Chili: Delicious Hotness
Chili is one of the most exciting and widely appreciated foods. There is something about the combination of chili powder, pepper, tomatoes, cumin, and meat that brings the taste buds alive. The best thing about chili is that you can keep it simple or dress it up as much as you like. In other words, you can prepare your chili in a classic way or with an exotic twist.
When it comes to which beverages to enjoy with a hot bowl of chili savoriness, an ice-cold beer would probably be the first to come to mind. But beer makes you feel full, taking up the room for your delicious chili. Plus, depending on the heat level of the chili, carbonate beverages prolong the burning effect of capsaicin which can be very unpleasant.
What Wines Pair Well With Chili?
Chili-based dishes are difficult to pair with beverages because of the combination of spices that go into the dish. Believe it or not, a glass of the right wine could be just the drink you need. A Chenin Blanc or Riesling, or even red wine, such as Tempranillo and Zinfandel, are perfect with chili. Always pick full-bodied wines that can stand up to the heat and intensity of chili.
Before moving on with our usual wine list, let us offer you some general ideas to keep in the back of your mind when preparing your next chili wine pairing: Fruit-forward wines, whether white or red with low tannins, tend to work much better with chili-based dishes. Likewise, wines with lower alcohol are also more food-friendly, particularly when paired with challenging ingredients.
That does not mean that high alcohol wines cannot accompany chili, only that they must be fruit-forward or have high acidity. Moreover, rosé or even sparkling wines make great alternatives to reds. Finally, if you intend to enjoy a glass of wine with your chili, be smart and moderate the spice in your chili recipe. You don’t want to set your mouth on fire, after all, right?
Best White Wines With Chili
- Winery — Champalou
- Country/Region — France, Loire Valley, Middle Loire, Touraine, Vouvray
- Type — Loire Chenin Blanc
- Aroma — Apple, Pear, Nectarine, Honeysuckle, Cinnamon Spice, Chalk, Pepper, Flint
- Grapes — Chenin Blanc
- Taste — Pineapple, Mango, Peach, Apricot, Stones, Vanilla Spice, Chamomile
- Alcohol Content — 12.5%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Chili, Chicken Marsala, Smoked Salmon, Seafood, Sushi, Orzo, Asparagus Mousse
The Champalous are masters of Loire Chenin Blanc, so this Vouvray is no different. It has aged in stainless steel vessels and has an incredibly concentrated flavor. This specific one is very refreshing on the palate, showing a balance between minerals, honeyed fruit, and dried flowers.
The nose presents juicy aromas of apples, pears, nectarines, honeysuckles, and cinnamon spice. There are also touches of chalk, pepper, and flint. On the palate, the wine is medium-to-full-bodied and balanced. Flavors of stone fruits and tropicals combine with hints of vanilla spice and chamomile before concluding in a long and emphatic finish.
Biodynamic Viticulture After the Lunar Calendar
The Champalou winery started in 1983 when Catherine and Didier Champalou decided to produce high-quality Chenin Blanc wines in Vouvray. This they did successfully, as the Champalou farms over 20 hectares of vineyards. Above everything, however, they embrace sustainable farming and biodynamic viticulture following the lunar calendar.
On top of this, they plow their lands regularly to give aeration to the soil, enabling the vines to collect many nutrients. The resulting fruit is juicy and pure, highly aromatic with exceptional balance. Possibly the best white wine with chili.
Schloss Gobelsburg Riesling Kamptal
- Winery — Schloss Gobelsburg
- Country/Region — Austria, Weinland, Niederösterreich, Kamptal
- Type — Austrian Riesling
- Aroma — Citrus, Honey, Stone, Vegetal Notes Of Straw, Grass, Asparagus
- Grapes — Riesling
- Taste — Apple, Stone, Citrus, Floral, Hay, And Mineral Notes
- Alcohol Content — 12.5%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Chili, Pork, Chicken, Light-cured Meats, Shellfish, Spicy Cuisines
Full of Character
Playful and smooth, this Riesling has a beguiling bouquet of stone fruits and citrus and a powerful palate of tropical, steely characteristics. Crisp acidity and lengthy aftertaste. A top-quality Riesling that opens with inviting aromas of lemons, limes, grapefruits, and juicy peaches, joined by hints of crushed stones, wet grass, and marzipan.
Next, on the palate, flavors of passion fruits and pineapples combine with notes of jasmine, strawberry, apple, and pear for a vibrant mouth. On top of this, subtle touches of honey, pepper, and almond emerge after a few swirls and drive into the long mineral-driven finish. Brisk acidity offers balance and freshness.
Winemaking at an Aristocratic Castle
Schloss Gobelsburg winery is essentially a castle that has produced wine since the Middle Ages. In 1725 the castle was renovated in baroque style and has always belonged to aristocratic families. In 1740, however, the main building and the grounds were sold to Cistercian monks of Zwetti Abbey. About 200 hundred years later, in 1996, Evan and Michael Moosbrugger became managers of the building and took over the responsibility for the winery.
Gobelsburg produces wines of traditional local varietals, like Gruner Veltliner and Riesling, and focuses on terroir expression. Oak casks are perfect for aging the top Grüner Veltliner and red wines, mainly from St. Laurent, Pinot Noir, and Zweigelt. Natural yeasts are used for fermentation.
Best Red Wines With Chili
Masca del Tacco Old Vines Zinfandel
- Winery — Masca del Tacco
- Country/Region — Italy, Puglia
- Type — Southern Italy Primitivo
- Aroma — Raspberry, Strawberry, Redcurrant, Tobacco, Charred Wood, Vanilla Spice
- Grapes — Zinfandel
- Taste — Plum, Cherry, Balsamic Vinegar, Coffee, Prune, Fig, Almond
- Alcohol Content — 14%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Chili, Grilled Chicken Thighs, Curried Pork And Squash, Deep-fried Lamb Ribs, Beef Burgers
The fruit is sourced from selected Old Vine Primitivo grapes, cultivated in the vineyards of Apulia. This way, Masca del Tacco Old Vines Zinfandel showcases its Italian roots in every sip. The wine starts with an intense bright color of ruby-purple with a pink shade. As it moves closer to the nose, one gets the scent of red berries, clove, charred wood, and tobacco, among others.
The body is full and the acidity is medium but zippy. In addition, the palate has tastes of plums, cherries, balsamic vineyards, mocha, prune, and fig. The long and lingering finish is accentuated by a raisin aftertaste. Unobtrusive and dusty, the tannins add complexity and finesse.
Combining Technology with Winemaking Tradition
Masca del Tacco supports identity, tradition, and territory across winemaking. In this way, every wine bottle has flavors that represent historical wine patrimonies. In addition, the vineyard work is done manually, and the winemaking techniques are traditional. The wine is aged in wood, but the maturation is never too invasive to keep the wine as pure as possible. To sum it up, Masca del Tacco combines advanced equipment, technologies, and techniques with a great wine tradition that makes it the best red wine with chili.
Marqués de Riscal Rioja Reserva
- Winery — Marqués de Riscal
- Country/Region — Spain, Rioja
- Type — Spanish Rioja
- Aroma — Prune, Plum, Leather, Cinnamon Spice, Black Pepper, Licorice, Sweet Tobacco
- Grapes — Tempranillo
- Taste — Blackberry, Fig, Cherry, Vanilla Spice, Brown Sugar, Redcurrant, Balsamic Vinegar
- Alcohol Content — 13.5%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Chili, Grilled Beefsteak, Lasagna, Tomato-based Sauces, Tacos, Pizza
This wine is a dark cherry color. It has expressive aromas that develop over time, and they are defined by scents of cinnamon spice, pepper, and licorice. In the mouth, this Rioja is fresh and easy-to-sip. It has a good backbone, polished, soft tannins, and a persistent gentle finish.
Fragrances of prunes, plums, and leather mingle with aromas of cinnamon spice, black pepper, licorice, and sweet tobacco, forming the nose. Inside the mouth, the expressiveness continues, as flavors of blackberries, figs, and cherries are complemented by tastes of concentrated currants, vanilla spice, and brown sugar. Elegant tannins and medium acidity lead to a lengthy and persistent balsamic-influenced finish.
Marqués de Riscal
A pioneering wine firm, Herederos del Marqués de Riscal, was the first winery in the Rioja region to produce wines following the prestigious Bordeaux method (1858). Similarly, in 1972 it was the first winery to promote the Rueda Designation of Origin, where it began producing its renowned arqués de Riscal whites. They are internationally recognized since they export their wines to over 70 countries. They have received numerous accolades and awards over the years.
Buena Vista Chateau Buena Vista Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
- Winery — Buena Vista
- Country/Region — United States, California, North Coast, Napa County, Napa Valley
- Type — Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
- Aroma — Redcurrant, Cranberry, Cherry, Thyme, Oregano, Lavender, Honeysuckle, Mint
- Grapes — Cabernet Sauvignon
- Taste — Blueberry, Bramble, Prune, Strawberry, Cardamom, Cocoa, Coffee
- Alcohol Content — 13.5%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Chili, Grilled Lamb, Short Ribs, Venison, Portobello Mushrooms, Cheddar
Enticing fragrances of red berries and dried herbs emerge from your glass as this luxurious wine presents itself. Tastes of black and red fruits coat the mouth together with touches of cardamom, cocoa, and coffee on the aftertaste. Fine-grained tannins and a long finish make this a perfect drink.
Finely balanced with a classic palate and an attractive bouquet, this Cabernet Sauvignon opens with aromas of redcurrants, cranberries, cherries, thyme, and oregano. Scents of dried lavender and honeysuckle are discernible, too, and the refreshing fragrance of mint dominates. The palate shows blueberries, brambles, prunes, and strawberries, joining notes of cardamom, cocoa, and coffee. The tannins are smooth and fine-grained, while the finish is pleasant and succulent.
California’s First Premium Winery
Buena Vista was founded in 1857 by the self-proclaimed Count of California, Agoston Haraszthy, as California’s first high-end winery. The Count was passionate about developing the Californian wine industry. He had the vision for producing high-quality wines in Sonoma, so he created the first gravity-flow winery in California and began excavating the first wine caves. On top of this, Agoston Haraszthy was the first winemaker to experiment with Redwood barrels for fermenting and aging, and he even brought over 300 varieties to California from Europa.
Since 2011, Buena Vista has joined the Boisset Collection, with the proprietor, Jean-Charles Boisset, aiming to return Buena Vista to its former glory by restoring and reopening the Champagne cellars, which were not open to the public for more than 20 years.
Chili is an intricate ingredient and calls for equally elaborate wines, such as the ones we have tried and tested for you. You don’t have to do anything more than uncork any of these bottles and pair them with your spicy bowl of chili. We hope you found your perfect chili wine match.