices in Mexican food tend to go better with fruity wines like Sauvignon Blanc.

Mexico’s Wine Region

Not many people realize it but Mexico does have a wine region. The nation may be better known for its beer and tequila but it knows how to make a good bottle of wine too.

As a result, you could always pair your Mexican food with a beautiful bottle of Mexican wine.

Mexico started producing wine in 1597 when the first winery opened. Casa Madero still remains open to this day. Today, Mexico’s most famous wine region is Baja California.

Here, almost 90% of the wine Mexico makes is produced. One part of the Baja region is even referred to as “Mexico’s Napa”.

You’ll find winemakers producing everything from Cabernet Sauvignon to Nebbuilo to Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc here.

The Best Wine For Mexican Food

If you choose the right wine for your Mexican food, you’re in for a real treat.

Now you know more about finding the right pairing and Mexico’s wine scene, we’re going to show you the best wines you can pair with various Mexican dishes.

Let’s start with Fajitas!

Best Wine For Mexican Food: Pairings You Should Try!

Best Fajitas Wine Pairing

Fajitas are easily one of the most delicious Mexican dishes. This classic dish is a Mexican staple that can be prepared with a huge range of different ingredients.

They can be prepared with seafood and meats, like shrimp, beef, and chicken.

Fajitas are also packed with vegetables, guacamole, cheese, and sour cream. As a result, the wine you choose to pair with the dish might vary depending on the ingredients used. 

When picking the best wine for fajitas, think about the most prominent flavor, which will probably be meat or seafood. For beef or chicken fajitas, we recommend a bolder red like a Zinfandel. 

For seafood fajitas, you should opt for a lighter red such as Pinot Noir.

Best Tamales Wine Pairing

Another versatile Mexican dish that can be prepared using a variety of different ingredients is tamales.

An extremely traditional dish, tamales can be prepared with beef, beans, cheese, and chicken. 

Despite this variety, choosing the best wine to pair with tamales is pretty straightforward. The best wine you can choose is Pinot Noir as it will compliment most tamales variations perfectly.

Best Beef Tacos Wine Pairing

As is the case with most red meat dishes, beef tacos call for a bolder and richer wine such as Zinfandel and Malbec. Having said that, you will need to think about how the tacos are served.

If your tacos are served with lots of cheese and cilantro, you might opt for a white wine or lighter red instead.

Best Guacamole Wine Pairing

If there’s one food you’re almost certain to try during a visit to Mexico, it’s guacamole.

The star of the show, guacamole is a delicious dip and filling that goes perfectly in most Mexican dishes. 

Therefore, you must know the best wine to pair with it.

Regardless of how you enjoy guacamole, the spice, lime, garlic, and onion used to make guacamole pair brilliantly with a subtly sweet and light white wine or rosé.

Best Ceviche Wine Pairing

Ceviche is made by soaking white fish in spices and citrus juice. This combination of spicy and acidic flavors makes white wines the best pairing option.

A light and refreshing white wine like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc will be perfect.

Best Cheese Quesadilla Wine Pairing

Cheese quesadillas may be a simple Mexican dish but that doesn’t mean we can’t pair them with a stunning glass of wine. In fact, the right wine will help you elevate the dish.

Most cheese quesadillas contain onions, salsa, cilantro, and multiple kinds of cheese. Therefore, lighter wines such as Garnacha or Tempranillo are your best option.

Best Mole Wine Pairing

This traditional Mexican sauce is made from dried chili peppers.

As you can imagine, it has a strong spicy, and smoky flavor. While this sauce would pair best with a light white wine, it is usually served with red meats.

As a result, it actually goes best with a bolder red wine like a Malbec or Zinfandel. 

Best Chips & Salsa Wine Pairing

There’s arguably nothing better than relaxing with your friends with a delicious glass of wine and a hearty bowl of chips and salsa.

A perfect snack or appetizer, you should pair your chips and salsa with a light-bodied red. 

A Chianti or Sangiovese will do nicely!

Final Thoughts

Now you’ve made your way through this post, you should know the best wines to pair with Mexican food.

We’ve shown you the best wines to pair with a wide range of the most popular Mexican dishes.

Thanks to the versatility of Mexican food, we can choose from a huge range of different wines. Having said that, certain wines work better than others.

Now you have all the information you need, all you have to do is pick the perfect wine for your Mexican dish.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Merlot Pair With Mexican Food?

Generally, merlot doesn’t pair well with Mexican food. It contains tannins that don’t complement spicy foods. You’ll find that a merlot makes spicy food even spicier.

Is Wine Popular In Mexico?

Mexico isn’t traditionally a wine-drinking country. The nation is more famous for its beer and tequila. Having said that, wine is still a popular drink.

Sarah Perez
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