Wine Time

Odd Pair: What Wine Goes with Breakfast Tacos?

One of the things that I crave the most when I'm traveling in Europe is homemade breakfast tacos made with handmade white flour tortillas by Central Market. And so, when I recently returned from a two-week (and too long) trip to Italy, this staple of Tex-Mex gastronomy was at the top of my list: freshly made white flour tortillas, thinly sliced Colby Jack, eggs hard-scrambled with nutmeg and freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano (my Italian twist), Goya frijoles negros (Goya, de rigueur), Herdez salsa casera (I recommend using the canned salsa although the bottled is also good) and creamy Texas-style guacamole (as opposed to the California chunky style that I grew up with).


Now, keep in mind that breakfast tacos are a Sunday brunch affair at our house. And although wine is appropriate at such a repast, I'm still going to be looking for the lowest-alcohol options for pairing when sitting down to eat at 11 a.m. (Here's a post from late last year on a favorite early-morning breakfast wine.)

Maybe it was because I still had Italy on my mind or maybe because its grapey character, its chewy mouthfeel and its extremely low alcohol and gentle fizziness sounded perfect with the rich eggs that had been whisked with another foodstuff from Emilia-Romagna (the Parmigiano Reggiano): I reached for one of the many wonderful expressions of Lambrusco that are currently available in Houston (Spec's has the best and most comprehensive selection thanks to wine buyer Grappa Joe).

The other wine that I love to pair with breakfast tacos is Willamette Valley Pinot Noir (Eyrie is my favorite, although I also like Willakenzie and Argyle as reasonably priced and readily available options in Houston). The winemaking style in Willamette tends toward leaner, brighter wines, with more focus on balance of acidity and measured alcohol content. And I love the way that the fruit in an old-world-style Willamette Pinot Noir plays counterpart to the nutmeg in the eggs.

What wine do you pair with your breakfast tacos?

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Jeremy Parzen writes about wine and modern civilization for the Houston Press. A wine trade marketing consultant by day, he is also an adjunct professor at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Piedmont, Italy. He spends his free time writing and recording music with his daughters and wife in Houston.
Contact: Jeremy Parzen