Okay, so most of the time I’m the artisan cheese and gourmet popcorn with wine type. But, can we all agree that every now and again, you just want a greasy, salty, or sweet snack?! Don’t be surprised to occasionally find a rather large bag of chips hanging out with my oh-so-exquisite vino. I proudly admit it, there’s absolutely no shame in my game. If you are like me, then you too are looking for some more unconventional wine pairings. The truth is, everyone, ultimately, has varied tastes and no two preferences are the same. Here are my expert (in my own mind anyway) picks of the top 10 snack and wine pairings. Ladies, Gents, and all those in-between – It’s time to mix-ish up.
Chips and Salsa with Pinot Grigio:
Pinot Grigio has a relatively high acidity level, which might not work well with some snacks. It is, however, the ideal mate for a nice helping of chips and salsa. Not only will this white wine bring out the flavors of the salsa but its high acidity can compete with the acidity of this lovely dish.
Fresh Veggies with Dip and Sauvignon Blanc:
A party favorite, veggies, and dip are certainly a popular combo, but do you know what could make it even better? A nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc! With its high-ish acidity and grassy aromas, it works quite well with the earthy flavors of the veggies and the creaminess of the dip. (Pro Tip: Herb-based dips are especially awesome!)
Popcorn and Riesling:
A light-bodied, high acidity white wine like Riesling is great with this iconic snack. Riesling can be either sweet or dry, however, in this instance, I implore you to go for the sweeter option as it will complement the saltiness of the popcorn perfectly. Trust me, I know popcorn! This is an ultimate snack and wine pairing and compliments any movie or date night. If you haven’t checked out McClain Popcorn Compay, stop reading and open this link in another tab. I double dare ya!
Pistachios and Pinot Noir:
Pistachios are certainly an old-time but still dearly beloved snack food. I mean, the blend of salt and nutty flavors, it’s easy to see why. Although they are wonderful all on their own, pairing them with a glass of Riesling is like having a celebration with your tastebuds. The nuttiness and salty flavors mingle with the bright acidity and silky tannins of the wine and intensify the aromas.
Cake (Vanilla or Chocolate, or any really) and Moscato:
Now, typically, sweet plus sweet tends to be sugar overload. Moscato, however, seems to know how to bend the rules. A sweet, fruity, quite versatile white wine with low tannins can somehow mingle superbly with the sweetness of the cake. It also raises the taste lever by throwing in fruit aromas such as apricot, orange, and peaches.
Chocolate and White Zinfandel:
Okay, who doesn’t like chocolate? If you raised your hand we need to have a serious discussion about your life choices. Anywho, chocolate goes great with a glass of classic White Zinfandel. This dry to sweet rose wine intermingles with the succulent flavor of the rich chocolate. Don’t knock this indulgent snack and wine pairing till you try it.
Mozzarella Sticks and Chianti:
Chianti makes a great pair with deep-fried mozzarella sticks. Mozzarella sticks are a gift all their own and don’t even try to argue otherwise, but this tart and juicy red wine, with its earthy and cherry notes, bring the dish to a whole new level.
Cheese Puffs and Cabernet Sauvignon:
Wait, hear me out. Cheese Puffs are awesome, Cabernet Sauvignon is fabulous, so why wouldn’t you want to put the two together? The black currant and cherry flavors of this classic red wine end up being an impeccable accompaniment to the simply heavenly crunchy cheesiness of the puffs.
Hot Wings with Gewurztraminer:
While you might be thinking that the complexity of the flavors in Gewurztraminer wine would make pairing it with hot wings blasphemy – you would be wrong. Like any couple that is meant to be, they amazingly make it work. The wine’s sweet and tropical aromas stand up well to the spicy goodness of the wings. To add the benefit of palate-cleansing, look for a dry version of Gewurztraminer.
Potato Chips and Chardonnay:
Potato chips. Yes. Please. Alright, alright, I know that all of our traditional wine-drinking friends reading this are probably both cringing and shaking their heads at the same time. I get it, I really do, but there is just something about the blend of crunchy, salty chips and bubbly Chardonnay. It just works and to be perfectly honest, I feel super classy and sophisticated while enjoying this little duo’s resulting party in my mouth. Thank you very much!
Do not let people wine-shame you. You are an innovator, let no one tell you otherwise. There is really no ‘wrong way’ to pair your favorite vino. If you are happy with it, who cares what anybody else thinks about it. Do you, boo! Use your imagination and relish every minute of it, and don’t be afraid to play around with the combinations a bit. You’d be surprised what hidden, tastebud-shocking surprises you might find.