If you're like most people who dine out on a regular basis, you already know the basics of pairing wine with food, such as red wine with red meat and white wine with seafood and poultry. However, the general rules of wine pairings were built on continental cuisine traditions that don't always apply to South-of-the-border fare. Following are five wine and Mexican entree pairings that you can't go wrong with.
Chicken Enchiladas and Rosé
As noted above, chicken dishes usually call for white wine, but enchilada sauce adds an extra note of spice that cried out for a good Rosé. Choose one that's slightly on the sweet side. A rule of thumb when it comes to pairing wine and spicy food is that the wine's level of sweetness should match the level of spice in the food. If you like your enchiladas extra-spicy, go for a sweeter Rosé.
Fish Tacos and Muscat Blanc
Grapes from the Muscat family are one of the few varieties that thrive near the sea, and some connoisseurs swear they can taste the tang of the ocean in the bouquet of the wine. Mexican coastal cuisine includes tacos made from red snapper, flounder, halibut, tuna, and whatever other treasures given up by the sea, but the most commonly used fish is cod. Muscat Blanc ranges from slightly sweet to very sweet, so choose your wine according to the spice levels of the tacos -- they range from mild to hot.
Flan and Tempranillo
Both flan and Tempranillo wine have their origins in the culinary landscape of Spain, where they both found their way to the New World. Tempranillo is sweet enough to serve as a dessert wine and is particularly suited to being enjoyed with a slice of freshly prepared flan with cream sauce.
Classic Mexican cuisine evolved over centuries in warm climactic conditions with no refrigeration, which is why the region is so big on cured meats. Cecina is pork or beef that has been dried and very thinly sliced. A rich, earthy red wine such as Sangiovese is ideal for serving with cecini with black beans and rice.
Quesadillas and Pinot Grigio
A cold glass of Pinot Grigio is the perfect companion for a lunch or dinner featuring quesadillas as the main event. The subtle notes of fresh fruit in this wine brings out the flavor of the cheese.
Please feel free to contact your local Mexican restaurant in Tucson Arizona for more advice on pairing Mexican food with wine.