Best Latin American Dishes to Accompany a Wine Tasting

Are you planning to host a wine tasting party? Perhaps you are attending an evening wine tasting event with some of your close friends and families. Here, we specifically target Latin American dishes to be paired with various wines.

Understanding which food to serve at your wine tasting can be challenging, as you wish to provide tastes and flavors that complement each other and not overpower.


Mexican quesadillas with cheese, vegetables and salsa

This Latin American dish comes in all kinds of sizes and flavors. You will find quesadillas with meat and without meat. Some come with sauce and others without sauce; some are made with flour tortillas, while others are made with corn.

The one staple is the cheese. That’s why the word “queso” is in the name “quesadilla.”

Stay away from acidic wines, as they do not do well with the cheese, regardless of the sauce that might be on the quesadilla.

Some of the good reds for quesadillas include Pinot Noir, Dolcetto, and Tempranillo.

On the other hand, the ideal white wines are Viognier and Chardonnay.


Ceviche, dish of Peru

This dish is probably known as the definitive Mexican seafood recipe. The mollusks or fish in this dish are cooked by the acid in the sauce, normally the lime juice. Even though it’s misinterpreted as being served raw, the acid renders the meat edible and flavors it beautifully.

This dish pairs well with a crisp, uplifting wine.

Are you one of those people who loves to add a Sauvignon Blanc to your meal? Then that would be the perfect wine for ceviche, although a dry Riesling would work as well.

We also recommend complimenting this Mexican dish with Albarino. It is a crisp Spanish Varietal, which is spicy and refreshing at the same time. This is the ideal wine for those seeking a new excellent wine to try.

Chile Rellenos

chile rellenos
Traditional Mexican chile rellenos

This dish presents an interesting wine pairing challenge. The green chili offers heat, and is typically paired with salsa made from fresh tomatoes. Rellenos are typically filled with cheese, and may or may not include meat in the filling as well.

You see, the red sauce might recommend a medium to heavy-bodied red wine to complement it. Meanwhile, the molten cheese within is the opposite of what you’d like to pair with a hefty red wine, just like with quesadillas.

Do you love red wines? Then you can go for lower acid varieties such as Dolcetto or Tempranillo. Keep in mind that heavier white wines without too much acid could be an excellent complement. Therefore, always search for a medium-bodied such as Viognier or Chardonnay.


You might not know it if you’ve never tried moles, but they offer an intense taste. They are normally cooked with chocolate, instilling a spicy sweetness underpinning the dish.

Mole is the classic Mexican dish to exercise with the wine pairing rule of Winery Sage. The rule of thumb, is to never serve a meal that is much sweeter than the wine itself.

A medium-bodied Barbera or Zinfandel with a bit of sweetness on the back end is a suitable complement.

You can also opt for an Old Vine Zinfandel for its intensity, as it pairs well with sweeter dishes.

Chile Verde

Médium to lighter reds is the ideal complement to this dish. The best recommendations here include Barbera or Tempranillo even though a great Sangiovese works well as well.

Chile Colorado

This is the best opportunity to open those red wines. Most of the other meals will not stand up to them. You can go for a wine that has a bit of spice on the back end.  A Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon will work, but you might also like Zinfandel, Petite Verdot, or Petite Sirah.

This would also be an opportunity to experiment with wines from Mexico’s Nebbiolo region.

Chile Con Carne

chile con carne
Chili con carne, traditional Mexican dish with beef and beans

Many historians believe that this meal hails from San Antonio, Texas. However, that has not prevented it from being considered an authentic Mexican dish in most minds.

A few good wines to pair with this dish include Lodi Zinfandel, GSM Blends, or Chilean Carménère.

A whole-hearted stew like this one here justifies the use of a bold wine. That’s why pyrazine-heavy wine will beautifully complement the peppery ingredients of this dish.


This popular corn-based food could be loaded with a variety of ingredients, ranging from savory to sweet, from mild to spicy. However, the pork tamale is a sought-after option all around Latin America.

You can pair this dish with Cabernet Franc, Beaujolais, or Pinot Noir.

The body of such wines is light enough to accommodate the slow-cooked or braised pork filling. Not to mention that the earthiness of these wines will pair quite well along with the dense masa exterior of the tamale.

Salsa and Chips

At its core, what many people perceive as salsa is about red, tomato-based sauces served along with Mexican food. This is ideal for an appetizer or a whole meal. You can pair chips and salsa with Nero d’Avola, Sangiovese, and Chianti.

What most Mexican dishes have in common is a healthy fond of tomatoes. Hence, what is the ideal wine to accompany the element of a salsa than a whole-hearted, herbal red from Mexico?


Avocado guacamole on molcajete real Mexican traditional procedure

Of course, we cannot forget about guacamole. This modest classic Latin American dish has seen a revival in the past few decades, enjoyed as everything from a dip, to a topping, and even a filling.

Did you know that the name for this very versatile and famous food comes from the world’s Ahuacatl and molli? It literally translates as “avocado sauce.” You can pair it with Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, or Grüner Veltliner.

Ready for a Wine Tasting?

There you have it! These are our top Mexican/Latin American dishes you can make to pair up with your wine tasting event. We hope you enjoy these tasty dishes!


Leave a Comment