What to Drink With That Junk Food?

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sherry and reeses.jpgBy Deirdre Bourdet

I recently attended a Women for Winesense event focused on pairing wines with ethnic cuisines, since most Americans these days eat some form of international cuisine as part of their weekly diet. Great idea, but what do you do when you're trying to rustle up a drink to go with your all-unnatural, luxuriously salty, and heart-stopping fatty favorite junk foods? For better or worse, American junk food is forever, and it seems more and more people are trying to find ways to enjoy wine with our nation's bad for the body, good for the soul contribution to international cuisine. Some fast food restaurants will soon be offering wine with your burgers and deep fried tortilla-wrapped gut bombs, so it's time for some experimentation. Here are some suggestions to try.
1. Bacon Cheeseburgers and Australian Shiraz. Big burgers with big health risks call for similarly enormous red wines with the famed "gobs" of ripe fruit. Shiraz has a peppery spice to it that complements bacon's salty punch and doesn't flinch at the fat grams. Try with Wendy's Baconator and see who emerges victorious.

2. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Oloroso Sherry. Reese's silky milk chocolate and salty peanut butter love meet their match in Oloroso sherry's smooth richness. The wine's nutty undertones amplify the peanuts, and the harmonious sweetness level strikes a perfect chord in your mouth. A new classic pairing. Seriously.

3.  Sour Cream and Onion Potato Chips and Vinho Verde. Vinho Verde's lemony, low-alcohol character and effervescent qualities bring out the best in artificial flavoring. A lot of other wines with bright acidity clash with the chemical sharpness, but not this one. And as with potato chips, no one can drink just one glass of the stuff.

4. Popcorn and Chardonnay. I'm not the first to suggest this, but it's so good it bears repeating. Chardonnay is a classic suggestion for corn, and a natural partner for buttery dishes. Wines that have seen some oak tend to be better in this context, since oak imparts a smoother texture and the butteriness that is so key for the popcorn pairing.

5. Cheesy Nachos and New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Who knew? Pick a wine with lots of ripe fruit (not the super austere ones, which are excellent in other contexts but not so much here) and jalapeno notes, and let the zingy Southern Hemisphere take your nachos to new highs.

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4 Comments

What about junk food pairings with Cabernet? or just more reds in general? I mean obviously chocolate pairs well, and some might argue the health benefits of chocolate and not categorize it as "junk food" - those folks are in denial.

Though considering I'm a lover of sweet and sour candy, any suggested pairings with this type of candy? Or what about twinkies, hot dogs, oooh and homemade rice crispy treats. Lately I've been eating a lot of the latter for dessert. Pairings with wine might be cool!

How about Pinot Noir. Doesn't it go with just about everything?

try a nz sauvignon blanc with the sweet and sour candies. their tangy fabulousness might hit a sweet spot there. for rice krispie treats, maybe an icewine? they're so sweet (and delicious! big fan myself) that it's hard to imagine any table wine doing them justice. as for the red wine pairings... i thought that the tannins really clashed with the chemical undertones of a lot of the quality junk food--twinkies, hostess cupcakes, etc. but check out cherry flavored hostess fruit pies with a big, round, fruit-forward new world merlot and report back. this pairing stuff is totally subjective so if you like it, it's good--and odds are someone else will think so too.

Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll have to try the Chard with the sweet.sour candy for sure! Also for anyone interested, just watched an episode on Wine Library TV wear they pair cereal with wine! Who says drinking wine in the morning is too early! LOL. Though many of times I have eaten cereal for dinner.

Link
http://tv.winelibrary.com/2009/09/08/what-wine-pairs-with-cereal-episode-734/

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