Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15) is a celebration of the diverse cultures, traditions, and contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans. One of the most delectable ways to honor this rich heritage is by indulging in the culinary delights of Latin America and pairing them with the perfect wines. Let's embark on a journey that explores the fusion of flavors from the vineyards to our plates.
Tamales and Tempranillo: Tamales, a traditional Mesoamerican dish made of masa (corn dough) filled with meats, cheeses, or chilies and steamed in corn husks, have a depth of flavor that pairs wonderfully with Spain's Tempranillo wine. The wine's cherry and plum notes combined with its earthy undertones complement the rich and spicy essence of tamales.
Pupusas and Chardonnay: Originating from El Salvador, pupusas are thick corn tortillas stuffed with cheese, refried beans, or meats. A buttery Chardonnay, with its notes of vanilla and tropical fruits, complements the hearty flavors of the pupusa, especially when paired with the tangy pickled cabbage (curtido) that traditionally accompanies the dish.
Empanadas and Malbec: Empanadas are savory pastries filled with a variety of ingredients, often including minced meat, onions, and spices. The bold and fruity flavor of Argentine Malbec, with its plum, black cherry, and hints of chocolate, contrasts and complements the savory fillings of empanadas.
Chiles Rellenos and Carménère or Tannat:
Chiles Rellenos, a traditional Mexican delicacy, is a tantalizing blend of roasted chili peppers, sumptuous fillings of cheese or meat, and a luscious tomato sauce. To match this with a wine from South America, one might immediately think of Chile's signature grape, Carménère, or Uruguay's star, Tannat.
Flan and Moscatel: Flan, a creamy caramel custard dessert, is popular across Latin America. A sweet Moscatel wine from southern Spain, with its fragrant floral notes and hints of dried fruits, echoes the caramel sweetness of flan, making it a sublime pairing.
Hispanic cuisine is as diverse as its culture, with each region offering unique and flavorful dishes. The world of wine is just as varied. This Hispanic Heritage Month, as we celebrate the music, dance, and traditions of Hispanic and Latino Americans, let's raise a glass to the harmonious union of food and wine from Spain, Latin America, and beyond. ¡Salud!