Beef Tacos are incredibly diverse due to the number of toppings you can stuff them with. For spicy beef tacos, reach for a Riesling, which will put the fire in your mouth. Riesling’s crisp acidity will have no problems cutting through any rich cheese, guacamole, or sour cream.
For mild beef tacos with salsa, wines with a bit of acidity like Zinfandel or Rosso Conero as wine with a lot of tannin will taste flat against anything tomato-based. For plain beef tacos with very little salsa, reach for a peppery Syrah or Carménère as in addition to their fruity flavours, they’ll both add a little extra flavour to the seasoned beef.
We’re ranking all of these ratings mentioned below 4/5 just because there are so many variables such as types of shredded cheese used, the heat of any salsa, plus any seasonings, beans, or sauces you might add.
Best Wine with Beef Tacos
- Rosso Conero
- Pale Ale (beer)
Zinfandel & Beef Taco Pairing
With Beef Tacos, the primary flavour you want to match to is the seasoned beef. With this in mind, a food-friendly Zinfandel works great with salsa as it is low in tannin and acidic, so it’ll brighten the salsa, and the beef right up. The acidity is also great at cutting through the mouth, covering fatty components like cheese, guacamole and sour cream. This lets you appreciate the beef flavours a lot more.
The sweetness of Zinfandel is also refreshing against the saltiness of a corn-based hard shell taco.
Syrah & Beef Tacos
A Syrah has a peppery and spicy quality that will complement seasoned beef. Choose a medium bodied Syrah, which will be balanced with some acidity. You want a touch of acidity to whisk away all those gooey cheese and sour cream textures in order to taste the beef. Australian Shiraz (Shiraz and Syrah are the same grape), might be a bit too jammy and bold for Beef Tacos, so stick to a Californian or French Syrah, which has an earthiness that complements the rice and beans in your tacos.
Similarly, Carménère has a peppercorn quality as well that will go great with beef tacos.
Rosso Conero & Beef Taco Pairing
Another favourite red wine is the excellent Rosso Conero DOC. The robust herbal and tobacco-like flavours, and grippy tannin will cut through some of the beef used and pair nicely alongside refried beans, and grilled vegetables, like mushrooms, onions and bell peppers, that may top your tacos.
Tempranillo & Beef Tacos
Tempranillo is a personal fave with beef tacos. This fresh and fruity red (when young) can handle a bit of spice while having just enough tannin to dig into the beef.
Riesling and Cilantro Lime Beef Tacos
If the beef tacos are marinated with lime go for a Riesling. Rieslings have a citrus lemon quality to them that will match the lime flavours of the marinated beef. Riesling is also perfect with Tacos with a bit of heat as the off-dry sweetness of Riesling will put out some of the fire in your mouth.
Pale Ale and Beef Tacos
Pale ales are a perfect go-to for taco nights. If your tacos have a mild salsa, a bubbly pale ale will enhance the taco spices and add complexity to the beef and cheese. If you’re feeling adventurous and have a spicier salsa, why try a hoppy India Pale Ale. The salsa’s heat will be intensified by the IPA’s hops making for a mouth-watering combo! If the tacos aren’t overly spicy, Marzan beer is another great choice.
Liquor and Tacos
Tequila! Go for a well made Margarita, made from fresh ingredients, such as real lime, (not from a Margarita mix). The tequila will enhance any cilantro or guacamole flavours. You probably wouldn’t want straight tequila, as the high alcohol content will burn when combined with any heat from the salsa.