Junk Food and Wine Pairings

Last year, we told you about a unique charity event that pairs McDonald’s French fries with wine, offering up a strangely delightful experience that makes giving back taste good.

If we’re being honest, there’s a je ne sais quoi to eating heinous foods and drinking excellent vino. I can’t quite describe the feeling of sipping a glass of good merlot, while also eating Raisinets, but I know I like it.

The suggestion of pairing wine and junk food is a little avant-garde, but to ease you into the idea, we’ve put together a couple of suggestions that just might be too tempting to resist trying (we won’t tell).

Moscato and Buffalo Wings

You may have actually indulged in this oddly satisfying combo back at game day parties without even trying. Take it up a notch with some homemade grilled buffalo barbeque wings. Frank’s Red Hot has a delicious recipe that will have you licking your fingers (if they’re not holding your wine glass).

Moscato (or Muscat) is a little more sweet and a little less dry, making it the perfect balance to the intense flavor of perfectly grilled wings. The fruitiness will play well with the spice of buffalo sauce and enhance the carmelization from the grill.

 Chardonnay and Chocolate Dipped Kettle Chips

The key connection here is butteriness. Both of these delights have a hint of richness that comes from the pleasant notes of richness and creaminess. You can certainly make chocolate dipped kettle chips in your home kitchen, but a local chocolatier likely has this ultimate sweet-and-salty combo on hand.

Pair that snack with an oaky, full-bodied chardonnay, and experience the dance of smooth flavors on your palette.

Pinot and Popcorn

This Olivia-Pope-inspired combo is too good—the ultimate example of something that shouldn’t work “on paper,” but results in a strangely satisfying TV-watching combo.

Lightly salted, lightly buttered popcorn (we suggest something air-popped you can season yourself) is a texturally satisfying snack for all. Its neutral flavor means that you can go for the grigio or nod toward the noir for this pairing for two unique experiences. Get creative and try different seasoning salts as your work your way through your wine collection.

Champagne or Sparkling Rosé and Nachos

You know how lemon-lime soda gives that refreshing burst of clean flavor when you’re noshing on Mexican food? We see you, and raise you sparkling wine.

Nachos are a timeless junk food treasure, and they happen to love a fizzy glass of wine. Pile quality fried tortilla chips with all your favorite toppings: chicken, beans, cheese, pico, jalapeños, and guac. Give it all a quick broil, squeeze a fresh lime on top and dive right in.

Find yourself a dry, balanced sparkling wine to wash it all down. The effervescence will lighten up an otherwise heavy appetizer and spare you the questionable consequences of tequila (or is that just me?).