Typically, Mexican food is fantastic with beer. But did you know that Tex-Mex food also blends nicely with wine? Yep, you read it right. Mexican food can make an excellent pairing with wine, too. The reason most people think that beer is the only alcoholic drink that goes well with Mexican food is this: We don’t think of Mexican food as something other than a simple combination of beans, rice, and meat smothered in juicy, melted cheese.
Tex-Mex, which people consider Mexican food, was developed in the southwestern United States by immigrant ranch workers who had limited access to the chilies and other ingredients that they had enjoyed back in Mexico. Yet, authentic Mexican food is as complex as any European cuisine, contrary to Tex-Mex.
What Wines Pair Well With Mexican Food?
There are three categories of wines that pair exceptionally well with Mexican food like Enchiladas. These are: Crispy, highly acidic wines: Great white wine choices are Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, and Spanish Albariño. The latter is very crispy and pretty much phenomenal when combined with chili sauces. That said, acidity is not an exclusive domain of white wines. On the contrary, there are many high-acid reds, like Rioja (Tempranillo), Chianti (Sangiovese), and Pinot Noir, amongst others.
Plush and juicy wines with a thick mouth feel. These wines are similar to Zinfandels, meaning impressively fruity, and complement earthy red chili adobo sauces. Likewise, Syrah from Europe or Shiraz from Australia, with deep, berry flavors and robust pepper notes. In other words, powerhouses are great with Mexican food. Alternatively, you can opt for a lighter Beaujolais (made from Gamay) since it’s served chilled.
Chardonnay is OK. Many might disagree, but, generally oaky and toasty Chardonnay isn’t the best white wine with Mexican food, as their woody character conflicts with the boldness of the Mexican flavors. Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are not that much better, to be honest. Both are high in tannins, and there is conflict between them and the chili. Why? Because your mouth will be on fire, and you will end up missing all of the food’s complexities. Here are the best wines for your Mexican food wine pairing:
Best White Wines With Mexican Food
Rapaura Springs Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
- Winery — Rapaura Springs
- Country/Region — New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
- Type — New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
- Aroma — Lemongrass, Tomato Leaf, Peach, Apricot, Nectarine
- Grapes — Sauvignon Blanc
- Taste — Passion Fruit, Grapefruit, Guava, Pineapple, Meyer Lemon, Apple, Pear, Flint, Stones
- Alcohol Content — 13.5%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Mexican Food, Grouper, Sea Bass, Oven-baked Chicken, Veal, Mexican, Brussel Sprouts
This Sauvignon Blanc is filled with succulent tropical and citrus fruits and a mouthwatering finish. Exceptionally delicious. Heady fragrances of nettles, basil, passion fruit, and guava show the herbaceous character of this Sauvignon Blanc. In the mouth, this wine shows greater concentration than the average white. It is medium-bodied with flavors of citrus, stone fruits, and a touch of lemongrass. Additionally, a little creaminess eases the bite of the razor-sharp acidity. Stimulating finish.
Producing Wine According to the Cycle of Nature
Rapuara Springs is a family-owned winery in Marlborough, Rapaura, New Zealand. They are set to release some of the world’s best vintages as their vineyards take advantage of the pure water that runs from the snow-capped mountains of the Southern Alps.
The six months needed for the snow to melt and reach the vineyards, and the six months required for the vines to grow and bear fruit for harvest, mark a full year in the cycle of nature. This defines Rapaura Springs, too, as well as the lives of those who work in the winery.
Elena Walch Vigna ‘Castel Ringberg’ Pinot Grigio
- Winery — Elena Walch
- Country/Region — Italy, Trentino-Alto Adige, Südtirol – Alto Adige
- Type — Italian Pinot Grigio
- Aroma — Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime, Jasmine, Vanilla Spice
- Grapes — Pinot Grigio
- Taste — Pineapple, Guava, Passion Fruit, Basil, Almond, Crushed Stone, Chalk, Limestone
- Alcohol Content — 13%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Mexican Food, Shellfish, Red Snapper In Soy Sauce, Tilapia, Chicken Alfredo, Mozzarella, Brie
If you are fond of hot and spicy Asian foods, the Nik Weis Selection Urban Riesling is the right choice for you. This wine will complement and tame the heat of your spicy pork chop. Nik Weis uses Riesling grapes to produce this wine, and you are guaranteed not to be disappointed. After all, this grape is the cream of the crop for making white wines at present.
This bottle of white wine has high acidity. It is also extremely versatile. You can pair a variety of food options with it —from pork to spicy foods or cured meat. It’s a light-bodied wine that is also a perfect beginner wine for budding wine enthusiasts. You can even age this bottle for some time, and it’s guaranteed to improve with time.
Mac Forbes RS8 Riesling
- Winery — Mac Forbes
- Country/Region — Australia, Victoria, Port Phillip, Yarra Valley
- Type — Australian Riesling
- Aroma — Peach, Apricot, Nectarine, Honeycomb, Jasmine, Honeysuckle
- Grapes — Riesling
- Taste — Passion Fruit, Guava, Apple, Pear, Grapefruit, Lime, Meyer Lemon, Almond
- Alcohol Content — 11.5%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Mexican Food, Sea Bass, Sea Bream, Trout, Creamy Linguini Salmon, Rigatoni Mushroom
With a pale gold color, Mac Forbes RS8 Riesling opens with seashell, stone fruit, and floral aromas. The mouth has a light sweetness and a creamy texture. Fruity flavors and racy acidity conclude the tasting profile with a medium finish. The wine opens with delicate scents of peaches, apricots, nectarines, honeycomb, and florals. The palate has a slight sweetness. Yet, it doesn’t take away from the pronounced fruitiness.
Dynamic tastes of passion fruit, guavas, apples, pears, and grapefruit synthesize the mouthwatering effect. The acidity is refreshing, while the medium finish gives off flavors of almonds. Mac Forbes was founded in 2004 in Yarra Valley, with the hope of creating wines that give snapshots of the terroir, and have exciting stories to tell.
Best Red Wines With Mexican Food
The Prisoner Saldo Zinfandel
- Winery — The Prisoner
- Country/Region — United States, California
- Type — Californian Zinfandel
- Aroma — Licorice, Fig, Cherry, Cranberry, Cinnamon Spice, Clove
- Grapes — Zinfandel
- Taste — Raspberry, Plum, Raisin, Chocolate, Smoke, Forest Floor
- Alcohol Content — 15.5%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Ham, Lamb Chops With Thai Peanut Sauce, Beef Burger, Grilled Chicken, Feta
Dark ruby in color, and with a nose of the bold aromas of black fruits, pepper, and spices. The palate is full and rich, with a mouthwatering hint of chocolate. Velvety tannins. This Zinfandel blend is filled with aromas of blackberries, cherries, blueberries, licorice, and baking spices, such as vanilla and cinnamon. The mouth is rich, lush, and stimulating. Flavors of plums, figs, and prunes dominate and join a smooth hint of chocolate, coffee, and tobacco. The tannins are velvety, the acidity refreshing, and the aftertaste is voluptuous.
Collaborating With Dedicate Grape Growers to Produce Exceptional Wines
The Prisoner Wine Company was founded by Italian immigrants who settled in Napa Valley. From the first vintage, the winery became recognized as highly innovative and lead to the resurgence of California red blends. The Prisoner Wine Company’s philosophy is the collaboration of grape growers throughout California’s greatest wine-growing regions to produce exceptional wines of unexpected personality.
Borsao Bodegas Zarihs Syrah
- Winery — Borsao Bodegas
- Country/Region — Spain, Aragón, Campo de Borja
- Type — Spanish Syrah
- Aroma — Cherry, Raspberry, Chocolate, Coffee, Fig, Vanilla
- Grapes — Syrah
- Taste — Blackberry, Grapes, Redcurrant, Plum, Prune, Cinnamon Spice, Pepper, Ginger, Tobacco
- Alcohol Content — 15%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Duck Breast, Filet Mignon, Falafel, Pastrami Sandwich, Puttanesca, Halloumi
With an opaque red-black hue and crimson highlights, this Syrah begins with a powerful nose of black fruits and a hint of smoke and vanilla spice. The palate is plush with a soft structure. A fine espresso coffee note on the lingering finish.
As the wine reaches the nose, aromas of blackberries, cherries, and blackcurrants emerge, followed by notes of smoke, vanilla spice, and pepper. The full mouth is expressive. It presents flavors of prunes, plums, tobacco, and leather. A creamy texture from the oak fermentation and a hint of smoked meat are also discernible. Dusty tannins build a lengthy finish that leaves a lingering cherry touch.
Established in 1958, this winery shows what can be done with the traditional Spanish grape of Garnacha, which is not that well-appreciated by some Spanish wine experts. Through meticulous selection and careful vinification, the resulting wines are super fruity. Great winery producing fantastic wines, especially if you are looking for the best red wine with Mexican food.
As we reach the end of our list, I sincerely hope that you found the above wines a great Mexican food wine match. Always choose a wine that you enjoy and matches your personal taste, being mindful of the restrictions that spicy food puts on your wine choices. Till next time, cheers!