Here at The Takeout we try to keep our ears to the ground when it comes to updates from fast food franchises. Sometimes it’s because they can’t stop embarrassing themselves, other times because their leadership commit acts that can only be described as baldly inappropriate. But then, on occasion, a brand does something weird and potentially awesome, like Taco Bell announcing that it will begin selling a Canadian-grown pinot noir aptly named “Jalapeño Noir.”
As reported by CNN, in Canada Taco Bell will begin selling a limited-edition pinot noir designed to be paired with its Toasted Cheesy Chalupa, which “complements notes of wild strawberry, cherry and beetroot in this silky limited-edition red wine.” The wine, which comes from a vineyard in Ontario, Canada will cost $25 Canadian (around 19 bucks USD).
This move is pretty interesting. Mexican cuisine, at least in the United States, is often portrayed as being suitable for pairing with beer or soda, but not with wine, which is both untrue and also pretty lazy. Having a fast food chain explicitly pair its fast food version of a Mexican dish with pinot noir suggests to a broad audience that wine can—and should!—be served with Mexican cuisine, and this is broadly democratizing.
Plus, as displayed on the bottle pictured at Taco Bell Canada’s Twitter account, this bottle is vintage 2018 and was made in St. David’s Bench, a wine producing sub-region in Ontario known for “early warming in spring, gently sloping bench [a strip of land that runs along the top of a slope], generous precipitation.” The fact that Taco Bell is using Canadian wine, and not something imported, is sort of nice. Now, if we can only convince Canada to allow us to visit “Cheesy Chalupa Estates”...