The Drync.com Wine Blog
5 Awesome Fast Food and Wine Pairings
September 9, 2014
Our back to wine school series continues with food & wine pairings. While proper pairings are both an art and a science, it should not be something that is reserved for special occasions only. Here are some combos that keep it real.
We have all been there: despite the best of intentions, you cave and order fast-food. Maybe the day got away from you, maybe you didn’t feel like splurging on a proper meal out, or maybe you were just craving some rich, fatty deliciousness (can’t say we blame you). But just because your food quality is low, does not mean that your wine should suffer. In fact, the best thing about keeping your food costs down is that you have more money to spend on vino! Here are some of our favorite fast-food and wine pairings to help get you started.
Champagne & French Fries
We love this one so much that we devoted an entire post just to the magic that is the Champagne & French Fries pairing.
Off-dry Riesling & Asian Food
As foolproof as pairing gets! Off-dry Rieslings are the perfect match for rich, delicious Chinese or Thai food. The acidity cuts through the heaviest of dishes like a knife through butter; the off-dry sweetness can tame the most savage heat; and the low-alcohol makes it weeknight (or even lunchtime) friendly. Check out Chile’s Cono Sur Bicicleta Riesling (around $12), or the Chateau Ste Michelle Columbia Riesling (around $12).
Pizza & Chianti
This pairing follows the classic rule of “if it grows together, it goes together.” Tomatoes, meat and cheese are at the heart of Tuscan cuisine, and wines from the Chianti region are created to complement the cuisine. But why does it taste so darn delicious together? Chianti is known for it’s ripe cherry fruit, delicate herbal rip-roaring acidity, and light to medium body. This flavor profile complements a number of foods besides pizza and pasta, so do not be afraid to experiment. Felsina Berardega Chianti Classico is a perfect example and a steal at under $30.
History lesson time! Chianti had an undeservedly poor reputation throughout most of the 20th century, known as cheap, thin, weak wine served in pizza parlors around the world. In the early 1930s, the Italian government expanded the borders of the original Chianti region, where they had been making wine since the 12th century. After that point onwards, any Sangiovese-based blends from within those borders could carry the once prestigious appellation of Chianti. In the mid-1980s the original seven Chianti appellations, were elevated to the appropriately prestigious DOCG status. Pro-tip When shopping for Chianti’s look to these smaller sub-zones: Chianti Colli Fiorentini, Chianti Rùfina, Chianti Classico, Chianti Colli Aretini, Chianti Colli Senesi, Chianti Colline Pisane, Chianti Montespertoli, and Chianti Montalbano.
Fried Chicken & Gruner Veltliner
Although not quite a household name (yet), Gruner Veltliner has certainly been rising in popularity for the last decade. This Austrian gem is known for it’s unique peach and white pepper flavor profile, mouth-wateringly high acidity, and overall food-friendliness. One of the most classic Austrian food and wine pairings is Gruner Veltliner and Weiner Schnitzel (AKA fried chicken). Why not apply this fancy-pants wine pairing to your prosaic fried chicken? Whether your go to is KFC or Popeye’s, that marvelous acidity cuts right through the fatty, goodness that is fried chicken. One of our favorite groovy GruVes is the Loimer Gruner Veltliner (around $24), or Rudi Pichler Gruner Veltliner Federspiel (around $35) if you are feeling fancy. Pro-tip: if you decide to add a little virtue to your vice by adding a green vegetable or two, this pairing will be even more magical.
Burgers and Zinfandel
Whether your burger of choice is McDs, In and Out, Burger King, 5 guys or some local fave, you have got to have some tannins present to cleanse your palate between bites. Tannins lend that bitter, mouth-puckering quality to wines that dries out your cheeks and gums. When serving a rare steak with a lovely char, it’s time to rock a Cabernet Sauvignon. Burgers, however, with their myriad topping options require something a little more bold. We love a good Zinfandel like Ravenswood Napa Zinfandel, approximately $21. There are just enough tannins to melt the fattiness of a good burger, plus enough sweet brambly fruit to handle barbecue sauces and ketchups.
Did we miss one of your favorite fast food and wine pairings? Let us know in the comments, and we will serve one up lickety split!
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|Drync Marketing Manager, Amy Ullman’s guiltiest food pleasures are drunken noodles, veggie pizza with extra sauce, and super crispy french fries.|
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