Beef Fajitas have a lot of flavours, and thus, require easy-going fruity red wines with enough heft to hold up to the beef, such as Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, an Argentinan Merlot, Monastrell or a French Grenache.
Zinfandel & Beef Fajita Pairing
Aside from beef, Beef Fajitas are composed of grilled bell peppers, onions, cheese, and perhaps some mushrooms, refried beans, sour cream, guacamole, Pico de gallo, and sour cream. This means there’s a lot going on with classic Tex Mex dish.
Zinfandel is our number one choice with Beef Fajitas as it’s not a complex wine, so it won’t get in the way and step on the toes of all the earthy flavours of your Fajita. Instead, expect lovely blackberry and raspberry flavours to keep your mouth refreshed. You’ll also find a touch of smoke that will complement the grilled beef flavours.
Cabernet Franc & Beef Fajita Pairing
Cabernet Franc is often an underlooked red wine and typically only discussed when speaking about the grapes found in Bordeaux. What makes Cabernet Franc exceptional with Beef Fajitas, however, is that Cabernet Franc has a green flavour that complements the onion and bell pepper notes found in Beef Fajitas.
When selecting a Cabernet Franc, you don’t want a red wine that is overly high in tannin. Cabernet Franc is typically tart and fruity, so you’ll find lovely notes of blackberry and plum, which will hold up to the complex flavours of Beef Fajitas while still allowing the food’s earthy flavours to shine through.
Malbec & Beef Fajita Pairing
An Argentinian Malbec has plenty of plump plum, cherry and blackberry flavours followed by a smoky finish. You’ll also find notes of coca, which complement the grilled beef. Medium-bodied, Malbec has enough tannin to grip on to the beefy flavours while having enough fruit flavours to be refreshing but not overwhelming.
Malbec offers exceptional value, in that you get plenty of quality and flavour for a reasonable price. This makes Malbec a smart choice for banquets where you may have a build your own Fajita station. It’s also a wonderful red wine for dinner parties as Malbec is the middle of the road red wine, meaning it won’t raise any eyebrows in a negative way for both wine snobs or those who add ice cubes to their wine.
Merlot & Beef Fajita Pairing
I’d go with an Argentina Merlot in this instance, which should be medium-bodied and plush with dark chocolate and cherry flavours. Provided the wine isn’t too tannic, Merlot will have enough character to provide plenty of refreshing flavours while not interfering with the already complex Fajita flavours.
If you’re dining in at a restaurant, chances are high that they’ll have a Merlot on the wine list by the glass. If not, reach for a Cabernet Sauvignon, or Shiraz by the glass. If you ease off of the salsa and sour cream and keep your Beef Fajita more basic or simple, these heavier wines will pair up just fine.
Côtes du Rhône & Beef Fajita Pairing
Côtes du Rhône is a widely produced wine in the Rhône valley made from a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Carignane, Mourvèdre and other grapes. With Côtes du Rhône, expect a medium-bodied red, with varying elements of blackberry, raspberry, spice, and smoke.
Côtes du Rhône is meant to be drunk with food. Thus, it never oversteps its bounds and provides the perfect balance of complementing your beef Fajitas while not overshadowing it. The issue with Côtes du Rhône is that many who are new to the world of wine find French wines confusing and are often unsure what to buy. Côtes du Rhône also makes this a bit difficult as each wine producer makes a slightly different style with the different grapes they may add. As Côtes du Rhône is not an expensive wine and Beef Fajitas is easy to make at home, you have the perfect food and wine to experiment and learn more about this underappreciated red wine.