Thursday, June 6, 2024

Altos de la Guardia Rioja paired with Tacos Ticos #WinePW

This full-bodied red wine from Spain is made with Tempranillo grapes providing spicy notes combined with summer fruit.  It has a high alcohol content (14.5%) and was strong enough to stand up to deep-fried taco ticos with which I served it.

Rioja Wine with Taco Ticos

It's time for a Wine Pairing Weekend featuring Junk Food.......

I am hosting our Wine Writers group this month and we are having a Wine Pairing Weekend affectionately known on social media as #WinePW.  

I  asked the others to share a wine that they found paired well with "junk food".  Junk food is a  personal thing.  What I think of as junk food may not be the same as what others feel it is so my invitation stated:

"What is your favorite Junk Food? Do you reach for something salty or sweet? Junk food doesn't have to mean fast food or even bad food. Think Pizza, Nuts, Popcorn, Nachos.....whatever your guilty pleasure is, please your palate even more by finding the perfect wine with which to pair it."

Let's take a look at what the others consider junk food and what wine they enjoyed with it....

Wine and Taco Ticos

Sometimes, when pairing a wine, I choose the wine first and then make a food that will be enhanced by the wine.  This is especially true when we are assigned a certain type of wine or varietal that we are pairing.

However, WinePW is different than the other groups as it's main focus is pairing wine with food and often does not assign any certain wine but allows us to choose one that pairs well with whatever we are cooking up.

I also belong to a blogging challenge called Eat the World where we are assigned a different country each month and share that country's culture through food.  This month we are visiting Costa Rica.  

When researching Costa Rica I found several recipes for a street food called Taco Ticos.  They are very similar to what we call Taquitos here in the USA.  They are delicious, deep-fried packets of shredded beef topped with a sauce made of ketchup and mayonnaise.  I will be sharing this recipe with you on the 10th of this month so make sure you come back for it.

Bottle of Wine

Once I had decided to make this dish, which is in my opinion, total junk food, I went into my latest wine shipment from WSJ and pulled out this bottle of Tempranillo from Altos de la Guardia.

This wine is made with grapes grown in the foothills of the Sierra Cantabria Mountains.  It is everything I love about Tempranillo.  It is full-bodied, spicy, and bold.  It is still young and does open up better with decantation.  

I also love that it is the product of a female winemaker, Amaia Amestoy.  It is the winner of several awards and medals and is reasonably priced at about $20.

This wine was a wonderful pairing with the Taco Ticos but it certainly would hold up equally as well with a healthier meal of Grilled Lamb Chops and a side salad.  I think that is what I will cook up to enjoy with the second bottle I have.


  1. Thanks for the introduction to Taco Ticos and your Tempranillo from Spain Wendy. It looks and sounds like a delicious pairing!

  2. Interesting how you not only paired the wine, but you paired to groups that you belong to (Eat the World) and (Wine Writers Group) . Happy to know about this wine and the Tacos Tacos. Thanks.

    1. Thanks Judee. I like being able to combine events as we always consume whatever I make and would be cooking and eating constantly otherwise.

  3. I was just in La Guardia, so the wine you chose sounds just dreamy. Would love to try it with those tacos!


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