This Is The Best Wine To Serve With Mexican Chilaquiles

Plate of traditional Mexican chilaquiles
Plate of traditional Mexican chilaquiles - LesiaArt/Shutterstock

This writer has brought you wine-pairing recs for your Easter ham, juicy lamb chops, and more. And, frankly, I'm tired, hungry, and...profoundly thirsty, come to think of it. Now, it's chilaquiles time.

Chilaquiles are a classic Mexican comfort dish made from crispy tortillas simmered in rich salsa, covered in cheese, and loaded with toppings. We're talkin' fried eggs, refried beans, roasted peppers,  crumbled cotija, queso fresco, crema, red onion, shredded chicken or pork, sliced avocado, salsa verde, red ancho chili sauce, and fresh cilantro to garnish. However, you choose to top 'em, chilaquiles are a fast, fun, and filling dinner for busy weeknights, or the ultimate hangover breakfast. To elevate your sizzlin' supper or hair of the dog it in style, why not pair your plate with a glass of wine? (No one's looking. And, if they are, they'll be impressed by how good you are at pairing wine and food).

Chilaquiles are high acidity, spicy, tangy, and savory -- all flavors that would be well complemented by a good bottle of white wine. Keep it light, cold, and slightly sweet with a sparkling white: Namely, Spanish cava. Cava (aka "the champagne of Spain") is a sparkling white wine produced in Spain and protected by a Denominación de Origen (DO). Ninety-five percent of cava comes from Penedès in Catalonia. Cava also comes in a rosado style with increased skin contact, but for pairing with your chilaquiles, we're talking about the white variety.

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Sparkling Spanish Cava Is The Wine Your Chilaquiles Need

Glass of Spanish cava sparkling wine in front of a vineyard
Glass of Spanish cava sparkling wine in front of a vineyard - Ed-ni-photo/Getty Images

Cava sports fine bubbles as it's produced the same way as champagne using the traditional method (méthode champenoise), but is dominantly made from Macabeu, Parellada, and Xarello grapes as opposed to champagne's Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. Cava is a Brut -- drier than Prosecco but balanced and bright. On the palate, it brings lemony-tasting notes with a sweet-bitter green apple and almond finish, followed by a mild floral and lime blossom nose. Cava is acidic enough to cut through the cheese, meat, and beans of the chilaquiles, but provides contrasting freshness to the hearty dish in both crisp flavor and effervescent mouthfeel.

My favorite fit for the job is the Cava Gran Brut Reserva by Campo Viejo, clocking it at an 11.5% ABV and ultra-affordable $9.99 via Vivino. Or, if you're cool with a splurge, try Llopart Cava Brut Nature Reserva ($27.50 via Vivino). This one belongs to the Brut Nature class, so it's a tad drier than your normal cava, but it packs formidable dimensionality, with strong terroir balanced by the subtle fruitiness of bartlett pear, green apple, white peach, and vanilla bean.

If you're really a diehard red wine fan, opt for Reserva Rioja, a Spanish red that's aged for at least three years, featuring high tannins, firm structure, and rich red fruitiness. This bottle by Campo Viejo ($15.97 via Total Wine) is elegant enough for dinner but smooth enough that it won't overshadow the chilaquiles.

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