Viognier & Spicy Food? – Shrimp Tacos
Viognier pairs with a number of interesting foods: Indian cuisine, curries, pork, chicken, anything in a cream sauce, moderately spicy foods. Today we’re testing Viognier with spicy foods. We’re also trying inexpensive examples from California and France. Let’s go!
Our spicy food test dish is shrimp tacos. Our basic tacos are barbecue-rub spicy, which is to say mildly spicy. On the side, we have slices of fresh mango and a cool, crisp cole slaw. The real test comes with Sriracha sauce. Will either of our wines hold up to the Sriracha?
Triennes Viognier “Sainte Fleur” 2010 ($20 local wine shop)
Eye: Clear, warm straw color
Nose: It has that waxy element, floral & fresh, smells clean, a little like detergent (but in a good way)
Mouth: Rich mouthfeel, like whole milk. Pretty lively, but low acidity. A touch of mineral.
The Triennes was great with the savory, mildly spicy BBQ seasoning on the shrimp tacos. That floral freshness and rich mouthfeel provided nice contrast to the chile rub on the seafood. When it came to the Sriracha sauce, not so good. The wine, while very nice, lacked any sweetness to balance the hot spiciness of the sauce.
Cline North Coast Viognier 2012 ($13 local wine shop)
Eye: Clear, straw yellow color
Nose: Nice clean floral scents, a bit oaky.
Mouth: Rich mouthfeel, fruity, seems a touch sweet.
By itself, I thought the Cline was a touch sweet. I’m not usually a fan of wines with a bit of residual sweetness; but when the Sriracha sauce came out, this wine could still dance. Within limits, of course. If I really loaded up on the hot sauce, I could overwhelm the wine. Still, it’s nice to have another wine choice for spicy foods.
Shrimp Tacos for Two
- 4 Corn Tortillas
- 1/2 Red Onion
- 6 Shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and tops sliced thinly
- 1 Baby bok choy, bottoms sliced thinly, tops sliced in larger pieces
- 1 Mango – 1/2 for the taco – chopped into bite size pieces, 1/2 sliced to serve on the side
- 9 oz. Shrimp & seafood mix
- Barbecue Rub from Caveman Cooking – this has become my all-purpose savory/spicy rub
Sauté the vegetables, starting with the onions, then add the bok choy bottoms (white part) and the mushrooms. Add the mango, and finish with the bok choy tops, just enough to wilt. Set aside in a bowl.
Toss the seafood in the barbecue rub mix and saute just until translucent. Steam the corn tortillas to soften and make up your tacos. Enjoy!
If you like your tacos with just a barbecue rub level of spiciness, either the Triennes or the Cline would be fine. Of the two, I liked the Triennes a bit better. If you like to add Sriracha, Cline all the way! Have fun and let me know about your favorite wine to match with spicy foods.