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Wines Under $30 That Will Pair Perfectly With Your Next Mexican Feast

We all know how well tacos and tequila go together. And there’s nothing quite like an ice-cold, salt-rimmed margarita to add a splash of flavor to your Mexican takeout night. Beer and birria? Definitely a winner. But hear me out…

What about washing down your next carnitas burrito with an exquisite bottle of grenache? The sometimes leathery, sometimes spicy, dark fruit notes embedded in the wine are perfectly adept at uplifting the array of seasonings that typically marinate the tender roast pork. Or are you feasting on guac, spicy salsa, or ceviche-topped tostadas? Sauvignon blanc’s fresh acidity is a perfect counterbalance for the salty-crunchy combo of fried corn tortillas. Even a classic mound of nachos smothered with cheese, beans, cilantro, onions, and jalapeños can be leveled up nicely when washed down with some good old Spanish tempranillo.

Though wine in Mexico is absolutely booming, it’s still not the first adult beverage people think of when pairing Mexican dishes. We’re here to flip that script — by rounding up eight bottles that can stand up to hearty dishes like chicken mole (cabernet sauvignon) or enhance the brightness and lightness of ceviche tostadas (Sauvignon blanc). And since you’re already shelling out dollars on delivery, all the bottles listed below are priced under $30. They’re also available in brick-and-mortar and online retail shops across the U.S.

Vamanos!

Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc, 2019

Brancott Estate

ABV: 13.1%
Average Price: $13

The Wine:

The grapes that make up this sauvignon blanc were some of the first to ever be planted in Marlborough, New Zealand in 1973. Since then, Brancott Estate has continued to produce bright and zippy wines that represent the lush green and tropical lands of the winery’s surrounding South Island region.

Tasting Notes:

Speckled with flecks of green, this pale straw wine smells of lime zest and newly ripened grapefruit. The palate is equally citrusy with notes of blood orange, pomelo, and a hint of cantaloupe. All that’s balanced out with great acidity that’s noticeable from start to finish and leaves a mouthwatering impression.

Bottom Line:

Do you have mariscos on the menu? This is a wine that will compliment just about any type of seafood or cut through a cheesy, veggie-loaded quesadilla or burrito.

Monte Xanic Chenin Colombard

Vinoteca

ABV: 13.5%
Average Price: $15

The Wine:

Down in the Valle de Guadalupe of Baja California, Mexico—a hop, skip and a jump from San Deigo—is where this blend of chenin blanc and French colombard derives. It’s a gentle and clean, fruit-forward wine that is so clear it practically looks like water.

Tasting Notes:

This wine smells like the tropical paradise it’s grown in. The nose is loaded with scents of pineapple, lime, and lychee, while the mouth is soaked with juicy mandarin, nectarine, and orange blossom flavors that don’t completely wash out the palate. Overall, this wine is dry and crisp with a good drinkability and a barely-there finish.

Bottom Line:

Eating tamales? You’re gonna need to drink something light and complex to wash them down. This is the wine to get it done.

Mumm Napa Brut Prestige

Mumm Napa

ABV: 12.5%
Average Price: $25

The Wine:

Now here’s a refreshing sparkling wine to wet your palate before you wolf down a couple of tacos. This non-vintage bubbly is a blend of chardonnay, pinot noir, pinot gris, and pinot meunier from about 50 grape-grower locations throughout Napa, California.

Tasting Notes:

This is a filling yet bright sparkling white wine with relaxed little bubbles that smell like apples doused in vanilla and raw dough. The bready, toasty notes get a splash of acidity on the palate, which is rounded out with hints of honey and ginger throughout the sip.

The finish is rich and it lingers for quite some time.

Bottom Line:

Drink this sparkling wine when you want to fancify your feast. It’s a satisfying aperitif but it’ll pair well with any vegetable, chicken, or seafood dish.

Decibel Gimblett Gravels Malbec 2017

Decibel Wines

ABV: 13%
Average Price: $25

The Wine:

This rusty red wine, produced by U.S. expat Daniel Brennan, hails from vineyards in Hawke’s Bay that are situated around an area of the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island that’s famous for getting a lot of sun. That good weather combined with the natural rocky gravel of the region leads to a Malbec that is notably unique — with an earthy, mineral character.

Tasting Notes:

There are some floral and berry aromas that escape from the bottle along with fragrances of wet dirt after a rain. On the palate, the wine is almost chalky with notes of blue and blackberries and tight tannins—the naturally occurring polyphenol found in skins and seeds that results in fruit’s astringency. The finish is firm and lingering with hints of soils seeped with graphite and lead.

Bottom Line:

This wine has the body to pair with a wide range of hearty meals. It has the structure to hold up enchiladas sopping in salsa verde or starchy, meaty dishes like arroz con pollo.

Domaine du Mistral Grignan-les-Adhémar Rouge 2018

Domaines André Aubert

ABV: 15%
Average Price: $14

The Wine:

Produced by Domaines André Aubert in the heart of France’s Rhône Valley, this wine is a blend of Grenache and Syrah. By no means is this a wine for the faint of heart—it’s full-bodied in every sense, but it maintains plummy suppleness that makes it a delight to drink with food.

Tasting Notes:

Ruby red in color, this wine smells of leather, sharpened pencils, and blackberry compote. The palate is dotted with plum, cherry, and licorice notes that lean into super-soft tannins for a lengthy finish that is bold and smooth at the same time.

Bottom Line:

Bring on the carne asada! This is exactly the type of complex wine you want to sip on while chewing on servings of grilled steak, heavily seasoned with a nice hit of spice.

Bodegas Ordonez Toro Triton Tinta de Toro 2017

Bottle Barn

ABV: 15%
Average Price: $16

The Wine:

Now here’s a bold and fruity tempranillo from one of Spain’s oldest winemaking regions, Toro. The grapes used for this reddish-purplish wine come from various Bodegas Ordóñez vineyards, owned by winemaker Jorge Ordóñez, in Toro and neighboring Morales — none of which are treated with herbicides, pesticides, or fungicides.

Tasting Notes:

Yet another full-bodied stunner, this wine packs a powerful punch. On the nose, it’s loaded with violets and raspberries and boysenberries, while the palate is drenched in blackberries, blackcurrants and the faintest hint of anise. Syrupy tannins give the wine much depth that lasts throughout the long finish.

Bottom Line:

Drink this now with all your slow-roasted pork, spicy chorizo, and other sturdy meats. Or save it for a fiesta later on down the line. This bottle’s good for hanging in the cellar (or wine fridge) for up to 15 years.

Papa Figos Red

Wine Chateau

ABV: 13%
Average Price: $16

The Wine:

This pick is a medium-bodied blend of tinta roriz, tina barroca, touriga franca and touriga nacional — grapes that are all indigenous to Portugal, the Duoro Superior region to be exact. Produced by the winemakers of Casa Ferreirnha (one of Portugal’s most esteemed wineries), the juice gets its name for the colorful bird on the label, the Papa Figos, one of the rarest birds in the Douro.

Tasting Notes:

This claret hued wine flutters with aromas of wildflowers and fresh, ripe strawberries. The taste leans into the red fruit but gets a nice lift from a sprinkle of cocoa, round tannins, and a dash of acidity that leads to a refined and long finish.

Bottom Line:

This wine has a gastronomic edge that makes it perfect for pairing with food. It can easily bring out (or settle down) the flavors of al pastor tacos, chicken tinga, refried beans, and all the red meats you can think of.

This would also work with grilled or pan-fried fish, if snapper is on the menu.

Casa Madero Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Wine Exchange

ABV: 13.6%
Average Price: $15

The Wine:

It was 1893 when Don Evaristo Madero purchased the first vineyards to make up the Casa Madero, but the vines, nestled in the Mexican state of Coahuila, date back as early as the 1500s (when explorers colonizers roamed the area).

This carmine red wine is made of 100 percent cabernet sauvignon that is truly intense and utterly elegant.

Tasting Notes:

The aromatics on this wine are, to put it simply, superb. Lucious red fruits, eucalyptus, and mint spill out of the bottle, but the palate is also booming with black currants, plums and rosemary, and even hints of menthol. This wine has a nice silky body ripe with firm tannins that last throughout the extended finish.

Bottom Line:

Mexican wines are incredibly hard to find in the U.S., which is a shame because they can be as good as any of the high priced/ old world wines of France or Italy. Luckily this one isn’t quite as hard to come by, so when you spot it, buy it and drink it with your chorizo, beef barbecue, and pork rinds.

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