By KELLY MCCARTHY, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — Taco Bell’s menu just got a little more sophisticated.
While Taco Bell fans have long sought out the fast-food Mexican restaurant’s late-night menu after a night out, customers in Canada can now sip on some limited-edition Jalapeño Noir to spice up the notion of food and wine pairings.
Taco Bell announced the new toasted cheesy chalupa made with six-month aged sharp cheddar and the first-of-its-kind pinot noir with three unique, collectable labels.
— Taco Bell Canada (@TacoBellCanada) September 14, 2020
The pepper-pun named pinot noir is made by Queenston Mile Vineyard in the wine-producing region of Niagara Peninsula in Ontario, Canada, and will be sold for $25 CAD, or just under $19 in the U.S.
“Together, the duo is irresistible: the rich taste and crunchy texture of the beloved Toasted Cheesy Chalupa complements notes of wild strawberry, cherry and beetroot in this silky limited-edition red wine,” the restaurant said of the unique combo. “A sub of beans for beef in the Toasted Cheesy Chalupa means vino-loving vegetarians can satisfy their wine and cheese cravings, too.”
Kat Garcia, Taco Bell’s director of brand marketing, said “it made perfect sense” to tap into the timeless wine and cheese pairing and launch “a new wine to go with the crave-able, cheddary Toasted Cheesy Chalupa.”
“At Taco Bell Canada, we love to raise our glass to big, bold ideas that elevate our menu items, and pairing our Toasted Cheesy Chalupa with this Jalapeño Noir is no exception,” she said in a statement.
The toasted cheese chalupa, which is available in Canada for $5.49, is made with six-month aged sharp cheddar cheese that gets toasted onto the chalupa shell and is filled with seasoned beef, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, grated cheddar cheese and reduced-fat sour cream.
Jalapeño Noir bottle is also a true collector’s item, with three unique bottle labels available. Starting Wednesday, Sept. 16, Ontario residents over the legal drinking age of 19 will be able to purchase Jalapeño Noir in stores or online via Uber Eats, while supplies last.
The new chalupa will be available in the U.S. in November and while the wine may not hit stores here, Taco Bell is expanding its boozy Cantina locations.
Taco Bell recently announced more development plans for new, experiential Cantina restaurant concepts called “fast social.”
The strategy includes expanding innovative consumer-driven concepts with a “fleet of new Cantinas,” first with the most technology-forward Taco Bell location in Times Square, set to open by fall 2020.
Additionally there will be a gaming-themed Cantina by the end of fall 2020 in San Ramone, California.
The fast-food restaurant will also test converting three traditional Taco Bell restaurants in suburban areas into Cantinas to evaluate the performance.
The Cantina restaurant experience invites customers to stay and socialize over their meal with modern layouts, communal tables, shareable appetizers, alcohol, open kitchen designs, local artwork and digital features like TVs kiosks.
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