Taco Bell may be making the boldest attempt to stake a claim in the share of throat (still really hate that that’s called that) since they Baja Blasted into our hearts back in 2004.   

In a move that has sommeliers and snobs alike aghast, Taco Bell has unveiled their latest offering: Jalapeño Noir.  

Grown in Niagara, Ontario, (“The Napa Valley of the North,” said someone, probably) Jalapeño Noir was only made available on the Taco Bell  Canada website and in a small number of Ontario stores. The wine boasts “notes of wild strawberry, cherry, and beetroot” (insert “ingredience” reference here), with a “silky” mouthfeel.  Notably not on that list is “jalapeño.”  Despite the “Noir” in the name, it doesn’t seem to claim to be a Pinot Noir (although it does sound like it fits the flavor profile of one), but rather a red blend.  They also suggest pairing with the Toasted Cheesy Chalupa, made with six-month aged Cheddar.  

Taco Bell, of course, is no stranger to alcohol.  And I’m not just talking about my own late-night Cheesy Gordita Crunch urges.  The first Taco Bell Cantina opened in 2015, and has slowly expanded to several major US cities.  I know I’ve walked past one at least once during one of my small handful of trips to New York, but have usually been too busy eating… y’know, real food.  Will I ever make a dedicated trip, just for the Cantina? Who knows, maybe post-pandemic me will be a little more daring and eager to live más. 

(Hey, Taco Bell? You know what would be the perfect location for a Cantina?  Airports.  You’re welcome.)

Some might say that this is just a gimmick to distract fans from the devastating blow of removing potatoes from the menu, a la Wendy’s adding a breakfast menu to cover up their chairman being a huge Trump supporter.  But, considering how long it takes to ferment and age wine, I think it’s safe to say we can disconnect those two dots. 

According to Taco Bell Canada’s website, the limited batch sold out in 2 minutes.  

But what if I told you that you could make your own Taco Bell wine, from fresh Taco Bell ingredients?

The secret lies in one of the most often overlooked sections of the Taco Bell menu, the side dishes. (Side note- when ordering off the website, this includes things like “napkin” and “cup lid,” which are also greyed out as unavailable.) While they don’t have grapes on the menu, they do have one other classic wine fermentable from the other side of the world- rice.  Specifically, rice and beans.  Simply purchase several orders of rice and beans- hold the beans- empty them into a glass jug, add water and yeast, and let nature sort the rest out.  

Also, while you’re customizing the rice and beans sides anyway to get rid of the beans, you could also opt to add-on diced tomatoes, to give the brew some fruiter notes.  Tomatoes are a fruit, right? Oh! And hey, since the “Jalapeño” Noir doesn’t even try to live up to its namesake, let’s add some fire sauce packets to the mix.  And-

You know what? Don’t do any of that.  Malibu in your Baja Blast is good enough.   

2 thoughts on “Drink Outside the Bun With Taco Bell Wine

  1. RJG says:

    Contemporary Taco Bell, err, *fast food* marketing playbook — what seemingly surprising thing will get lots of free press.

    “You WON’T BELIEVE what {{ brand }} is doing now”

    In this case, low-risk Canadian wine launch.

    Coverage from CNN to Wine Spectator. Thousands (millions?) reminded Taco Bell exists. Hundreds (thousands?) think to pair wine with Taco Bell as they now self-medicate with the former anyway.

    Give somebody a raise, Taco Bell.

    1. Riley Johnson says:

      idk, sometimes its not that deep fam.

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