For the last few decades (!) my family has been spending New Year's Eve with our dearest friends and we do lots of fancy cooking and drink some sumptuous wines. This year, we made the call to make a fancy Mexican feast and the gauntlet was thrown for wine. I can recommend two wines for your next Mexican Food pairing as they were great compliments to our menu.
There are few big challenges with paring with Mexican food. Chiles (heat), Tomatillos (acid), Cilantro (herbal) all demand careful selection. First and foremost with any spicy food, keep the alcohol level down as low as you can. Alcohol makes all hot food taste hotter, so leave your 15% Zinfandel and your 14.5% Carneros Chardonnay in the cellar. Reach instead for wines that are in the 13% or lower range if you can.
The menu was Sopas de Albondigos (Mexican Meatball soup) and 3 kinds of tamales: Puero con Chile Rojo, Pollo con salsa verde, and Queso con Chile.
For the white paring, I chose the 2012 Gramona Gessami (Penedes, Spain), from my favorite Cava producer, Gramona. I knew this would be very round in the mouth, low alcohol (11.5%) and low acid from the blend of 54% Muscat de Alejandría de grano gordo, 20% Muscat de Frontignan de grano menudo and 26% Sauvignon Blanc. I highly recommend this for pairing with chicken and tomatillos, or enchilladas suisas and it's both pretty easy to find and inexpensive. I paid around $17.
To pair with red chile dishes, I chose the wonderful 2010 Pithon-Paille Chinon “Vieilles Vignes” (France) This is all biodynamic Cabernet Franc from 80 year old vines in the Loire from an excellent producer, and around 20 dollars. Clocks in at 13% alcohol and it has both dark fruit and balanced tannins after a few years in the bottle. The cocoa powder notes of this wine paired would also pair very well with any red chile-based Mexican food. Look for great Chinon, Bourgueil, or Samur-Champigny rather than Cab Franc from the New World to keep the alcohol and ripness levels in check.