Monday, October 5, 2009

Rant: Not Just For Fine Dining

When you decide to open a bottle of wine with a meal, is it most often when you are having a fine meal or a nice sit-down dinner? Maybe Chicken Marsala, a roasted Pork Loin, or a Filet Mignon. Maybe you stretch it to having wine with BBQ, a nice Zinfandel or a Rose with your burgers, ribs or fish.

But do you ever pair a wine with take-out or delivery fast food? Or just a plain snack? It seems wine is much less often an accompaniement in that circumstance, yet there is no reason it must be that way. Wine is such a versatile beverage that you can find wines to pair with basically any food. And that wine can enhance even the most basic of foods.

I got thinking about this a short time ago when I drank some Cava with potato chips. How often do you drink a sparkling wine with salty chips? It actually works together well, and certainly makes eating the chips more fun. So I was considering what other snack/fast food pairings might work.

Then Randy over at The Wine Whore posted his own article, Fast Food Uncorked, about that very subject. He provided his own suggested wine pairings for fast food, covering many different items. The article is well worth checking out and you have to admire the intent. Wine can pair with everything, and there is no reason to ignore it as your beverage choice even if eating something as simple as a Big Mac.

Pairing wine with fast food will also help to demystify wine, to make it much less an "elite" drink. Just treat wine like any other drink. Make it a part of any meal. Experiment with it, matching wines with different fast foods to see which makes the meal even better.

Once a week, I get together with some buddies and we drink wine, usually tasting 5 or 6 different bottles. Almost always, we get delivery fast food, from pizzas to Chinese food. We have a great time and it always fun to see how the wines pair with the food we order. We might be drinking a $10 Malbec or a $60 Barolo. It is always interesting.

Forget wine snobbery and drink wine with all types of food.


Dale Cruse said...

One of my favorites is Hamburger Helper made with ground lamb paired with decent Bordeaux. When I tell people this, they look at me like the Wine Police are going to come arrest me. I'm willing to risk it.

Jonathon Alsop | Boston Wine School said...

You and Dale both are invited to Champagne Delamotte + Gouret Potato Chips on FRI 10/16... know you're going to love it... just let me know if you want to come!

Richard Auffrey said...

Good for you Dale! Ground lamb is delicious! I use it in chili sometimes.

Thanks Jonathon. I won't be able to make it as I'll be in Vegas, but it certainly sounds like a great class.