Christmas comes and goes in the blink of an eye. Shortly after buying the tree, decorating, and purchasing gifts, you're eating Christmas dinner and opening presents. Every year at Christmas time, we'd meet at my grandmother's house for a huge feast. Because my grandmother is Mexican, tamales are always served alongside our traditional Christmas dinner. Around 3 o'clock on Christmas day, we all gather around my grandmother's table to enjoy the celebration. I head straight for the pork tamales, knowing they'll be gone fast. After piling the food on our plates, everyone is ready to eat and talk about Christmas's past. This is where the dinner takes a turn for the worst. It never fails that someone ends up crying, getting upset, embarrassed or arguing. I like to sit back and watch the show. It wouldn't be Christmas without the chaos!
My grandmother likes everything hot! This includes her tamales. To tame the spice, I grab a bottle of German Riesling (Spatlese for slightly spicy and Auslese for extremely spicy). German Riesling is amazing with spicy foods because the sugar in the wine helps to counteract the spice. The wine's fruit flavors are set off by the corn and pork filling of the tamale. The pairing is a beautiful contrast between savory/spicy and sweet. The wine also has incredible acidity that helps to wash the food off your tongue and refresh the palate. As well, German Riesling is great for sipping, making it the perfect bottle to open prior to eating dinner. Here's to wishing you and your family and very Merry Christmas! Other wines to try with Tamales are Malbec, Rose, light Merlot, Rioja, Pinot Grigio, dry Sparkling wine (esp. Cava or sparkling Vinho Verde) and off-dry to sweet wine.