The best wines to pair with Chimichangas are fresh and fruity red wines such as Rioja, Chianti, and Beaujolais. For white wine, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Gewürztraminer pair best with a Chimichanga. Rosé, a fizzy Lambrusco and Cava are excellent wine matches for Chimichangas.
A Chimichanga is a deep-fried burrito making acidity a must with this Tex-Mex treat, as you need a crisp acidity to cut through the deep-fried goodness and dense flavours of your Chimichanga.
Best Wine with Chimichangas
Cava & Chimichanga Pairing
A Chimichanga is a dense meal as you’ve taken a burrito, which is packed full of meat, grilled veggies, rice, and beans, and then deep-fried until golden brown. In addition, Chimichangas also come served with additional sauces to smother your Tex-Mex feast with, providing even more wine pairing challenges.
Cava, a Spanish sparkling wine, makes an excellent wine pairing with Chimichangas as it has lots of bubbles to scrub your taste buds clean in between bites and wash all the fats and carbohydrates away like a summer rain. You’ll also find plenty of bright citrus notes that sharpen the flavours of everything that is stuffed inside your Chimichanga. For instance, the grilled bell peppers inside your tortilla will taste brighter and more flavourful as the sparkling acidity of Cava will tease these flavours out.
Rioja Crianza & Beef Chimichanga Pairing
The main grape used in a Rioja is Tempranillo, making for a medium-bodied red wine bursting with plum, cassis and black cherry flavours, along with earthy and black pepper notes.
The black pepper, smoke and sage notes or Rioja shine if they are up against any beef or pork meat stuffed inside. Meanwhile, the dark fruit flavours of the wine offer plenty of refreshment against the exhausting bean and spicy rice wrapped inside.
I would go with a young Rioja (called a Crianza) when pairing it with a beef or pork Chimichanga. While delicious, aged Rioja, such as a Gran Reserva, are expensive and have much more oak and tannin, making them more appropriate with meaty dishes like steaks or stews.
Chianti & Chimichanga Pairing
Chianti is a medium-bodied Italian red wine bursting with black and red cherry flavours and notes of earth, herbs, smoke, strawberries, black tea and meat. Chianti is known for its high acidity balanced with medium tannin, making this wine ideal to bite into anything containing meat and tomatoes.
The smooth tannin in the wine will love any protein in your Chimichanga, making the meat taste even more flavourful. Meanwhile, the tart and flirtatious cherry flavours keep step with the acidity of the salsa that your Chimichanga might be drowning in. Finally, the herbal and rustic flavours of Chianti are a perfect match for any cilantro or herbs sprinkled in your Chimichanga, while the earthy flavours of the wine are right at home with the deep starchy notes of the rice and beans.
Riesling & Chicken Chimichanga Pairing
Riesling is a versatile white wine that pairs perfectly with a Chimichanga stuffed with either Chicken or Pork. With Riesling, you’ll find crisp flavours of citrus, apple, apricot, lychee, peach and mango that are delicious with a Chimichanga covered in a white sauce.
Eating a Chimichanga is a journey, and without Riesling, your travels may come to a screeching halt with ailments such as the ‘meat sweats’ or ‘food coma’.
Oh sure, when you first bite into a Chimichanga, you are met with flavour country. Everything you are stressed about, such as marital problems, money issues, or politics, is forgotten, and your mind has taken you to the field where Julie Andrews is singing the ‘Sound of Music’ in the Swiss Alps. However, things take a sharp turn by the third or fourth bite. You no longer taste anything as your tongue is near death. The prognosis: death by drowning in fat and carbohydrates. Without Riesling, all you can do is keep shoving the Chimichanga in your face, but you are no longer satisfied, as you can’t recapture that first magic bite. So you end the meal with some cookies or a fancy dessert that is loaded with even more calories than the football-sized deep-fried burrito you just swallowed, as you need the sugar to revive your poor tongue.
Fortunately, Riesling is a culinary defibrillator to kick-start your taste buds. The acidity of Riesling acts like lightning and brings your tongue, along with all the delicious flavours of your Chimichanga, alive. More importantly, you won’t overeat or feel to splurge and buy that overpriced $18 brownie topped with whipped cream and ice cream as you will feel fulfilled by all the delicious flavours of your Chimichanga.
Bonus tip – if your Chimichanga has jalapenos or anything spicy within, go for an off-dry Riesling which has a kiss of sweetness to put out the flames.
Lambrusco & Chimichanga Pairing
Fizzy and fruity, Lambrusco makes for an excellent palate cleanser as it’s acidic, fruity and fun. With rich but soft flavours of raspberry, strawberry and plum, Lambrusco keeps the party alive in your mouth as it scrubs any fats and carbs away from your taste buds. Lambrusco, being Italian, also has earthy notes which groove well with the beans and rice stuffed inside your deep-fried Chimichanga.
Lambrusco got a bad reputation in the 80s and 90s for being too sticky sweet. However, modern expressions of the wine are pretty dry (secco) or slightly sweet (semi-secco). I prefer semi-secco Lambrusco with my Chimichanga, as I like to dab a little hot sauce on my meal. The sweetness offsets the heat of the sauce and brings out the hidden flavours within that are normally hidden behind the veil of fire burning up my tongue.