Every 5th of May, more bars and restaurants jump on the Cinco de Mayo bandwagon, serving up tequila shots, margaritas, and barely-Mexican fare. Although the day marks the 1862 victory of the Mexican army over their French oppressors, not Mexican Independence Day, it has become a bit like a mini Fourth of July in many cities across the USA. If your taste, like ours, runs more towards the wine glass than the cocktail shaker, Cinco de Mayo is a good day to host a Mexican-themed dinner party for your amigos.
When choosing wine, consider the elements of the dishes you are serving. Bright foods flavored with chilis and citrus work well with crisp, high acid whites, while red meats or molé call for rich red wines. The best thing about a shared meal with friends is that you can start with fresh white wine for your aperitivos and primer plato, and then move into red with your plato principal. Even better, all the wines we've chosen ring up at between $10 and $25, another reason to celebrate.
Read on for our recommendations for the best Cinco de Vino choices.