The Expert-Approved Wine Pairing For Meaty Tacos

The magic of a taco is that it can be anything you want it to be. If you like corn tortillas or flour, spicy or mild flavorings, fish tacos, chicken tacos, or even veggie tacos, there is the perfect combo out there waiting for you to enjoy. Even better, it comes with a dream drink pairing.

Traditionally you may see tacos served alongside easy-sipping Mexican beers like Victoria, Pacifico, or Modelo, or even with a margarita. But wine can be a great match for tacos if you know how to pair it correctly. If your focus is rich, meaty tacos, like saucy birria tacos, or ground beef tacos, or even tacos al pastor, there's some great recommendations, courtesy of Catherine Fallis, Master Sommelier at Planet Grape.

As Fallis advises, "For more strongly flavored meat or veggie tacos, try the slightly spicy organic 2022 Girasole Pinot Blanc from Mendocino; or for a red, [the] 2020 Silk & Spice Silk Route Smooth Red Blend [from] Portugal." Though very different, these two wines both have a lot to offer on your next taco night.

Pairing wine with tacos

The citrusy notes and crisp finish of the Girasole Pinot Blanc makes it a natural pairing for tacos. After all, it's the fruity, acidic touch of lime that adds that finishing balance of flavor to a spicy dish. If a frozen marg goes well with your carnitas tacos, why not a balanced, lemony Pinot Blanc? Something with high acid, or even tropical flavor notes, would work as well.

When pairing red wines with Mexican food, the common practice is to opt for something that is low in tannins, as tannic wines can clash harshly with spice. Instead, something that is effortlessly drinkable, like a bold red with red fruit notes, can cut all the way through the heat while staying refreshing. (You might even go for a chilled red wine on a hot day.)

This is why the Silk & Spice Silk Route Red Blend is a great fit for a meaty, flavorful taco. Notes of black pepper and vanilla balance each other out, while a fruity finish makes it an expressive and drinkable table wine that can stand up to strong flavors.