There’s a time and a place for tacos and wine. And by that, I mean you can savor your favorite taco paired with a delicious wine anytime and anywhere you’d like. Anytime? Any place? As if you needed permission to ask!

To be honest, I don’t make tacos as frequently as I should and I certainly don’t dine al fresco with a scrumptious, hand held bite at the ready on a regular basis. That will change. Swept up with the excitement of fiesta and the fervor of Taco Tuesday that everyone on social media seems to be exuding, I found four taco recipes that may usher in a new culinary era for my friends and family. Mole Monday? Tocino Tuesday? Huevo Wednesday? Trucha Thursday? Frijole Friday? Salsa Verde Saturday? Salchicha Sunday? Create a taco out of any of these Mexican foods and your week is one big celebration!

As you can guess, I’ve got the wine pairings covered. If you’re enjoying a vegetarian taco or one that’s spicy and hot, open a bottle of chilled Albariño. Its lively acidity will give more breadth and depth to the vegetables inside that healthy dish or temper the flavors of those chiles or poblano peppers. You crave seafood tacos? A crisp Vermentino will be a fabulous pairing. I love a done-right Tempranillo or Grenache with a meat filled taco, whether the meat is beef with a sauce or an herb seasoned grilled chicken. Of course, a dry rosé may be a luscious choice with any taco you choose.

Following are reviews of five wines, all received as samples, that are flavorful complements to an array of tacos. As a bonus, I’ve included links to some enticing recipes that you’ll want to try…any day of the week!

Altos de Torona Rosal 2015 ($20) – There’s a reason that classic Albariño from Spain is the newest darling of the white wine family. Ever so food friendly, thanks to its consistent snap of minerality and food friendly palate profile, this variety, and in particular, the Altos de Torona Rosal 2015, should be stocked in your wine fridge. A blend of Albarino, Loureiro, and Caiño Blanco, I was mesmerized by the intense aromas of lime, lemon, and pineapple on the nose. On the palate, bracing acidity met flavorful notes of tropical fruit including pineapple, mango, apricot, and a squeeze of lemon. Luscious with an unexpected complexity, this balanced wine was light yet firm and offered a long, pleasurable finish. You’ll love each sip with your easy to prepare Mushroom-Corn Tacos.

taco - albarino
Cecchi La Mora Vermentino 2014 ($19.99) – This memorable Vermentino may be from Tuscany, but it’s right at home next to a Mexican-style taco laden with your favorite seafood.  On the nose, I explored notes of honey, fresh lemon, yellow flowers, and distinctive minerality. The palate, creamy and crisp, presented lip smacking acidity and flavors of tropical fruit, more honey, and florals, the combination of which led to a soft, lingering finish that begged for another sip. Complement a glass or two of Cecchi La Mora Vermentino with Baja Shrimp Tacos with Creamy Slaw.

taco - vermentino
 Aula Bobal Rosado 2016 ($12.99) If you crave an approachable wine that begs to pair with any sort of taco on the menu, the Aula Bobal Rosado 2016 is it. From the region of Requena in Valencia, Spain, expressions of strawberries, raspberries, and red flowers floated from the glass. Tart flavors of cherries, more raspberries, and Jolly Rancher strawberry candies were deliciously balanced and refreshing. And just gaze upon the color!!

taco - bobal
Tarantas Tempranillo 2013 ($10) – This 100% Tempranillo from organic grapes is made by Bodegas Iranzo, a wine estate that is one of the oldest in Spain, dating back to the 1300s. Located in Utiel-Requena DO, grapes are grown in the hills west of the Mediterranean Sea, near Valencia. Considered a Crianza, this easy drinking wine was aged in American oak for at least six months. On the nose, I found notes of dark red fruit, juicy cherries, eucalyptus, earth, and exotic spice. Food friendly acidity and soft tannins bolstered intense flavors of red fruit, tart cherries, earth and moss, and touch of herbs. The lovely finish lingered…for as long as it took to tip the glass for another sip. Pair the Tarantas Tempranillo with tasty Crispy Chicken Skin Tacos.

taco - tempranillo
 Meeker 2013 Hoskins Ranch Grenache ($37) – Of course you can find a Garnacha from Spain, but I discovered a gorgeous Grenache from California’s Sonoma County. With each sip of this notable wine, I realized that the winemakers at Meeker Vineyard met their goal to “develop complexity and breadth without overwhelming it with tannins and forcing a departure from the medium-bodied wine that Grenache wants to be”. With each swirl and sniff, I found intense aromas reminding me of red flowers, herbs, a slice of freshly baked rhubarb pie, and spice.  Balanced with lively acidity and smooth, sophisticated tannins, more fresh red fruit, baking spices, and touch of mint teased my palate…prompting me to savor another sip with my savory Shredded Pork Tacos.

taco - grenache

Cheers! ~ Cindy

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