Written by Monique Copeland
IT’S TACO TUESDAY!! So, where to begin? We all know, wine goes with everything right? Friends, family, brunch, dinner, and celebrations – just about any and every occasion. But wine is best served with moments of love, and sometimes love comes in the form of a quick and easy, fulfilling and “sometimes” messy meal. For many, that meal is TACOS.
Now pairing wine can be easy and fun, but sometimes challenging and a hit or miss, especially when eating food from other cultures. With the introduction of new spices, your palate may not immediately the best way to pair it with wine. If you love exploring foods from new cultures, tacos are a tried and true favorite amongst many and easily transferable to the vegan lifestyle! Now, what would a Tuesday be without tacos right? A margarita perhaps? How about a glass of wine?… yup, you read that correctly, WINE!
The smokiness of the marinated mushrooms along with the taco seasoning pairs so well with a dry and fruit-forward Rosé. For this first round of tacos, I opened the 2020 Maison Noir “Love Drunk” Rosé by the awesome winemaker and Sommelier, André Hueston Mack. The smooth acidity, a hint of sweetness, and the familiar aromas of strawberry create a relaxing moment that you and your homegirls will enjoy. The flavors are reminiscent of summertime watermelon and a hint of citrus. This well-rounded rosé wine did not disappoint and the smokiness and flavor intensity of the tacos did not clash with the wine at all. Perfect for a relaxing moment after every sip, get into it, sis! This is definitely the wine you bring poolside OR tableside at your favorite Mexican BYOB.
What is a Taco moment without an overindulgence of seconds… for this round, I cracked open my Coravin screw cap closure and sampled a nice glass of America’s favorite, CHARDONNAY! This is also a black-owned wine brand that I’m proud to support. House of Brown California Chardonnay is a beautiful extension of Brown Estate wines that the Brown family has produced over the years. This isn’t your typical California Chardonnay, no oaky butter bombs here (I mean I do appreciate a solid buttery Chardonnay sometimes) but this is a tropical fruit, crisp, smooth, and juicy bright Chardonnay. It’s relaxing on the porch with friends, it’s a warm-weather laying in the park… It’s a moment, and it pairs well with the smoky, heartiness of the mushrooms and withstands against the medium spice of the taco seasoning and garnishments that accompany our Tuesday favorite indulgence.
- 8 oz container organic Baby Bella Mushrooms
- Box of taco shells or taco kit
- 1.25 oz packet of Taco seasoning
- 2 teaspoons of Liquid smoke- original flavor
- ½ Sweet onion or Red onion chopped
- 1 bell pepper any color chopped to your liking
- ½ cup Shredded lettuce
- Pineapple salsa
- Plant-based shredded cheddar
- Pre-made guacamole dip (optional)
- Lime (optional)
- Chopped Cilantro (optional)
- Clean and rinse mushrooms thoroughly and pat dry with a paper towel
- Chop mushrooms into smaller pieces and place in a bowl, pour in 2 teaspoons of liquid smoke flavor, toss around, and set aside
- Chop up your peppers and onions and place in separate bowls
- Place 2 tablespoons of grapeseed, avocado oil, or any oil of your choice in a skillet over medium heat and heat until warm.
- Saute mushrooms and peppers together for 5 mins stirring often over medium heat
- Add ¼ cup water and taco seasoning packet to mushroom and pepper mixture and cover for an additional 10 mins. Stir occasionally until thoroughly mixed and remove from heat after 10 mins.
- Warm taco shells according to package directions until warm
- Fill taco shells with mushroom and pepper mixture, top to your desire with shredded cheese, chopped onions, pineapple salsa, and shredded lettuce. Garnish with a dollop of guacamole and cilantro
- GRAB and fill YOUR WINE GLASS, TACOS AND ENJOY!!!
When pairing vegan food with wine, I often have to remind myself not to overpower the flavor of the food with strong wine. I suggest pouring a nice Pinot Noir with a light creamy dish with mushrooms or vegetables, or taking it up a notch with a beautiful Syrah to accompany some peppery dishes. If I’m in a curry sauce over veggie mood, going for a Chardonnay compliments the dish if it isn’t too spicy, or a Gewurztraminer if you’re adding spice into your dish, this will always work. Have fun with your wine pairings and be adventurous, you just may meet a food and wine duo you’ll love and share with the crew for a fun and family-friendly meal.