Wine Advocate Weekend Pairings: Tacos

A crisp warm shell, filled with your choice of protein and topped with fresh creamy guacamole and crisp pico de gallo—when done right, the humble taco satisfies all the senses.

"People sometimes mistake tacos for a crunchy shell, which is not common in Mexico at all," says chef Daniel Shemtob, founder of L.A.’s popular meals-on-wheels, The Lime Truck. (The Lime Truck was also the winner of Food Network's The Great Food Truck Race in 2011.) 

On his truck, Shemtob doles out tacos with braised and pulled chicken; brown sugar- and soy-braised pork belly; wild caught Ahi tuna with spicy garlic chile paste; and lime-sambal fish tacos with fresh grapefruit slaw.

“If you have a lot of acidity in your food, then you want a lot of acidity in your wine—it’s a strange phenomenon,” says The Wine Advocate’s Oregon Reviewer, Erin Brooks. “The mushroom tacos have all kinds of citrus with the grapefruit and lime, and these tangy flavors can be reflected in a Riesling like Pewsey Vale from Australia.” Of the 2016 vintage, Lisa Perrotti-Brown states that the wine is “light-bodied and bone dry with a racy line of acidity cutting through the intense citrus and mineral flavors.” 

Earlier this summer, New York City-based restaurateur Danny Meyer (of Shake Shack fame) opened Tacocina, a spectacular outdoor taqueria on the Williamsburg waterfront in Domino Park. Barbara Garcia Madero, the former sous chef at Meyer’s Union Square Cafe and two-Michelin-starred restaurant inside the Museum of Modern Art, The Modern, now manages Tacocina and is responsible for dishing out its menu of $5 tacos with offerings like pork and mango, beef and salsa negra and the very popular mushroom with elote sauce
(Photo by Peter Garritano.)

“You can go in a lot of directions here,” says Brooks. “This is a heavier taco, so even though it’s vegetarian, it should act as your main course.” She suggests a Beaujolais like the 2015 Jean Foillard Morgon Cote du Puy for pairing purposes. “This particular Beaujolais is quite minerally, so you have a lot of underlying savory characteristics which provides a mirroring of flavors. It brightens it like a foil, if you will.” 

Want to learn more about wine? Follow Robert Parker Wine Advocate on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

More articles from this author