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

What Do You Drink When You're the President? New Wine Book Tells All

What Do You Drink When You're the President? New Wine Book Tells All

From "Madeira Man" George Washington to JFK's obsession with James Bond–approved Champagne, …

Oct 16, 2020
Wineries and Chefs Gear Up Charity Efforts for California Wildfire Relief

Wineries and Chefs Gear Up Charity Efforts for California Wildfire Relief

Some provided on-the-ground aid to deliver meals amid the blazes, while others are coming …

Oct 15, 2020
Exclusive New Cabernets Pave the Way for 47-Mile Napa Vine Trail

Exclusive New Cabernets Pave the Way for 47-Mile Napa Vine Trail

The just-announced charity wine initiative will give Napa wine lovers a chance to invest in …

Oct 13, 2020
War-Torn Wine, 'Worst' Champagne Harvest: Two Gripping New Wine Documentaries Debut

War-Torn Wine, 'Worst' Champagne Harvest: Two Gripping New Wine Documentaries Debut

Wine and War and Wine Crush (Vas-y Coupe!) , out this week, feature a harrowing journey …

Oct 8, 2020
Squirrel Beer, Fish Whiskey, Poop Wine: 'Disgusting Food Museum' Opens Disgusting Drinks Exhibition

Squirrel Beer, Fish Whiskey, Poop Wine: 'Disgusting Food Museum' Opens Disgusting Drinks Exhibition

The curator of the now-infamous museum in Sweden told us what it was like to taste through …

Oct 6, 2020
NBA's Moe Harkless Teams with The Prisoner Wine

NBA's Moe Harkless Teams with The Prisoner Wine

The New York Knicks shooting guard is promoting racial justice in a debut wine partnership …

Oct 1, 2020