For a hearty, rustic dish like this one, versatility is key in a wine pairing. A fruity, zesty Rhone-style blend from California, and two other wines that offer qualities of both red and white wines — an orange wine made from 100 percent California semillon, and a fizzy Lambrusco from Italy — will do the trick.
COWBOY CHARRO BEANS
Cook 6 slices bacon, chopped, in a skillet over medium-high heat, until lightly browned and starting to crisp, 3-4 minutes. Add 8 ounces Mexican chorizo, casings removed; cook, breaking up sausage into smaller pieces, until browned and crisp, 4-5 minutes. Add 1 medium white onion, finely chopped, and 1 jalapeno, seeded, finely chopped. Cook until softened, 2 minutes. Stir in 1 can (14 ounces) chopped tomatoes; cook, stirring, until they begin to break down, 3-4 minutes. Stir in 3 cans (15 ounces each) pinto beans, drained, rinsed. Cook, covered, over medium, 8-10 minutes. Serve with warmed tortillas. Makes: 4 servings
Recipe adapted from cookbook author Pati Jinich from her website patismexicantable.com.
Pairings by sommelier Alan Beasey of The Purple Pig, as told to Michael Austin:
2015 Tablas Creek Vineyard Cotes de Tablas, Paso Robles, California: This Rhone-style blend offers black cherries and blackberries, with hints of herbs and tobacco. The tobacco notes will enhance the bacon and chorizo, and complement the beans. The wine’s fruit will provide balance to the tomatoes and onions, and its black pepper finish will match the dish’s spice.
2016 Yorkville Cellars Amber Folly Semillon, Mendocino County, California: This wine has aromas of orange blossoms, candied peaches and salted caramel. It is viscous, with flavors of apricot and mango, chased by crisp acidity. The fruit flavors will meld nicely with the beans and tomatoes, and the wine’s body will stand up to the bacon and chorizo.
Cleto Chiarli Vecchio Modena, Lambrusco di Sorbara, Emilia-Romagna, Italy: This wine’s strawberry aromas give way to subtle notes of herbs and cured meats, and its delicate bubbles and tart acidity will dance nicely with the tomatoes and zippy spice of jalapenos and chorizo. The wine’s hint of herbs will also tie the dish’s other flavors together.