Beef Fajitas savoury flavours require a laid-back and fruity red wine with just enough boldness to hold up to the beefy flavours such as Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, or a Côtes du Rhône. Beef Fajitas are a staple at Tex-Mex restaurants, where they bring the sizzling Beef out on a cast iron pan, along with a side plate of all the fixings, such as sour cream, salsa, guacamole, grilled peppers, onions, refried beans, shredded lettuce and cheese. From there, you can build your Fajita just the way you like it.
Best Wine with Beef Fajitas
Zinfandel & Beef Fajita Pairing
Zinfandel is my number one choice with Beef Fajitas as this fruity red wine is perfect with anything Tex-Mex based. Mid-ranged Zinfandel won’t be overly complex, meaning it will never overshadow the salsa, bell peppers, onions or refried beans. Instead, expect lovely blackberry, black cherry, plum and raspberry flavours to keep your mouth refreshed. You’ll also enjoy notes of black pepper, herbs, and smoke that blend in well with the grilled Beef and vegetables.
A bottle of Zinfandel in the $15 and $35 range will feature medium tannin and acidity, which allows it to go well with the Beef, along with any salsa or tomatoes in your Fajitas. Tannin breaks down the cheese and beef proteins, allowing them to taste even more savoury. Meanwhile, the medium acidity of Zinfandel acts as a flavour enhancer, bringing out the best in all the other ingredients. Acidity also helps wash away the taste bud clogging fats, so by the time you’re on your last bite, the Fajita will taste just as amazing as your first.
Keep expensive Zinfandels away from Beef Fajitas. This style of Zinfandel has been oaked and will feature higher alcohol content, intense notes of chocolate, vanilla and toast, along with fruit bomb notes of jam. These “monster truck in a bottle” wines are intended for heavy meat dishes such as BBQ NY Strip Steak or hearty venison stew.
Cabernet Franc & Beef Fajita Pairing
Cabernet Franc as a single varietal is never talked about much in the wine world unless us wine snobs are discussing the grapes found in Bordeaux. It’s rather unfortunate as Cabernet Franc is exceptional with a lot of dishes due to its high-acidity and medium tannin. What makes Cabernet Franc exceptional with Beef Fajitas are green bell pepper flavours of the wine that complement the onion and bell pepper notes found in Beef Fajitas. You also get notes of green herbs in Cabernet Franc which jive well with the veggies, salsa, beans and beef.
Cabernet Franc isn’t all green and herbal like a medicinal cough drop, but rather you’ll find it tart and fruity with velvety flavours of currant, blackberry, raspberry, plum and cherry. The fruitiness of Cabernet Franc stands up to the Beef, and neither the wine or food overshadow one another. Meanwhile, the high acidity of Cabernet Franc scrubs the carbohydrates and fats from your cheeks, ensuring the full flavours of your Fajitas shine through.
Cabernet Franc is also exceptional with chicken and vegetarian Fajitas.
Malbec & Beef Fajita Pairing
In an Argentinian Malbec, rich plum, cherry, and blackberry flavours are followed by a smoky finish. There are also coca undertones, which complement the grilled meat. Malbec is a medium-bodied red wine with enough tannin to hold on to the meaty flavours while yet having enough fruit flavours to be enjoyable but not overwhelming.
Malbec offers exceptional value in that you get plenty of quality and flavour for a reasonable price. This makes Malbec a smart choice for Beef Fajitas served at a casual dinner party as it will pair well with the wide variety of ingredients in your Beef Fajitas.
Merlot & Beef Fajita Pairing
Merlot can come in a wide variety of styles, and with Beef Fajita’s, I feel the safest bet would be an Merlot from Argentina. In this instance, the Merlot will be medium-bodied and plush with dark chocolate and cherry flavours that are fantastic with the beefy flavours of your Fajitas. A medium-bodied Merlot also has enough character to provide plenty of refreshing flavours or plumb, strawberry, cherry and cassis while not interfering with the already complex Fajita flavours.
If you’re dining in at a restaurant, they’ll probably have a Merlot on the wine list by the glass. It may not be from Argentina, but typically, your Merlot should be medium-bodied and friendly enough to pair up with Beef Fajitas if it’s by the glass. Full-bodied Merlot is expensive as it will be oaked and often won’t be offered by the glass. These bottles will often be from Bordeaux, Napa Valley and Washington state.
If Merlot or any of the other wines mentioned here are not offered by the glass, reach for a Cabernet Sauvignon, or Shiraz which are two wines that are always exceptional with Beef. You’ll have to ease off the salsa as the tomatoes will clash with these heavier reds. You’ll also want to limit the ingredients stuffed into your Fajita to ensure for the best pairing.
Côtes du Rhône & Beef Fajita Pairing
Côtes du Rhône is a popular wine made from a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Carignane, Mourvèdre, and other grapes in the Rhône Valley. Expect a medium-bodied red with hints of blackberry, raspberry, spice, and smoke..
The Côtes du Rhône is produced in a style that is meant to be enjoyed with food. As a result, it never goes overboard and delivers the ideal mix of complementing but not overshadowing your Beef Fajitas. The problem with Côtes du Rhône wines is that many people who are new to the world of wine find them perplexing and often don’t know what to buy. The Côtes du Rhône makes this even more challenging because each winemaker creates a somewhat different style with the various grapes they use.
If you are enjoying your Beef Fajitas at home, I’d suggest trying out a Côtes du Rhône to broaden your wine knowledge. While buying this style of red wine is confusing, you can ask around at your local wine shop for a Côtes du Rhône that will be amazing with Beef Fajitas. Even if you don’t seek out any advice or do any research, the French have been making Côtes du Rhône for centuries and have it mastered, so you’re bound to enjoy it with your Fajitas.