Sure, we all love a lavish caviar complemented with a glass of fine French Champagne, and wine and cheese plates can seem so, well, boring and passe. They’re everyone’s go-to classics at an elegant party, but what about a low-key evening spent at home (a.k.a. a Netflix evening in your pjs)? No need to roll out the red carpet and drop $50 bucks on a ton of fancy schmancy cheese when a $2 bag of potato chips will do! Here are some of our favorite junk food and wine pairings and yes, this is a real thing. Give one or more of these a try and let us know what you think.
1. Potato Chips and Champagne
Fatty, starchy potato chips are the perfect match for the high acidity in a classic Champagne. So go ahead and enjoy that crunch with some fizzy bubbles and let your taste buds thank me later.
2. Pringles and Sauvignon Blanc
If you want to get more specific on the potato chip front, give the pressed potato Pringles a try with a crisp Sauv Blanc.
3. Rice Krispie Treats and Riesling
Break out the popular crisped rice cereal and marshmallow bars and wash them down with a light, fruity, and tropical-note Riesling. The marriage of sweet and sweeter is as addictive as the junk food itself.
4. French Onion Dip, BBQ Chips, and Pinot Noir
Now this is a good one! The carmelized onion dip (best served with BBQ flavor potato chips or plain crackers; we prefer buttery Captain’s Wafers) holds its own against a light and earthy Pinot Noir. One rule of thumb when choosing the wine: the lighter the better.
5. Beef Jerky and Syrah
In the “why didn’t I think of that?” department comes the palate perfect pairing of sweet and smoky dried beef jerky with a black pepper Syrah. Both the popular snack food and the wine have a lovely barbecue notes that play off each other for a true flavor explosion.
6. Pizza Bites and Rose
Another match made in Heaven is a dry, crisp and delicate Rose coupled with cheesy, chewy pizza bites. Plain cheese bites work the best here, although pepperoni fans can also indulge.
7. Skittles and Moscato
Sugary sweet, a bag of rainbow colored Skittles candy is the idea companion for a fruity Moscato. This is a great, low budget dessert that people will absolutely love — if you can convince them to try it!
8. Popcorn and Chardonnay
I should specify an oaked Chardonnay here, especially if you drown your popcorn in fresh butter (really now, is there any other way to eat it)? The acidity in the Chard amps up the buttery flavors in the popcorn. So go ahead and sneak that bottle of Chardonnay into the movie theater!
9. Caramel Chocolate Rolos and Port
Even wine novices know that a fine Port is fantastic when paired with rich chocolate, but the caramel in Rolos candy will change your life. There’s something about the smooth texture and tangy flavor of the caramel and the sweet, elegant port that is simply marvelous. Another great Port pairing comes in the unlikely form of Hostess chocolate cupcakes (I learned this fact by trial and error at my last office holiday party).
10. Brownies and Merlot
Clocking in at #10 (last but not least) are two of my favorite things: brownies and Merlot. I’ll confess to cracking open a nice bottle of Merlot when I’m doing my holiday baking (hello, Julia Child!), and that’s how I first discovered the magical marriage of flavors. The deliciousness of this combo defies description and you must try it to believe it. You’re welcome!