Wine Pairings for Your Favorite Junk Food
Picture this: It’s Friday night. You’ve had a long week and that cozy spot on the couch is calling your name. You reach into the cupboard to grab your favorite snack and settle in for a couple episodes of The Queen’s Gambit. But wait—there’s something missing. You need a beverage to quench your thirst! Lucky for you, I’ve done the hard work for you and paired eight of America’s favorite snacks with their perfect wine counterpart!
Cheddar & Sour Cream Chips with Malbec
Arguably the best flavor in the world, cheddar & sour cream chips are salty, fatty, and full of flavor. With that being said, we want to pair them with a full bodied, bold red like Malbec. The saltiness of the chips will counteract the tannin in the wine, as will the fatty cheese and sour cream flavoring. The bold red and black fruit flavors of the wine will stand up to the strong cheesy flavors of the chips, creating the perfect balance.
For this pairing, I’d recommend finding a Malbec from Argentina. These wines are fruit forward and typically a great value, with great examples priced under $20.
BBQ Potato Chips with Shiraz
Following the theme of strong flavors, BBQ chips also need a full-bodied, bold red to match up with. This time we’re looking to Australia for our perfect pairing with a red wine known as Shiraz (also called Syrah here in America). An Australian Shiraz has a jammy, black fruit flavor along with a meaty, savory element. These notes make it the perfect match for our smoky and sweet BBQ chips.
Try to find a Shiraz from the Barossa Valley in Australia. These wines are considered some of the most powerful wines not just in Australia, but across the world!
Cheez-Its with Dry Riesling
When it comes to Riesling, you have to be careful. For this pairing, you want a dry (aka not sweet) Riesling. If there’s no one around to ask, look for a Riesling with an alcohol content above 12% from either New York, France, Austria, or Germany.
Pizza Rolls with Chianti
If you can avoid burning your mouth, this pairing will reward you with delicious flavors with every bite. In this pairing, we’re following the “what grows together, goes together” rule of food & wine pairing. Pizza rolls, clearly American in creation, have similar flavors to the traditional tomato and cheese pies found throughout the streets of Italy. Since Italian wine was made to go with food, an Italian Chianti (made from the Sangiovese grape) is the perfect match. The acid in the wine will hold up the acidity in the tomato sauce, while the fatty cheese and bread of the pizza roll will absorb some of the wine’s gritty tannin leaving behind the perfect mouthfeel and tasting experience!
For the best example of a Chianti, look for one that says “Chianti Reserva” or “Chianti Classico Reserva.” Reserva typically means higher quality and Classico tells you the wine is from the original Chianti sub-region. Look for a bottle around $20.
Reese’s with Tawny Port
There are multiple styles of Port, so be sure to grab a Tawny Port if you want to experience this delicious pairing. Be warned: this wine is higher in alcohol than most wines, though it’s not always noticeable due to the sweet flavor!
When it comes to Cava, aim for a bottle between $10-$20 and don’t be afraid to try a producer you’ve never heard of. Typically the smaller, lesser known producers make the best Cava!
Taquitos and Spanish Rosé
One of my favorite pairings is Mexican take-out and Spanish Rosé. There are primarily two styles of rosé coming out of Spain, and they both go great with taquitos. The first is Garnacha or Tempranillo based and is typically called “Rosado.” These wines offer a distinct meaty note that pairs perfectly with the taquitos, without being too overpowering. The second style comes from the northern region of Txakolina. These wines are dry, zippy, and often have the slightest fizz, making them the perfect contrasting pairing for your rolled tacos.
Depending on which style you’re interested in, you’re either looking for a wine labelled “Rosado” or “Txakolina.” Both are great value buys, usually costing no more than $15.
There you have it! Did I miss you favorite snack? Let me know in the comments below and I will reply with a wine pairing!