10 Mouth-Watering Fried Food and Wine Pairings

While it may not be the healthiest option, can we all agree that fried food is simply delicious—the crispy texture and the savory taste? It does, however, take a bit of skill to identify the perfect wine for these crispy delights. Fear not, I’m here to help you solve the puzzle of pairing fried food and wine to make way for an unforgettable meal.

Understanding the Relationship Between Fried Food and Wine

Matching fried food with wine can prove challenging, given its unique and crispy elements. But the answer is quite simple: it is only about harmony and balance. Fried foods pair well with contrasting wines that are light yet acidic or sparkling enough to cleanse the taste buds.

Wine Pairing Basics

do french fries and wine taste good?
Champagne and McDonald’s french fries are a winning combination.

Acidity is Key 

For fat and spices, choose wines with high acidity to cut the richness of the food. Crisps and sparkling wines offer a great assortment to go with light and fresh main courses. 

Bubbles Are Your Bestie

If you prefer bubbly drinks like Champagne or Prosecco, fried foods pair best with them primarily because bubbles freshen the taste buds.

Mix and Match

If you are hesitant to tread different paths, experimentation will be the only way to achieve the best for yourself. The thrill of wine and food pairing is that some combinations are unexpected and awaken your senses.

Wines You Should Avoid with Fried Food

Although there are countless and diverse options available for those who enjoy exploring the world of wine, some might not complement a deep-fried dish. Avoid excessively tannic reds or those that have not been oaked, so they don’t overpower fried dishes and leave your taste buds overloaded.

Popular Fried Food and Wine Pairing Perfection

pairing fried chicken and wine

1. Fried Chicken 

Try embracing White Riesling or sharp Sauvignon Blanc.  If you like fried chicken with its crispy skin and juiciness, you may find some excellent partners to accompany this dish among the white wines with vibrant acidity. The Cilantro Lime flavor is so fresh and bold that each bite always feels like an ultimate refreshment.

2. Fried Shrimp

Look for an aromatic match such as Gewürztraminer or a glass of chilled Chardonnay. The sweet, fleshy, and savory fried shrimp add to the floral and fruity notes of these aromatic whites. The result: A satisfying and balanced harmony of fried food and wine that will tantalize your taste buds.

3. Fried Fish 

A clean, unoaked Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio with a dry mouthfeel pairs nicely with fried fish. The clean, pure taste of these white wines benefits from the slight umami flavor of fried fish. They are responsible for adding more dimension to the dish’s richness.

4. Mozzarella Sticks

Couple the infamous appetizer with a light-bodied Pinot Noir or a sparkling Prosecco. Who can resist, cheesy, gooey, and crispy mozzarella sticks?! Paired with the flavorful red Pinot Noir or bubbly Prosecco, the result is a delightful culinary experience.

mozzarella sticks and wine

5. Fried Oysters

A frosty, lively Rosé or a bright Muscadet are the perfect match to savory fried oysters. The marriage between the brine and moderate plumpness of fried oysters and the crisp acidity of these wines is a chef’s kiss. If you’re a seafood lover with an aficionado for oysters, trust me, you can’t go wrong with either of these pairings.

6. Calamari 

Pairing calamari with a light and dry Rosé or Grüner Veltliner is highly recommended. The texture of calamari is realized in a tender, crispy fashion; alternatively, the fresh acidity from the wine also shines. The balance allows you to rest from the bold flavors of the calamari, allowing you to enjoy and savor.

7. French Fries 

Sparkling Rosé or a glass of floral Malbec with a side of french fries creates a classic, savory food-wine match. Your french fries are sure to get a major upgrade thanks to the wine. This is truly a sweet and salty pairing made in heaven.

8. Corn Dogs

Try combining an off-dry white Riesling with the corny goodness of a corn dog. The slight sweetness of Riesling expertly balances the bold flavors of the corn dog. This is a fried food and wine combination you don’t want to pass on!

9. Wine and Falafel

what wine goes with falafel?

Pair falafel with Grüner Veltliner or Chenin Blanc. Falafel’s savory herbs and spice give rise to the wine’s appetizing fragrances. On the other hand, the wine’s full-bodied, fruity acids sync nicely with the lively flavors of falafel. The pairing brings color to the palate and packs a delicious punch to the tastebuds.

10. Onion Rings

Match a fresh batch of onion rings with a glass of Cava or Viognier with a crisp, dry mouthfeel. Onion rings typically come with sweet and savory sauce for dipping which should also be taken into account. This is why a versatile wine like Cava or Viognier is the ideal complement for this magically crunchy dish. The wine will completely level up an otherwise boring dish into an exhilarating culinary experience.

The next time you binge on your favorite fried foods, please remember the magic wine can bring to the table. No doubt, the right wine will amplify the moment, cheers!

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