Everyone has their guilty pleasures. We like to belt out ABBA in the shower when no one is around, watch reality TV after a long day, and maybe we have a specific cheat snack or meal as a go-to. We also treat ourselves to guilty pleasures when it comes to wine pairings - even our sommeliers have their own personal indulgences.
Master Sommelier Laura Maniec’s Guilty Pleasure Pairing:
Anything fried with bubbly - especially french fries and Champagne.
Sommelier Elizabeth Schneider’s Guilty Pleasure Pairing:
Banyuls, a fortified red Grenache from the Roussillon area of France, with anything chocolate.
Here’s a handy guide for our favorite guilty pleasure pairings.
French Fries and Bubbly
Master Sommelier Laura Maniec loves fried food - especially fries - with bubbly wine. This crispy, indulgent classic needs some acidity to cut its richness, and the combination of brightness and carbonation in sparkling wine is perfect for the job.
Bacon and Gamay
Gamay loves pork. This wine is usually light bodied with a higher level of acidity. These traits make it perfect to pair with rich, smoked bacon. The acid cuts the fat, and the lighter body allows for a refreshing crispness.
Loaded Baked Potatoes and Chardonnay
Sour cream, cheese, and butter rule the world of baked potatoes. To match the dairy-based toppings, a buttery Chardonnay is your best bet. Look for a Chardonnay that has been aged in oak.
Grilled Cheese and Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon and cheddar cheese are a match made in heaven. The sharpness of the cheese works well with the fruitiness of the wine - this especially holds true when the cheese is melted between buttered slices of bread.
Ice Cream and Pinot Noir
Vanilla ice cream with a glass of low tannin Pinot Noir makes for a snack session no one wants to miss. The red fruit notes in the wine go well with this time-honored dessert - think of it like having berries as a topping. Pinot can also have aromas of vanilla, which matches the flavors in the ice cream.
Queso and Tempranillo
From nachos to pretzels, or even by the spoonful, we love queso. Tempranillo is incredibly versatile and can stand up to this creamy cheese - even when there’s some spiciness from hot peppers.
Fried Mozzarella Sticks and Chianti
Try this pairing with the 2015 Piazzano Chianti in our BYOB Wines Pack! It’s a fuller, more modern style of Chianti and won’t be overwhelmed by the cheese and accompanying marinara sauce.
Garlic Bread and Sauvignon Blanc
Garlic bread is easily one of our favorite foods, and if it were healthier for us, we’d have it with every meal. When we do have garlic bread, we like to pair it with a Sauvignon Blanc. The wine’s citrus notes accent the garlicky flavor and aroma, and can even stand up to a little cheese added to the bread.
Mashed Potatoes and Merlot
Mashed potatoes are buttery and creamy and need a wine that can stand up to their texture. We suggest Merlot, as the soft texture of the wine matches with the potatoes while being able to shine on its own. We suggest a Merlot from a warmer climate - cooler climate Merlot wines are usually more fruit-forward with higher acidity.