7 Popular Latin Dishes with Wine Pairings

If you enjoy Latin food, this is the article for you! I have compiled seven of the most popular dishes in Latin America and suggested wine pairings for you to try. Latin food is known for its strong herbs and spices so finding the best wine pairing for is important. Let the flavors of the food take you on a journey with McClain Cellars wine as its partner in crime.

These seven popular Latin dishes are paired with some great wines that complement each other wonderfully.

1. Ceviche

Ceviche is one of the most recognized Latin American cuisines in the world but originally is from Peru. You can find a version of it almost anywhere in the world due to its versatility. Ceviche is generally comprised of fresh cubes of raw fish (or other seafood) marinated in lemon or lime juice. Furthermore, fresh herbs such as onions, cilantro, and peppers are added for a color and flavor explosion. To balance out this bold flavor, a wine with a sweet and elegant touch is preferred. I suggest trying a Riesling, Pinot Grigio or even a sparkling wine will pair nicely. Lastly, add a side of tortilla chips and prepare yourself for a satisfying and heavenly meal.

2. Tostones

Tostones are a popular dish in Latin America and the Caribbean. This dish is made from fried green plantains until golden brown to resemble French fries. They are then seasoned with salt and garlic, and toppings including ketchup, mayonnaise, and butter may be added on top of the tostones. Additionally, tostones can be served as a main dish or as a side. You’re sure to enjoy a red wine such as Malbec or Tempranillo.


3. Paella

Paella is a Spanish dish made with seafood, chicken, and shellfish. It is a good dish to enjoy with red or white wine. A Chardonnay or Merlot makes a great wine to pair with this dish. If you want something sweet to go along with this meal, try serving some Bailey’s Irish cream sherry at the end of your meal.


4. Pernil

Pernil is a slow-roasted pork shoulder that is flavored with caramelized onions and garlic. First, the pork shoulder is topped with achiote paste, salt, pepper, and lime juice. You can pair it well with a delicious red wine called Malbec. White wine like Sauvignon Blanc can also be used with this dish if you’re not into red wines.


5. Empanadas 

Empanadas are delicious little appetizers that can be filled with various things like steak, chicken, and vegetables. They are rolled in cornmeal and then stuffed with mozzarella cheese. Try pairing your empanada with a white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling.


6. Arroz con Pollo

A classic Latin American dish, arroz con pollo is made with rice and chicken. It also includes vegetables like peas, carrots, and onions. This dish pairs well with a delicious Chardonnay or Pinot Gris wine. You can serve this simple yet satisfying dish with dry white or red wine if you prefer it.


7. Pupusas

A Salvadoran specialty, pupusas are made with corn or rice dough and typically stuffed with cheese, beans, or pork. Pupusas are tortillas that have been filled with a variety of things like cheese, pork, chicken, and vegetables. Serve these delicious treats with a side of cabbage slaw and salsa. Theb top them with a tomato and chili sauce. You can serve them as an appetizer or as the main dish in a meal. They pair well with white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris.


Latin dishes are extremely popular and a great way to enjoy the flavors of other countries. Making Latin recipes is not only a lot of fun that the whole family can help with, it is great for the budget too. Try out the above recipes and pair them with one of the many delicious McClain wines listed above.

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