Burritos are a Mexican staple, stuffed with a cornucopia of different flavors. There is no simple answer when pairing wine with burritos, because they can be made with a variety of proteins. A good guideline is to look at the beverages that burritos are normally paired with – chilled beers with a wedge of lime, or margaritas. They are refreshing, with a strong citrus element, and perhaps a hint of sweetness. There are a variety of wines that fit this profile too. In this article, we’ll give you some guidance on pairing wine with burritos, and all of the possible proteins that come with them.
Wine Characteristics To Pair With Burritos
|Sweetness||Dry to Off-dry|
|Body||Light to Medium|
|Tasting Notes||Refreshing, sweet citrus flavors, sweet spices, red fruits and smoke|
Burritos will often feature chili and rich tomato salsa, as well as ingredients like sour cream and cilantro, so you can consider pairing them with either red or white wines. Bold tannins and high alcohol levels will clash with Mexican spices, so it’s best to avoid big, full-bodied wines.
Essentially, you’ll want something crisp and refreshing, high in acidity, but with enough flavor to hold its own against all of the potential burrito fillings.
Best Red Wine To Drink With Burritos
When pairing wine with burritos, it’s worth considering which protein your dish is filled with. Red wines are a good choice for heavier beef burritos, or even vegetarian options with lots of smoky beans and grilled vegetables.
Equal parts fruity, spicy and smoky, Tempranillo is the perfect varietal for pairing with Mexican food. It has enough acid to cut through any sour cream or cheese fillings, and enough body to match the thickest meats without being overpowered. Look for wines from Ribeiro del Duero, Rioja, or even a Portugese blend with Tempranillo, where it is called Tinto Roriz.
Like Pinot Noir, Gamay is one of the lightest-bodied red wines available. It’s synonymous with Beaujolais, the region where the best examples of Gamay are produced. It has a subtle earthiness and a fruity profile that will mesh with pulled pork burritos, and lighter, vegetarian options.
Pinot Noir is a great choice for savory oriented burritos, like those with refried beans or pork. However, it has enough depth of fruit and acidity to match any fillings that you throw at it. It matches extremely well with creamier cheeses, such as manchego and gouda, so keep that in mind when you select your fillings.
Best White Wine To Drink With Burritos
White wines will have that crisp edge that cuts through a burrito’s forest of flavors, similar to chilled Mexican beer or a margarita. There are some options that will work particularly well, all are high in acid, and feature strong citrus notes. If you want to curb the spiciness slightly, you can also look for off-dry versions of these varietals.
Torrontés is the wine equivalent of a squeeze of lime. It’s aromatic, crisp and can be intensely acidic, depending on the elevation of its vineyards. Either way, Torrontés is incisive enough for a whole variety of fillings. If you’re hesitant about pairing wine with burritos, a bottle of Torrontés may be the thing that changes your mind. It’s also extremely affordable.
Grüner Veltliner has prominent lime notes for cutting through starch and fat, and vegetal hints of green pepper, which you might also find in the burrito itself. This varietal comes in a variety of styles, so off-dry versions are worth looking out for if you want to counteract the heat of Mexican spice. Prime examples can be found in the Wachau and Kamptal regions of Austria, but when pairing with burritos, you can go for a more affordable, zesty version.
This German varietal is famous for being surprisingly great with spicy food, and Mexican food is no exception. It has prominent lime notes and a deep well of aromas, perfect for pairing with burritos and a wide variety of potential toppings. It can cut through the likes of sour cream and cheese, and match wonderfully with cilantro, lime, corn or lettuce. Riesling is usually quite low in alcohol and high in residual sugar, so you don’t have to worry about it clashing with spices.
Pairing Wine With Different Types Of Burritos
Wine With Beef Burritos
Beef is one of the most popular burrito fillings, and it’s often infused with spices. White wines may get overpowered by the density of beef, so it’s best to look for fruity, high acid reds, with a bit more body. Tempranillo is absolutely perfect. For high quality options look for Spanish Tempranillo wines from Ribeiro del Duero or Rioja. You could also try an Argentinian Malbec, but keep in mind that higher alcohol levels will clash with spicier burritos.
Wine With Pork Burritos
Pulled pork is another classic burrito filling, a little lighter than beef, but usually just as spicy. Pinot Noir is a solid choice, because it is high in acid and matches with pork’s savory side. A slightly fuller-bodied Riesling is also worth considering, and you can choose an off-dry one if the burrito is particularly spicy.
Wine With Chicken Burritos
Chicken burritos will fare better with a white wine. Try to find a crisp, clean Torrontés, or a Grüner Veltliner from Austria. Both provide notable lime flavors and invigorating acidity. If You can’t find these varietals at your wine shop, a fruity, lime-driven Sauvignon Blanc is a great option too.
Wine With Vegetarian Burritos
Vegetarian tacos are usually packed with beans, which can add a notably smokey flavor. It might seem counterintuitive to return to red wines for vegetarian burritos, but they can work very well. Tempranillo is an excellent choice for a burrito filled with peppers and refried beans, as is a Gamay. Alternatively, the green pepper and lime profile of Grüner Veltliner will enhance the dish beautifully.
Best Wine To Drink With Burritos
Choosing the best wine for burritos requires a small bit of preparation, but generally speaking, you can’t go wrong with a glass of something high acid and light-bodied. These are our top recommendations:
- Grüner Veltliner
- Pinot Noir