The Best Mexican Food & Drink Pairings: From Wine to Mescal

165

The Mexican culture is one that never shies away from the chance to celebrate. In Mexico, there is always a reason to get the family together and raise a toast, and they sure know how to throw a fiesta! Whether it’s the ancient tradition of Dias Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) or a quinceanera (A girl’s 15th birthday celebration), the dinner table becomes the heart of the festivities—a Place to share food, drinks, and laughter with family and friends.

The social element, and cultural importance of food, run deep in Mexico and are intertwined with the history and heritage of the country. The same can be said about the drinks that Mexicans enjoy alongside them. Raising a glass in celebration is an integral part of life in Mexico. So, what should you be drinking alongside your favorite Mexican dish? Here are a few suggestions to add that authentic touch to your next fiesta.

Baja Fish Tacos – Mexican IPA

An iconic Mexican classic, fish tacos are enjoyed nationwide with countless variations. The Baja-style fish taco generally has freshly caught white fish, often Mahi Mahi (locally known as Dorado), deep-fried in a light batter and tucked into tortillas with fresh slaw and spicy crema.

A great accompaniment to this fresh and flavourful dish is an ice-cold, crisp, refreshing Mexican IPA – like the ‘Baja Brewing Co. Mexican IPA. The bright hoppy flavors and well-rounded bitterness cut through the batter’s fat and calm the sauce’s spiciness, leaving the palate refreshed and ready for more.

Ceviche – Mexican White Wine

Ceviche is another Mexican staple, enjoyed across the country but especially prevalent in coastal regions. Ceviche consists of fish or shrimp cubes cured in citrus juice and a mix of chile, onions, and seasoning. The acid in the marinade denatures the fish’s proteins, creating a firm, flaky texture. It is a deliciously delicate and refreshing way to enjoy seafood and is best paired with a similarly light and refreshing white wine.

Unknown to many, Mexico is an up-and-coming wine-producing country. There are several wine-producing regions across the Northern and Central states of Mexico. The high altitude of the vineyards creates warm days and cool nights, creating perfect conditions for grape growing!

The crisp acidic ‘El Cielo Cassiopeia – Sauvignon Blanc’ is produced in Valle de Guadalupe in the Baja region. This wine has fresh notes of bright citrus and tropical fruits and a soft and dry acidity that perfectly accompanies ceviche.

Beef Barbacoa – Mexican Red Wine

Continuing the journey with Mexican wines, we have a perfect pairing of red meat with red wine. Barbacoa, which translates to ‘Barbecue,’ is a traditional style of cooking meat, where it is slow cooked, often in pits, for many hours. Slowly roasted until it is fall-apart-tender, it is then shredded gently with forks and tossed with the seasoned braising liquid. Usually eaten with tortillas, this deliciously rich and meaty dish needs an equally rich companion.

The rich complexity of the ‘La Cetto Barrel Aged Private Reserve – Nebbiolo’ is a beautiful wine to match the richness of the dish with notes of oak, chocolate tobacco, and ripe dark fruits that marry well with the smoky, meatiness of barbacoa. A match made in heaven!

Aguachile – Margarita

Aguachile, translated as ‘chile water,’ is a spicy and flavourful dish of shrimp submerged in lime juice, salt, chile, cilantro, and slices of cucumber and onion. The flavors are bright and acidic with a fiery warmth.

What better to pair it with than a chilled, shaken Margarita cocktail? The acidic lime notes and salty rim pair perfectly with the dish, while the boozy hit of the alcohol is an effective way to cool the warmth of the chile.

Tacos al Pastor – Mexican Lager

Tacos al Pastor is an iconic Mexican dish synonymous with Mexican street food. Slices of marinated pork are stacked vertically on a spit with a slab of pineapple above the meat. Like the method used in Turkish kebabs, the pork is slowly roasted and sheared from the spit (Called “El Trompo”) into warm tortillas.

This humble street dish needs only an ice-cold bottle of Mexican lager. Modello Lager is an excellent go-to option. The crisp, refreshing, golden nectar is the perfect neutralizer for the spice and fat content, and the satisfaction of drinking from the bottle at a roadside taqueria epitomizes the street food experience.

Mole Poblano – Horchata 

Mole Poblano is Mexico’s national dish. An incredibly complex and nuanced thick sauce made from over 30 ingredients and slow cooked for hours, sometimes even days, by the old grandmothers of Mexican kitchen, with recipes handed down through the generations. The sauce is the show’s star, and the chicken it is often served with is the supporting act.

The hearty and complex dish works well with horchata. A rice-milk beverage with a similarly homely, age-old recipe. Its light milky texture, subtly sweetened with honey and spiced with cinnamon and vanilla, is a great non-alcoholic option to cool the palate and soften the intense richness of the Mole Poblano.

Birria – Michelada

Birria is a family favorite in Mexico. It’s often enjoyed as a brunch dish and is hailed as an almighty hangover cure sent from the gods. The dish is a beautifully rich, slow-cooked meat stew. Traditionally using goat, but often beef, it uses a variety of chiles and spices and is cooked until the meat falls apart and melts in the mouth. It is served with diced onion, cilantro, and lime and served with tortillas. The meat is sometimes shredded, put into tacos or quesadillas, and served alongside a pot of the cooking broth for dipping.

A great pairing with this classic is a unique Mexican beverage, the Michelada. An unlikely but winning combination of lager and tomato or clamato juice, with hot sauce, lime juice, and spices. It’s an excellent low-alcohol option that is refreshing but matches the Birria’s complexity.

Churros – Hot Cocoa

The most infamous Mexican dessert has to be churros. Churros are choux-pastry piped into hot oil to deep-fry, then coated in sugar and cinnamon. A warm and satisfying sweet snack that is traditionally sold by the side of the road from food carts.

 

Close
Cookrealmaxican© Copyright 2020. All rights reserved.
Close