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Wines to drink: Taco Tuesday!

Always a crowd pleaser, the traditional Mexican dish of a tortilla (corn or flour), topped with a filling, folded and eaten by hand. With so many variables from steak to chicken, fish to prawn or veggies and then topped with salsa, guacamole, sour cream, chillies, lettuce, tomatoes, the combinations are multiple. The guides below can be used as a guide to match with multiple Mexican dishes such as burritos or fajitas as the principles are the same.

It’s worth considering the following rules when it comes to pair the dishes wine together. Pair the wine with the main topping as this is the key component of the dish. As the flavours are intensely seasoned, having a wine with good acidity will balance this. As tannins clash with spicy foods, if the tacos are very hot, steer clear of tannic wine. Anything too full flavoured will overwhelm the tacos, so avoid heavily oaked wines.

Steak & Garnacha

The rich and smoky Steak flavours really benefit from a spicy, fruity wine that isn’t too tannic.

Smalltown Vineyards, The Songlines Grenache – Barossa Valley, South Australia

This is a single vineyard Grenache. The grapes come from the Gomersal sub-region of the Barossa. Partly wild yeast fermented with around 30% whole bunches. Aged only in stainless steel to preserve a crunchy freshness. A juicy nose of cranberries, pomegranate and red pepper with hints of star anise and black pepper. The palate is a bright wash of berries and crushed grapes. An expressive, primary and bright Barossa Grenache.

Bodegas Borsao, Selección Tinto – Campo de Borja

Rich, plum and red berry fruit with a touch of spice on the nose. Balanced yet concentrated red fruit mingles with darker spice and chocolate characters to give weight and layers to the palate. Plump ripe tannins add grip to this classic style of Garnacha. This over-delivers on every front – an epic effort!

Chicken & Unoaked Chardonnay, Gamay or Pinto Noir

Whether roasted and shredded or stir-fried, it’s a lighter style and very much about freshness.

Domaine Les Roches Bleues Brouilly, Le Cru du Volcan – Domaine Les Roches Bleues, Burgundy

The old, short, goblet-trained vines grow in a single parcel on bluey-purple layers of manganese soil (‘Les Roches Bleues’) under the 1585-foot Mont Brouilly – long-extinct volcano. Fresh plums and raspberry fruit are balanced with an earthy and distinctive savoury edge. Perfect with spicy food.

Genetie, Mâcon-Charnay-lès-Mâcon ‘Les Piliers’ – Genetie, Burgundy

Combining the warmth of southern Burgundy with the elegance and finesse of the special terroir of Mâcon-Charnay-lès-Mâcon, this is immediately appealing with its’ good depth of flavour and underlying finesse that provides wonderful length and unfolding flavours. Unoaked but lovely creamy mouthfeel and a real crowd pleaser.

Fish & Light Whites

Typically, grilled or fried white fish which yearns for a citrus and mineral note to compliment.

Bodegas La Val, Más Que 2 – Rias Baixas

The Albariño, Treixadura and Loureiro grapes were all grown in Condado do Tea. A tasty, crisp white with body and structure from Albariño balanced by touches of green apple from the Treixadura and fresh herbal notes from Loureiro.

Cave de L’Ormarine, Picpoul de Pinet Sélection, AOP Picpoul de Pinet – Cave de L’Ormarine, Languedoc

Cave de l’Ormarine’s vineyards lie at approximately 40 metres above sea level on a chalky clay plateau, rich in Cretaceous limestone and quartz. stemmed and macerated on their skins followed by fermentation for approximately 2 weeks without malolactic fermentation.  Delicately perfumed, with ripe melon fruit on the nose. The palate is weighty and ripe but remains fresh and saline. A crowd pleaser, but a very well made one.

Prawn & Pinot Gris or Côtes du Rhône Rosé

Light, salty and spicy, Prawns work really well with a dry but very fruity wines.

Snapper Rock Wines, Pinot Gris – Marlborough

A refreshingly dry Pinot Gris with great concentration with attractive apricot and fig aromas. The palate rounded mouthfeel with delicate notes of exotic floral hints and tropical flavours. A really delicious expression of the grape variety.

Domaine Boutinot, Côtes du Rhône Rosé ‘Les Cerisiers’ – Rhône

A classic salmon pink rosé with delicate perfumed aromas of rosehip syrup, wild berry blossoms and cherries on the nose. Full flavoured, ripe and beautifully balanced with acidity, there’s elegant textured berry fruit on the palate with a twist of raspberry freshness to lift the finish. Deliciously balanced and moreish.

Veggies & Grüner Veltliner or Sauvignon Blanc

Dry whites with vibrant acidity work incredibly well here.

Waterkloof Circumstance Sauvignon Blanc – Waterkloof, Stellenbosch

Crushed laurel on the nose along with lime and gooseberries and a lightly salty tang. This is a ripe and textured style of Sauvignon, with good concentration of citrus and stone fruit characters and fennel hints – it is rich and minerally, showing even a slight rocky quality about it. As bracing as the wind through the vines at Waterkloof and perfect compliment to tang of Vegetable Tacos!

Weingut Türk, Franz & Friends Grüner Veltliner – Weingut Türk, Kremstal

Fruit is selected from some of the best parcels across the Kremstal region and is vinified in stainless steel to produce a classic expression of the Grüner Veltliner grape. Aromatic nose with notes of white spice. The palate has stone fruit, green apple and lightly exotic characters – fresh and appealing.


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