We are all familiar with the classic food and wine pairings, and we’ve learned how to break the age-old rule of red wine with red meat and game and white wine with chicken and fish. But what happens when you want a glass of wine and have no plans to make an extravagant meal?
Pairing Wine With Food
Anytime you pair food and wine, you have to remember that taste is subjective. What tastes good to one person, may not taste good to another, so experimenting is key to learning what you like. Sometimes, you can start with your favorite wine and nibble your way through your pantry, or maybe you want to try some unexpected wine pairings based on foods that you already like. Either way, keep an open mind and enjoy the tasting journey.
We’ve discovered some unexpected wine pairings that taste amazing; they will also help you identify specific flavors and characteristics of your favorite wines and let you learn about new ones too. Pairings work well because they complement or contrast the flavors and textures that you pair together. And while you may be trying new wines, you’ll be taking no leaps of faith with these classic favorites.
Scrambled Eggs and Muscadet
Champagne & Potato Chips
Grab a bag of your favorite potato chips and a chilled glass of Champagne. The bubbly acid in the champagne contrasts with the richness of the chips, plus the bubbles and the crispiness literally explode in your mouth.
PB&J Sandwich and Sauvignon Blanc
The refreshing green citrusy flavors of Sauvignon Blanc contrast the creamy peanut butter, making it less rich. Those same flavors highlight the berry or grape flavors of your favorite jelly.
Popcorn and Chardonnay
Pop the popcorn yourself and drizzle lightly with a good quality butter. You’ll notice the nuttiness of Chardonnay by eating the corn while the warm butter is complemented by the buttery flavor of the Chardonnay.
Brewers Yeast Tofu and Pinot Noir
Hotdogs and Merlot
Cold beer is not the best beverage for a classic dog with mustard, Merlot is. The savory mustard and cured meat are complemented by the smoothness of the Merlot, while the cherry and berry flavors contrast the flavors of the hot dog.
Fish Stick and Syrah/Shiraz
The classic sweet peppery flavor profile of Syrah/Shiraz complements the mild to medium taste of fish sticks and stands up well to the creamy tartness of tartar sauce.
Turkey Burger and Italian Berbera
Mac-n-Cheese and Reisling
The sweet acidity of a dry Reisling pair well with the creamy, sweet, big flavors of mac and cheese.
Chinese take-out and Gewurtztraminer
The bold flavors and spices of Chinese food find a sweet spicy match in Gewurtztraminer, which complements the meal with sugary sweetness and a fiery spice of it’s own.
Ice Cream and Rose Sparkling Wine
Normally, you wouldn't think of pairing really sweet dishes with even sweeter wines, but the crispness of ice cream is an exception. The bubbly effervescence of sparkling wine makes an excellent contrast to rich, creamy, full-fat ice cream, and the blush has a fuller flavor profile to stand up to flavors like chocolate raspberry, pistachio or salted caramel.
Chocolate Chip Cookies and Cabernet Sauvignon
The big berry flavors of cabernet sauvignon pair exceptionally well with chocolate chips and the sweetness of the cookie dough soften the oak and tobacco. The earthy sweet flavors of brown sugar and butter bring out the complementing flavors of deep, purply fruitiness as well.
There you have it, 12 incredibly practical and delicious food and wine pairings to try on your next day relaxing at home with a good book, with friends or just because.