Saturday, May 14, 2016

What wine to serve with Enchiladas? Find the answer here at #WinePW

Lori, of Dracaena Wines, is graciously hosting our Wine Pairing Weekend this month and has chosen the very timely theme of Enchiladas.  Many of us were celebrating Cinco de Mayo and usually our thoughts go to Cerveza or Margaritas when eating Mexican food.  Lori decided to challenge us and asked us to find wines that would pair well with our Mexican Fiesta.

We enjoyed these Easy Enchiladas and Rice Steamer Mexican Rice for Cinco de Mayo this year. Normally I would have had Frank make up a pitcher of his Fantastic Margaritas but this year I made him a pitcher of drinks instead.

We had our friends, John and Kirsten, over when I served this plate for dinner.  They love Margaritas too so I was concerned about sharing with them this new drink that I concocted but they LOVED it. What a great addition to a Fiesta especially if you have guests that are tequila intolerant or just want a lighter drink to enjoy.

While having lunch with our daughter, Nicole and her husband, Pierre, at California Pizza Kitchen I was perusing a list of specialty drinks.  I was intrigued by this Seasonal Harvest Sangria description: A crisp unique mix of Bacardi Superior Rum, St. Germain Elderflower, Kendall Jackson Chardonnay with muddled grapes, basil and agave sour.  I ordered ice tea but that description stuck with me and I was looking forward to trying it one day.  

When Lori came up with this challenge I immediately remembered that Sangria recipe and knew that I was going to try to make something similar.

I omitted the rum because I wanted something lighter to serve with the enchiladas.  I had never tried St. Germain before so I picked up a bottle.  I pulled a bottle of Wente Chardonnay from the wine fridge.  I made my own agave sour mix and used basil paste as I didn't have any fresh basil. Had I thought this out a little better I would have frozen some grapes and used them to keep the Sangria chilled instead of ice.  It would have been a much more beautiful presentation and would not have watered down this delightful punch.

I started off juicing 1 lime and half of a large lemon.  To this I added 2 T. agave nectar and 2 T. of water.  The sour mix was complete.

To the sour mixture I added a dozen grapes and 1/2 t. of the basil paste.  Muddled these up with a wooden spoon and strained the mixture into a pitcher.

I poured in a bottle of wine and a 1/2 c of the St. Germain and gave it a stir.  I served this over ice and it was a huge hit.  The St. Germain added a touch of bitterness that I absolutely loved.  I cannot wait to try this liqueur in other cocktails.  It paired wonderfully with the spiciness of the enchiladas and Mexican rice.  The Wente was a perfect choice for the wine as it is a crisp, unoaked Chardonnay that brightened up the sangria wonderfully.  

Unfortunately, once my company arrived, I lost my train of though and didn't get any photos of the sangria garnished with Lemon and Lime slices but I'm sure you get the idea.

Elderberry Sangria
inspired by California Pizza Kitchen

2 T. water
2 T. Agave nectar
1 lime, juiced
1/2 large lemon, juiced
12 grapes
1/2 t. basil paste or a handful of fresh basil leaves
1 bottle of Chardonnay (I used Wente)
1/2 c. St Germain

In a small bowl or 2 cup measuring cup combine water, agave, lime and lemon juices, grapes and basil.  Muddle this mixture using a muddle tool or the back of a wooden spoon until grapes are crushed and juices are released.  Strain into a pitcher.  Pour 1 bottle of Chardonnay and 1/2 c. of St. Germain into the pitcher and stir to combine.  Serve chilled, garnished with lemon and lime slices, frozen grapes and basil leaves if desired.  Print Recipe

Let's see what wines the others paired with their Enchiladas!

For a list of past and upcoming #WinePW events, visit the Wine Pairing Weekend calendar here. We’d love to have you online with us! 


  1. LOVE this, Wendy. I have some St. Germaine...never thought to use it in sangria. What a great idea.

  2. This sounds so fantastic!! Love the creative wine cocktail approach you took to the pairing challenge this month. I have some St. Germaine lurking about my bar cart.. I now how that is going to be finished off ;)

  3. Mmmm... this sounds really good! Now I have an alternative to my traditional red wine sangria - thanks!

  4. If you lost track, that means you must have been having a good time! That is what its all about! The sangria sounds delightful.

    1. You are so right. Nothing better than relaxing with good friends and a glass of wine.

  5. Nothing better than a sangria of some kind. I had a Berry sangria at Olive Garden yesterday. So yummy!!

  6. That sounds like one tasty drink! Now we need to get a bottle of St. Germain to give this a try!


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