Today is that most sacred of weekdays: Taco Tuesday. And that means the time has come again for tacos to defend their title as the most delicious food item you can put into your mouth.
If you’re a taco, it isn’t hard to beat down kale or beef stock in a competition of pure deliciousness. Burgers presented a bit more of a challenge, because they are actually food. But what happens when you pit tacos, in all their spicy, seductive glory, against a beverage? And not just any beverage, but the beverage: wine. Can tacos hold on to their crispy crown? Or have they finally met a worthy adversary? Oh, this is getting exciting!
The fact is, pitting these two weeknight staples against each other is a difficult thing for me to do. I imagine it feels like it would if I had two children and made them compete for my favor. Endlessly entertaining, sure, but also a little sick. But now I’m stalling. It’s time to stick these two in the ring and let the death match speak for itself.
Face-off #1: Better with lettuce shreds on top
Tacos: Tacos and lettuce shreds go together like tacos and chopped tomatoes or tacos and melty cheese. You don’t get mad if a couple of lettuce shreds fall onto your taco, because those little strips of leafy goodness only serve to enhance the experience.
Wine: Wine and lettuce shreds are less compatible but far from a deal-breaker. For instance, if you were on your first glass of wine and a couple of garden vegetables sneaked into your chardonnay, you would probably just fish them out and carry on. If it was your third glass, you would just be like, “Mmm, wine-infused lettuce,” and leave them there and go to your partner and say, “See? I told you wine was good for you!” What? Like they’re going to argue with you? There’s lettuce in there!
Face-off #2: Easier to get into your stomach at an exhilarating speed
Tacos: Tacos are a pretty quick meal, but I would urge anyone thinking of haphazardly stuffing them down their gullet to use caution — there is no pain like the pain of a jaggedy piece of taco shell stabbing into your esophagus.
Wine: Is this even a question? I mean, sure, if someone is watching, you might swirl your glass a little and pretend to savor that Two Buck Chuck, but if it’s just you, your jammies and a new episode of Fear the Walking Dead, you’re going to glance down during the commercial and think to yourself, “Gee, this wine is so good I wish my glass was empty so I could get some more,” and then you would make it so.
Face-off #3: Better out of a truck
Tacos: Some things are better out of a truck, and tacos are one of them. In fact, if you want a really good taco, I would suggest forgoing the boxed kit altogether, heading downtown and finding the seediest-looking roach coach in the food truck parking lot, because it’s going to have the best tacos, period. It’s science.
Wine: I mean, technically all wine is probably on a truck at some point, but what I’m saying is that since so many states have open container laws, if you walk up to a food truck and they offer you wine, it’s probably a) a sting, or b) toilet wine, so you might want to steer clear. Then again, it might not be, and then what have you got? Truck wine! Put it in the win column.
More: Taco Tuesday death match: Tacos vs. bone broth
Face-off #4: Best at making you feel better about the idiot boss/domineering mother-in-law/direction your life is going in
Tacos: Tacos are life’s warm bosom, enclosing you in a tight embrace and gently wiping away your tears and hugging out the pain of everyday disappointments. Think about it. Ever seen someone eating a taco who wasn’t pretty excited about it? Of course you haven’t. This is America. However…
Wine: When you and your co-workers need to vent, or when you’re well and truly over your latest never-ending day from hell, do you hit your local Ralph’s or whatever to buy tortillas and then head home to painstakingly chop veggies and season meat and then clean all the pans and try to sweep lettuce shreds off the floor? No, that’s crazy talk. You open a bottle of wine (or four), plant yourself in front of a mind-numbing activity and force-reset yourself. Literally the only thing that makes being an adult worth it is the fact that you can drink.
Face-off #5: Best as a candle scent
Tacos: This really depends. Do you like the smell of tacos? Do you like it enough that when the smell of last night’s cooking finally wafts out of your kitchen, you say to yourself, “Aw, man, I was really hoping my upholstery would still smell like hot vegetable oil?” This is the candle for you.
Wine: Also depends. Do you like the smell of wine? Do you like it enough that when people come over for playdates or on holiday you want the entire house to smell like someone smashed up a bunch of wine bottles and let the runoff sink into your carpet pad? This is the candle for you.
And the winner?
Does this really surprise anyone? At an even tie of 145-145, can’t we all just get along? The best way to handle this is to just drink wine while you eat tacos.