Odd Pair: Tortillas & Queso

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The last Odd Pair caused quite a stir not because of the wine choice but because of the fast food choice - Taco Bell crunch tacos. Despite the fact that the point of this feature is not the junk food choices but pairing them with wine, we took your suggestion. This week, we pair Taco Cabana's tortillas and queso with wine.

Taco C's tortillas and queso have a special place in our hearts from our college days. Nothing soaked up the late night booze better than a pile of hot tortillas and creamy queso. We know there is a full menu of other choices, but we just can't pass up the tortillas and queso.

When we approached our wine gurus about pairing wine with tortillas and queso, they looked a little perplexed. "That's a new one for us," they told us. "A Chardonnay would probably be the best because the butteriness of the wine will complement the butteriness of the cheese." They recommended the Simi Chardonnay 2008.

We were pleasantly surprised by the nice blend of crisp apple and toasty vanilla flavors. Chardonnay sometimes has too much oak and butter quality in our opinion, so finding one with good fruit flavor enhanced by a little toastiness was a treat. Wine Enthusiast agreed, with an 87 point rating for the 2008 Chardonnay.

The Chardonnay was delicious on its own but not as great with the tortillas and queso. The combo didn't taste bad. It just wasn't anything special. The Chardonnay was a bit too crisp for the gooey queso. In fact, the wine lost all of its toasted vanilla characteristics when paired with the cheese. Instead, the wine tasted much citrusier with the queso.

The good news is, we found a new Chardonnay favorite. Even our anti-Chardonnay friends enjoyed the wine. For less than $14, you can pick up a bottle to try it for yourself.

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