Wine Times

Wine, spirits, and beer

Wine and junk food — 3 perfect pairings

A guest post from copywriter Meghan Guarino.

I’ve only recently been hurdled into the professional world of cocktails and vino, which means I’ve had my fair share of misses when it comes to pairing wine with food. Chef Boyardee is hardly the Italian cuisine you’d want to pour expensive wine for—or even box wine, for that matter. Despite this, what I have discovered is that I am not the only one who loves some good junk food with a little Chardonnay.

Ray Isle, Food & Wine’s executive wine editor, wrote an entire article for on the best wines to pair with doughnuts and Slim Jims. If you don’t trust me, trust this guy—he’s got a better title than I do. He recommends the elegant combination of Champagne and French fries.

And he’s not the only one. and also threw out little articles to highlight the best combinations for junk food eating wine lovers. I know it’s a far cry from oysters and caviar, but believe me:  after your first introduction, you’ll never want to eat beef jerky without red wine again.

And who knows? Maybe you’ll start out the same way I did that fateful night when the only things in my refrigerator were a half-emptied bottle of White Zinfandel and an unopened, one pound tub of Twizzlers; a combination, by the way, I highly recommend.

I have a few other recommendations, if you care to hear them—all backed by copious testing/lack of real life adult food in my pantry:

Popcorn + sparkling wine

popcornWhile I suggest lightly salted popcorn, I know it’s not realistic to insist anyone gives up their butter. So instead I’ll insist on sparkling wine—the bubbles in your mouth feel a little bit like what popcorn looks like when it’s popping, and that’s the main reason I love this pairing. Sparkling wine, especially one that isn’t too sweet, will cut right through the salt, prepping your mouth for the next handful of popped kernels.

Hummus + Sauvignon Blanc

I may be no Emeril, but I can make a mean homemade hummus, and I know that stuff has a lot of lemon juice in it, which makes it perfect for a glass of Sauvy Blanc. This wine boasts light citrus flavors and aromas of rainbows and heaven. Just like homemade hummus and warm pita.

Cheese puffs + Lambrusco

I’ve recently discovered Lambrusco and I’ve always loved anything with cheese. The wine is a bit like Pinot Noir in that it’s light and easy to drink and sometimes you wonder where it all went until you look over and see that your friend’s lips are little more red than yours. I suggest a light wine with cheese puffs for this reason:  it’s hard to stop eating cheese puffs and it’s hard to stop drinking Lambrusco. The math is easy.

ChocolateChocolate candy bar + Cabernet Sauvignon

I’ll admit that candy bars are not my go-to snack food. They’re dense and heavy…kind of like Cabernet. The deep flavors of this wine will complement any caramel swirl or chocolate coated nougat. But keep in mind, the richer the chocolate, the better the pairing.

So what do you like to eat with your wine when no one is watching? Comment below and tell us your favorite snack and wine combinations!






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