chicken tacos with onion and a side of guacamole and lime

Food & Wine

Taco Wine Pairings for Taco Tuesday and Beyond

May 05, 2021

Written By Coravin

Tacos and tequila aren’t the only way to go when it comes to pairing Mexican food with alcoholic beverages. While the nation is known for its tasty tequila and smoky mezcal, Mexico’s culinary diversity creates a wine lover’s pairing playground. From migas and carne adobada to tamales and enchiladas – Mexico’s classic dishes each take on unique, vastly-different flavors. 

Mexico also boasts a wide variety of wine varietals. One of the most-grown is Cabernet Sauvignon, followed by Carignan, Merlot, Chenin Blanc, and Muscat Blanc. Try any of these for your taco wine pairings or give our selections below a go.

If you found your way to this article after looking for Cinco de Mayo or Taco Tuesday inspiration, we have you covered with some classic recipes and complementary wines. Of course, no hard feelings if you opt for a Mezcal cocktail or classic margarita for this special meal.

Coravin Taco and Wine Pairings

Below, we share four different taco ideas complete with the perfect wine pairing. If you’re looking for a vegetarian option, we recommend swapping steak for black beans or carnitas for firm tofu. Find those recommendations in the recipes below. Here they are in short: 

  • Salmon tacos + Pinot Noir

  • Marinated steak (or black bean) tacos + Malbec

  • Ground beef tacos + Tempranillo

  • Carnitas tacos + Rhône-style white blend

taco infographic with wine pairings

Blackened Salmon Tacos

Normally we might pair salmon with a while wine, but when it’s packed with blackened flavor – or Asian flavors – Pinot Noir is the way to go. The fruity, earthy notes complement the fish while the touch of acidity cuts through its richness. 

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds boneless salmon filets

  • 1 tsp chili powder (more if you like the spice)

  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 tsp soy sauce or coconut aminos

  • ¼ tsp black pepper

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

  • 6-8 small corn or flour tortillas for serving

Mango salsa ingredients 

  • 2 medium mangos, diced

  • 1 large avocado, diced

  • ½ small red onion, minced

  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

  • 1 lime, juiced 

  • 1 jalapeño, cored and minced (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.  Whisk the chili powder, cumin, soy sauce, black pepper, and olive oil in a small bowl.  

  2. Lightly pat the salmon filets dry and place them in a single layer on a greased or lined baking sheet. Coat with spice mix on all sides.  Bake for about 12 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 135-145°F.

  3. While the salmon bakes, prep the mango salsa: Toss together the mango, avocado, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, and jalapeño in a medium bowl until combined.

  4. Once the salmon is cooked, assemble the tacos. Use a fork to gently shred the salmon then add it on top of the tortillas and top with salsa.

iStock-1194753943

Marinated steak tacos

These ones are simple. We’re going to tell you how to make the chimichurri sauce, then you can take it from there and serve with a delicious glass of bold, citrusy Merlot. 

Chimichurri ingredients

  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled

  • ½ cup fresh parsley

  • ½ cup fresh cilantro

  • 1 cup olive or avocado oil

  • 1 lemon, juiced

  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano

  • 1 Tbsp crushed red pepper

  • 1 tsp salt

Directions 

  1. In a food processor or blender, pulse the garlic, parsley and cilantro until roughly chopped. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until well-combined. You do want some texture still.

To make your tacos, marinate 1½ pounds of flank steak in half of the chimichurri using a ziplock bag for 1 hour. Cook how you like it and then assemble your tacos with corn tortillas, cooked steak, chopped avocado and the rest of the chimichurri (storing any extra for up to 3 days until your next culinary adventure).

ground beef tacos with tomato lettuce and jalapeno

Ground beef tacos

Sometimes simple is best, right? The ground beef taco is an Americanized version of Mexican street tacos consisting of ground beef cooked on a skillet with a packet of taco seasoning. Top your corn or flour tortillas with your cooked beef, shredded iceberg lettuce, chopped tomato, shredded cheddar, and sour cream. For your wine, opt for Tempranillo – a medium to full-bodied wine with some acidity and high level of tannins. It’ll compliment the beef and spices well. 

carnitas tacos with avocados raddish and cabbage

Carnitas tacos 

Next up on our list of delicious taco recipes is carnitas. This recipe requires a slow cooker and a bottle of Rhône-style white – no judgments if you decide to use your Coravin to taste this bottle before dinner is ready.

Carnitas ingredients

  • 2 ½ pounds pork shoulder, cut into 2 to 4-inch chunks

  • 1 lime, juiced

  • 2 tsp salt

  • 2 tsp cumin

  • 1 tsp dried oregano

  • 1 tsp chili powder

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 yellow onion, diced

Directions

  1. Place all of the ingredients into a slow cooker and mix thoroughly to coat the meat. Cover and cook for 4 hours on high.

  2. To add some crisp, transfer meat to a baking sheet and broil on high for 5-10 minutes. 

To make your tacos, top tortillas with carnitas, chopped avocado, chopped purple cabbage, red radish and cilantro. It’ll be a texture and flavor dance with each bite.

Let us know what you're cooking up by tagging us in your taco wine pairing photos on social media, @coravin.