Challenging Wine Pairing: Taco Night



By LaGayle ~ April 18th, 2012.

The Wine Peeps enjoy Taco Tuesday each week. It is a fun time to get together, the meal is an easy one to prepare, and we enjoy the blend of the spicy flavors in the food. Our menu generally consists of beef tacos, refried beans, Mexican rice, and hot salsa. We usually enjoy margaritas on taco night, but we thought why not use this meal as one of our challenging wine pairing dinners and see what wine might work.

After consulting What to Drink with What You Eat by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page, we decided to try a Tempranillo and a Zinfandel. The two wines that we had with the meal were the 2008 Columbia Crest Reserve Tempranillo and the 2008 Dry Creek Vineyard Estate Zinfandel. While we certainly enjoyed both wines, the unanimous choice for the best pairing with the food was the Tempranillo. And for the record, while the Tempranillo was great with the meal, we all concluded that a margarita is still the best beverage of choice overall for taco night.

We’d love for you to share in the comments what you would have paired with this meal. And, as always, we welcome your suggestions for challenging wine pairings for us to try in the future.

Bon Appétit!

2008 Columbia Crest Reserve Tempranillo (Wahluke Slope, Washington): Deep, dark purple in color. Aromatic with black cherry, earth, and cocoa on both the nose and palate. Medium to full-bodied with crisp acidity and medium to high tannins. Well-balance with a long, lingering finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery $30

2008 Dry Creek Vineyard Estate Zinfandel (Spencer’s Hill Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley, California): Deep, dark purplish red. Nice nose with red fruit, mint, and leather aromas. Fruit-forward with raspberry, Red Vines, and mint on the palate. Medium to full-bodied with lively acidity, medium tannins, and a long, jammy finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 3 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery $32


Filed under: American Wine, California Wine, Challenging Wine Pairing, Food & Wine, Red Wine, Tempranillo, Washington State Wine, Wines Over $25, Zinfandel

Reader's Comments

  1. Martin D. Redmond | April 18th, 2012 at 8:43 am

    I like tacos with both Rose, and Sparkling Rose! They can be surprisingly good with Sauvignon Blanc too…

  2. Kori | April 18th, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Martin,
    Thanks for sharing your recommendations. We’ll have to try them on taco night sometime. Cheers!

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