The Wine Advent: 19 December: Wines with Mexican
The Wine Advent is a series of 25 posts in the run up to Christmas day where I will give you an insight into my favourite festive wines. Follow me on Twitter or Like my Facebook page to ensure you don’t miss opening up the advent!
As we’re getting very close to Christmas now, let’s have a think for those who are having something other than roast dinner on Christmas day. A popular alternative meal for the big day is a delicious Mexican food spread. It can sometimes be a little daunting to think about what wines to put with it – there’s obviously spice, but chilli is fuller bodied, nachos bag a crunch, and enchiladas are cheesy and moreish.
For me, one wine that manages to win the heart of the whole spread of Mexian dishes is Sangiovese. A lighter bodied one like Waitrose Chianti (£5.99, Waitrose Cellar) is not only great value but fruity and rounded enough to match Mexican with ease.
However, if you want a more tailored experience then you’re best pairing each wine with each course. For nachos or tacos, look to a lightly chilled rosé – not from Provence, but more rounded, cherry-fruit wines. I’d go for the Araldica Monferrato Chiaretto Rosé (£7.49, Waitrose Cellar). It’s got beautifully refined strawberry fruit, the dry-end of medium dry, yet great acidity. Ideal with the spice and crunch of these Mexian “snack dishes”. A juicy rosé like the Australian Rosemount (£8, Morrisons) is a treat with this kind of food too.
The world of cheesy enchiladas calls for lots of spice and a full-bodied, spicy white wine to match. Enchiladas, for me, are a real treat, so a wine of supreme quality to match is Paul Blanck Gewurztraminer (£15.49, Waitrose Cellar). It’s petrolly but with rose petal, lychee, ginger and turkish delight.
But what about that all important chilli?
I’d look over to red wine. Something full bodied but jammy enough to go with the spices in the dish. American beefy, intensely chocolatey, plummy and juicy red wines like Brazin Old Vine Zinfandel (£9.79, Waitrose Cellar) are quality with chillis, especially if you use dark chocolate in them. I also love Barossa Valley Shiraz wines, equally as chocolatey but with heavier, velvety fruit that enrich the chilli wonderfully. Want a wine like that? Try the Barossa Drive Reserve Shiraz (£12.00, Tesco). It’s gorgeous.