Odd Pair: Taco Bell Crunchy Tacos

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In Houston, we love our Mexican food. Whether it's Ninfa's on Navigation or Lupe Tortilla, we can't get enough of the stuff. The promise of a margarita and queso-drenched chips makes any Houstonian drool. But what do you do when you're craving Mexican food after all the restaurants are closed? Go to Taco Bell, of course.

Mexican food purists are turning their noses up in shame right now, but we bet they've even had their Taco Bell moments. It's Houston's dirty little Mexican food secret. Yes, it's not true Mexican food, but we can't deny that those crunchy beef tacos hit the spot when we need our Mexican food fix.

Unfortunately, those sinful tacos don't stay "fresh" long enough to make margaritas with them. So, what did we do? We opened a bottle of wine to go with our fast-food delicacies.

Our wine gurus recommended the Durigutti Bonarda 2007 from Argentina. "The earthiness of the wine compliments the earthy spices in the taco meat," he told us. "You need to stay away from moderate fruit wines with this pairing." The label warns that the wine may have light deposits given the winery's practice of minimal treatment of the wine. They suggest decanting it, but we didn't find it necessary.

The wine was perfect for our midnight Mexican fiesta. Neither the wine nor the taco flavor dominated. Despite the initial strong, alcohol-like aroma, the wine was smooth and light with a nice fruit flavor.

Our wine gurus also suggested pairing it with homemade tacos filled with cumin-spiced meat and fresh onions. That will be our next experiment although the wine would be perfect on its own as well.

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