They certainly make strange bedfellows, but somehow, it works.
For a limited time, Taco Bell Canada will be offering a new wine on the menu. One grown, blended, and bottled at Queenston Mile Vineyard in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
The pinot noir mix, aptly called Jalapeño Noir, was made to pair with Taco Bell’s new Toasted Cheesy Chalupa, and earlier this month launched at tacobell.ca as well as select locations in both Hamilton and Toronto.
Rob Power, winemaker for Queenston Mile who developed Jalapeño Noir, said the two companies paired up through a mutual connection.
“Taco Bell Canada was looking for an Ontario VQA wine to pair with their new Toasted Cheesy Chalupa. We have a shared friend in our marketing partner Grip Ltd. They assisted with the development of our Queenston Mile brand and logo, when we launched in 2018.”
The wine itself features notes of wild strawberry, cherry and beetroot, which is available in three unique bottle labels.
Power describes the flavour of the wine as having strong oak tones which influence the unique blend, and says it was barrelled for over 12 months.
“The wine is a five-barrel blend from our estate vineyard on the St. David’s Bench. It has more new oak than usual, which gives it a hint of earthy spiciness.”
Power adds the natural topography of the Niagara Region where the grapes were grown really gives Jalapeño Noir its defining characteristics, and influences the flavour profile over the course of its development.
“Single vineyard fruit from the St. David’s Bench. A five-barrel lot with mostly new French oak. Low residual sugar and nice balance acid. Bench trials highlighted this small blend.”
While Taco Bell may not be the first place many think of when it comes to a quality red wine, Power said the teaming with Taco Bell and Queenston Mile has been a fruitful partnership to say the least.
“We are excited to work with a partner that shares our enthusiasm for making wine accessible. Our tag line is “Upscale never felt so down to earth,” so eating fun cheesy Mexican food with Ontario VQA wine makes sense.”
But getting your hands on a bottle of Jalapeño Noir may not be so easy.
Supply of the limited edition wine has been flying off the shelves, with Taco Bell Canada already working on their third restock since Sept. 16, when the wine first launched.
At Queenston Mile, Power said the buzz has been constant around the winery, with customers calls and reviews pouring in daily.
“The phone has been ringing off the hook; our customers are loving the partnership and we wish we had more to share.”
Jalapeño Noir wine will be available while supplies last to those of legal drinking age for $25 a bottle at tacobell.ca.
Bryan Levesque, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grimsby Lincoln News