2019 Cote des Roses and Birria Tacos

Let me be extremely honest, this was the most difficult wine pairing I’ve done. I tasted a large variety of wines including a German Riesling, a Tempranillo, a Cava, a Rioja, a Grüner Veltliner and even a Sauvignon Blanc till I found the right one.

About the Wine

Cote des Roses comes from Languedoc, located in the south of France along the Mediterranean Sea. The bottle is unique and beautiful, it has a rose-shaped bottom. This Rosé is soft, pale, brilliant pink with bluish tints developing over time towards more orangey nuances. The bouquet releases aromas of summer fruits, cassis and redcurrant. Floral notes of roses along with hints of grapefruit complete the picture. The finish is fresh, offering notes of candy. On the palate the impression is fresh and full, with great aromatic persistence and balance.

Mexican dishes are probably one of the hardest cuisines to pair with wine because there is so much to take into consideration. You must think about the type of meat, the spices, how spicy the chiles are, the preparation, and the toppings. The general rules are that the spicier the food, the colder and sweeter the wine should be. You should also consider lower alcohol wines with low tannins to avoid the burning sensation while eating spicy food. When having red meat, have red wine and so on. Well, that was not the case with these tacos. This dish is seasoned with spices like cinnamon, sesame seeds, cumin, dark chocolate, a variety of dried chile peppers and cooked with bay leaves. Talk about complexity. After multiple taste tests, I found this medium bodied rosé which is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault to be the perfect match to my birria tacos. It is very fruit forward, which balances out the kick of this dish. Make sure to serve it chilled, the ideal temperature should be between 41° and 45° F.

Check out my Birria taco recipe below.

Ingredients for Tacos

  • 6 Corn Tortillas
  • 1 Cup of Chopped Onion
  • 1 Cup Chopped Cilantro
  • 2 Limes Sliced in Wedges

Ingredients for Birria

  • 1 lbs of Beef Shanks
  • 1 lbs of Beef Loin
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 4 Dried California Chile Pods
  • 4 Guajillo Chile Pods
  • 4 Dried Pasilla Ancho Chiles Pods
  • 8-10 Dried Arbol Chile Pods
  • 2 Tablespoons of Salt
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of Ground Peppercorn
  • 8 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 White Onion
  • 1/4 Cup of Sesame Seeds
  • 2 Squares of Ghiradelli 80% Dark Chocolate
  • 1 Teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Dried Thyme
  • 1 Tablespoon of Cumin
  • 2 Red Tomatoes
  • 1 Cup Of White Vinegar
  • 2 Cups of Water

Directions

  1. Season your meat with salt, pepper and cumin and set aside.
  2. Remove the stems and seeds from all 4 types of chile pods and toast them in a dry skillet over medium-low heat until slightly darkened (do not let them burn). Proceed by placing all of the chile pods in a medium stockpot. Cover with water, add the garlic, tomatoes and the white onion. Boil over medium heat for 20 minutes.
  3. Remove the onion, then add the chiles and the other items into a blender including some of the water. Add the cumin, sesame seeds, thyme, the chocolate, cinnamon and the vinegar as well. Proceed to blend until the sauce is smooth.
  4. Allow the sauce to cool down, then pour it over the meat in a large bowl and cover. Put the large bowl in the refrigerator. The meat should marinate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
  5. Once the meat is marinated, grab a large Stockpot. Place the meat in the Stockpot and add two bay leaves on top. Cook on low heat for about 5 hours or until the meat falls off the bones and is easy to shred. (If using a Dutch Oven, cook for three hours in low heat or until tender.)
  6. Once the meat is shredded, warm up your tortillas and proceed to assemble your tacos, garnish with fresh onion and cilantro. I like to serve the tacos with a small cup of the broth for dipping the tacos.

Provecho!

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