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Cinco de Mayo

May 5, 2015

When serving Mexican food, many people reach for an icy cold margarita or cerveza to help battle the spicy flavors for which these dishes are so well known. The right wine can really help enhance and highlight the many varied flavors and textures. Rather than simply pairing your protein with an appropriate wine, it is important to consider the methods used to prepare the dish and the flavorful sauces served alongside them.

Carne Asada Tacos Pair it with a Malbec. Dark fruit flavors with notes of spice and toasted oak combined with medium firm tannins make Malbec a great match with grilled meat. This is one of the few dishes that can stand up to a fuller-bodied, more tannic wine.
Chile Verde Pair it with a more restrained Zinfandel rather than the big, jammy guys. The soft tannins and herbaceous notes will not fight the spices the way a high tannin wine would. The green, herbaceous notes in the wine will complement the green chiles in the stew.
Crab Tostadas Pair it with a fruit forward Sauvignon Blanc. This dish is often served with a mayonnaise-based sauce made with lemon and lime juices. Sauvignon Blanc matches up with those citrus flavors and its crisp acidity provides a nice contrast to the creamy sauce.
Chicken Enchiladas


Pair it with a Tempranillo or a Sangiovese. The red chili and tomato sauce pairs really well with light-medium-bodied wines with red fruit flavors and some earthy notes.
Chicken Mole Pair it with a fruit forward Grenache. Ripe, red fruit flavors with a hint of spice and soft, rounded tannins will help to bring out the chocolate of the mole sauce while downplaying the spicy heat of the sauce.
Chiles Relleños Pair it with one of a couple options depending on the spiciness of the dish. For a milder version, a Sauvignon Blanc or Albariño with citrus and some green, herbaceous notes. A spicier version of the dish can be tempered with a little bit of residual sugar. An off-dry Rosé can be a great match for spicy chiles rellenos