Pairing wine with Tacos al Pastor, the latest culinary trend


There is nothing more democratic in Mexico than a taco: anyone can eat it regardless of age or socioeconomic level. Pastor, carnitas, barbecue, stew, or beans. Its unique versatility has made it the country’s greatest culinary symbol.

The taco al pastor, without a doubt, is the jewel in the crown. For this reason, the prestigious Taste Atlas list considered the richest dish in the world. But have you ever thought that this taco that comes straight from the “Trompo” would taste better with a glass of wine?

Domecq Academy, the Casa Pedro Domecq training center, explains why this pairing is so fresh and delicious through Alberto Verdeja, winemaker of this Spanish company with more than 200 years of experience in the wine and spirits sector.

1. The flavors are integrated

Perhaps you are used to the old reliable: an order of tacos with a very cold soda or cool water. But it is time to try new things.

Contrary to what many people believe, the spices used to prepare the “Pastor” (cumin, thyme, white pepper, black pepper, marjoram) integrate perfectly with the properties of red wine, explains Alberto Verdeja, winemaker at Domecq Academy. This makes the palate perceive an explosion of flavors that do not clash with each other, which will make your eating experience more pleasant and organic, adds the expert.

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2. The fat is in your favor

It happens to all of us: sometimes we don’t want to have tacos for dinner because “they are very greasy.” But did you know that if you combine them with a wine, this fat is neutralized? It’s not that the fat disappears: it’s just a matter of perception.

“We are going to think that the fat sweeps up the tannic part of the wine, that is to say, that the typical astringency of the wine makes the taco feel and taste different in your mouth”, Verdeja observes.

Remember that tannins are an organoleptic property that all red wines have. In fact, astringent flavors always leave a feeling of dryness and bitterness. And if we take into account that a taco al pastor is juicy because of its marinade, drinking a cup of red wine “neutralizes” that “fatty” feeling.

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3. It is less heavy

Especially on weekends, it has become a “must” to dine on tacos with a few beers. However, the feeling, in the end, is always the same: an immense heaviness from eating grains. Corn tortilla and beer barley can be a tricky combo. And if we consider that most industrial beers also contain corn syrup, things get worse.

For this reason, in order not to suffer that annoying “Mal del Puerco” (pig disease) as they call it in Yucatan, a wine may be the solution. Being composed of water, glucose, fructose, and grape, as well as all its components, it is much lighter than a beer.

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4. The meat will taste better

All the meat al pastor is made from the head of pork loin, a piece that is characterized by its softness and juiciness. This is reason enough to encourage you to order a white wine, which is ideal to pair with lean meats and delicate cheeses.

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5. For the sheer pleasure of transgressing

For a long time, the taco was relegated from international haute cuisine; It was considered a basic and low-complexity food. 

Wine, for its part, for many years has been considered a sophisticated and solemn drink that could only be consumed on special occasions and, worse still, it was only drunk by mature people or by the most privileged socioeconomic strata. Fortunately, both perceptions are wrong and gradually disappear. Today it is known that it is never a bad time to drink a glass of wine and that the taco is the best dish in the world, whether in a restaurant or in a street stall.

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Pairing recommended by Alberto Verdeja, winemaker at Domecq Academy.

• “Pastor Negro” Tacos from La Casa del Pastor with Red Wine XA Domecq

This Cabernet Sauvignon-Grenache from Valle de Guadalupe (Baja California) is a fresh and lively wine, which reaffirms the red fruits in the mouth, with a medium finish and pleasant on the palate. The ideal drink for the black shepherd, a Yucatecan recipe that contains passion fruit and hot chili peppers, which stand out with the spicy notes of the grape varieties and the barrel present in the wine.

• Traditional pastor tacos from La Casa del Pastor with XA Domecq White Wine

This Chardonnay – Chenin Blanc / Sauvignon Blanc (depending on the vintage) from the Valle de Guadalupe (Baja California) is a pleasant entry wine with smoothness and freshness, which also has balanced acidity and good persistence in the mouth. It has a semi-dry note, with lots of tropical and yellow fruit. It is ideal for all types of lean meats and foods with a light and fruity seasoning. In the case of shepherd’s tacos, pineapple, adobo, lemon, and coriander, combine and enhance the aromas and flavors of the wine and the taco as a whole.

Source: El Financiero

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