Taco Bell's 'Jalapeño Noir' Sells Out on Day Uno

Why does the fast-food chain have a house wine? "Democratizing wine and making it more available is what the wine industry should be doing more of"
Taco Bell's 'Jalapeño Noir' Sells Out on Day Uno
"Yo quiero Queenston Mile Vineyard" may not have the same ring to it, but the wine apparently hits the spot. (Taco Bell Corp.)
Sep 17, 2020

Taco Bell is unveiling a buzzy new menu item. To toast the relaunch of the toasted cheesy chalupa, a fan favorite, the fast-food chain is releasing a Pinot Noir to pair it with, the Bell's first exclusive house wine and first wine partnership. The limited-edition bottling from Queenston Mile Vineyard, in Canada's Niagara-on-the-Lake region, is only available in select Toronto-area locations and on the brands’ websites, and it's called, as it must be, Jalapeño Noir.

Some of the Bell's "cantinas" have been serving wine for a few years, but this represents another level (or layer, if you prefer). The project only landed on Queenston winemaker Rob Power's desk three months ago, but he quickly got to work, choosing the winery's 2018 single-vineyard cuvée for the Pinot. Power described the wine as a "very earthy style of Pinot," more of an Old World style. He made 33 cases for the launch, priced at $25 Canadian ($19), which sold out on Taco Bell Canada's website 11 minutes after going live.

The pairing may not seem obvious. But when talks of a Taco Bell wine started, Queenston president Andrew Howard saw an opportunity to challenge the perception some have of wine as pretentious and inaccessible.

"Democratizing wine and making it more available is what the wine industry should be doing more of," Howard told Unfiltered. "Some people will wonder why we're pairing with a fast-food chain, but I think it's brilliant, and it makes wine more accessible for people and makes it part of every day."

Queenston Mile Vineyard
Folks also go loco for Ontario wine: visitors on a recent tour (Courtesy of Queenston Mile)

Taco Bell also thought it was a supreme idea. "I think having this toasted cheesy chalupa with aged cheddar and associating it with a well-known winery in the area is really a special promotion," Kat Garcia, director of brand marketing at Taco Bell, told Unfiltered. "We intended this to be limited-edition, but given the coverage and the interest, we're very open to acquiring more wine if we can." (The winery told us they're working on another run of the bottling for the Bell.)

Although there are no plans to bring the wine to cantinas in the U.S., the toasted cheesy chalupa will be arriving south of the border in November, so you can try out your own wine sides.


Enjoy Unfiltered? The best of Unfiltered's round-up of drinks in pop culture can now be delivered straight to your inbox every other week! Sign up now to receive the Unfiltered e-mail newsletter, featuring the latest scoop on how wine intersects with film, TV, music, sports, politics and more.

Unfiltered Oddities Pairings Pinot Noir Canada

You Might Also Like

Burgundy Burglars Nab $425,000 in Wine, Lob Bottles at Cops in Mario Kart–Style Getaway

Burgundy Burglars Nab $425,000 in Wine, Lob Bottles at Cops in Mario Kart–Style Getaway

A luxury hotel in France falls victim to thieves …  two days in a row

Jan 20, 2021
World Central Kitchen Activates All-Night Operation After D.C. Capitol Attack

World Central Kitchen Activates All-Night Operation After D.C. Capitol Attack

“I don’t know what else to do right now … so we just started cooking,” chef José Andrés’ …

Jan 12, 2021
After 2,000 Years, Pompeii Wine Bar to ‘Reopen’ this Spring

After 2,000 Years, Pompeii Wine Bar to ‘Reopen’ this Spring

Archaeologists have unearthed a wine and snack bar in the ash-buried Roman city of Pompeii

Jan 11, 2021
Unfiltered Predictions for 2021

Unfiltered Predictions for 2021

Virtual-reality winery tours, vine vaccines, the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers abandon …

Jan 7, 2021
Busted in Bordeaux: Crime Ring Suspected of Stealing $6 Million in Wine and Whisky

Busted in Bordeaux: Crime Ring Suspected of Stealing $6 Million in Wine and Whisky

Plus, an illicit winery discovered in an Alabama sewage treatment facility, and thieves …

Dec 30, 2020
Best of Unfiltered 2020

Best of Unfiltered 2020

From Beethoven’s poisoned wine to JFK’s Dom Pérignon obsession to Brad Pitt’s rosé …

Dec 24, 2020