Wine Pairings for Mexican Food

A wooden platter with tortilla shells and slices of steak with a bowl of green chimichuri sauce

It may seem like Mexico is the land of tequila and cerveza, but there’s a strong wine culture in the country as well. In fact, Mexico has been making wine for about 300 years, and is home to some of the oldest wine regions in North America. The bulk of wine production is in the mountainous region of Baja in the north, where cooling breezes from the Pacific Ocean help moderate the climate.

Mexico – and its cuisine – is so broad and diverse, it’s impossible to just pick one wine to go with everything. Even to narrow down a specific food, for example tacos, come in so many versions that it’s still futile to find one, perfect bottle.

Instead, consider the flavours on the plate and pair with specific spices, herbs, and sauces.

Related: Rosé Sangria recipe

A close up of a woman's hands holding a glass of red wine in one hand and a plate of tacos in the other
Cilantro, cumin, thyme, Mexican oregano, tomatillo, lime

The abundance of bright, fresh, verdant herbs and fruit in Mexican cooking is part of what makes it so deeply flavourful and delicious. When these flavours dominate the dish, reach for an equally herbaceous wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Verdejo.

Mole, adobo, achiote, ranchero, red chile

These smoky, deep sauces are often slow roasted with a mix of ingredients like peppers, bitter chocolate, and tomatoes. A red that balances savoury with ripe fruit, such as a medium bodied Cabernet Franc, from Ontario or the Loire, offers up complimentary notes of dried leaves, smoke, and cherry fruit.

Barbacoa, carne asada, chorizo, carnitas

Preparations like al pastor, barbecue, slow roasting, and fire grilling give meats like beef and pork a sweet, smoky flavour. Chilean Carmenere has a steak-spice and char note, which work really well with grilled meats flavoured spices. 

Rice dishes like arroz con polo or beans and rice

Rice-based dishes have some weight from the carbs and an earthy flavour, especially with the introduction of beans. An wine like Pinot Noir from California is both fruit forward and has juicy acidity to help brighten up the dish.

Ceviche

Ceviche and other light seafood dishes can be easily overwhelmed. But a Brut Cava (a sparkling wine from Spain) is an elegant complement to these preparations.

Related: What's the difference Between Champagne and Sparkling Wine

But watch for heat

If the sauces, spices, and preparations from any of the above tip the Scoville scales into a more fiery profile, quench the heat with a low alcohol and off-dry wine. The sweetness will balance the spice and the low alcohol cools the palate. Wines like Riesling and Gewurztraminer are easy pairings. You could also go with Moscato d’Asti or fruity Prosecco, but beware of the bubbles; sparkling wine that’s particularly fizzy may aggravate a blistering tongue.   

Hear From Real People!

Our guests had a great evening and Erin made sure that everyone (even non-drinkers) enjoyed themselves! Thanks for making the bridal shower so memorable!
Bravo! You were awesome and I loved the presentation, explanation and selection of wines! I just had to reach out and thank you for a wonderful evening. You two are fabulous – great energy and you really like what you do.  You make tasting wine fun!
I wanted to thank you again for last night. Everyone had a great time, and I received a lot of compliments, on your behalf. You struck a great balance between being informational and entertaining. 10 out of 10.
The Wine Sisters are professional and flexible to attend to client needs. They’re able to provide 'one stop shop for events.
Thank you very much for the amazing wine tasting. We all had the most wonderful time. The wines were excellent and your presentation was very entertaining and informative.
Thank you very much for your services. Everyone had a fantastic time and loved everything! Thank you again for a successful event and making me look oh so good.
You were great and hilarious, and made everyone feel comfortable. Appreciate your time with me and helping pull this event together.
I’m really pleased with how the event went. Everyone feels really happy with your incredible hosting skills and experience. We all DEFINITELY want to use The Wine Sisters again! Thank you so much!!
Everything was perfect and very personalized! We still talk about experience and how nice it was. Definitely memories our family will treasure forever.
The event was a huge success! Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and the group was quite engaged. The wine was also delicious! Thank you so much! I hope we can work together on another event in the future!

Instagram Feed

Follow on Instagram

For support issues or any questions, please email us at drinkwithus@thewinesisters.com

Sign up for our weekly newsletter to be the first to know about our wine recommendations, cocktail recipes, and great tips for throwing fabulous parties.