A Toast to the Golden Arches
A Holiday Go-To and America’s Favorite Drive-Thru
With the holidays upon us, there can be no argument that the leading contender for preferred beverages will be consumed from the delicate flute or coup that graces your hand. That’s right, ‘tis the season for Champagne. Withstanding the test of time, this regional cuvée has proven to be a tried and true essential for any festivity. With it’s ability to elevate any gathering it’s invited to, I would like to venture unto you the prospects of pairing this angelic elixir with one of your most guilty pleasures-McDonald’s french fries.
Luxury embraces the common in an astounding fashion when we combine Champagne and french fries. Marrying a beverage touting elegance and extravagance to a food that is so easily and regularly consumed bears aloft the natural potential of both food and wine. In an instant, your moment is alchemized into a carnival like celebration, full and ripe in the most unexpected way. What once may have felt like a sacrilegious act, can now be observed as a decadent and comforting exploration of value. It brings to mind the ways in which we assign that value and its accompanying meaning. In the simplicity of this pairing, we find a remarkable match that transcends the mundane and affords opulence to the everyday.
“Basically, salt and fat plus high acid and bubbles equals a great combo.” - Food and Wine Magazine, wine editor, Ray Isle
In a nutshell, the more greasy and salty the fry is contributes to the accentuation of the Champagne’s aromas, flavors, and texture. This is where your favorite drive thru comes in, providing the center stage needed for this sparkling wine to shine at it’s highest capacity.
This is the point where I admit my partiality. I came across across this pairing while working as a high end Champagne and wine sales representative. During a team training, we gathered around a white table cloth to explore food based selling points for our products. Round one: Bring out the bubbles. As our glasses were filled, I began to imagine all the prospective foods that might be brought out for us. Oysters was the sure horse I chose to bet on. As I chatted with my coworkers, I was surprised to see the waitstaff placing large plates of french fries along the table. I stayed pretty perplexed even as our director gave her reasoning for the match up. Then, all of a sudden, it was love at first bite. I approached each sip and crunch tentatively to ensure I understood the significance and nuances of both the food and wine. Hook, line, and sinker. I gorged myself with what was left in my flute and the rest of my share of the french fries. Heaven is closest word I can come to to express my experience.
A few weeks later we were making final calls out to our client base for quarterly close out. Upon striking a deal with the Museum of Fine Arts, I topped my sales and was awarded my favorite bottle of Champagne, Ruinart Blanc de Blancs. Made with one hundred percent chardonnay grapes and hailing from the oldest Champagne house in France, this bottle has always been my go to for special occasions. I left the office pretty late, feeling accomplished and proud of achieving my goals. It was on my way home that I spotted the Golden Arches.
I drove up to a glowing screen of selections and a crackling speaker box. “Welcome to McDonald’s, may I take your order?”
“Yes, please. Can I get a double cheeseburger with no pickles? ...Mhmm. Yes, I would LOVE fries with that. Can we go ahead and supersize those fries? Lovely. I would also like three ranch cups, please. Yes, I will pay for the extra ranch...Do I need a drink?” I looked to my passenger seat where the bell shaped bottle was nested in my bag. “Actually, no. No, thank you. I have an entire bottle of Champagne.” There was an extended, awkward silence from the speaker box. “I’m waiting until I get home to open it. Yep, that will be all. Thank you so much.”
”Please pull forward to the next window.”
My excitement was building. Away I went, to Netflix and chill with my newly acquired bounty. ‘Hello, Sabrina!’ It was a glorious night of self care and gratification.
Because this is the year 2020, most of us are spending our holidays in the comfort of our homes in order to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe from the virus that shall not be named. It is my utmost recommendation that we toast our Champagne glasses to our endurance and new beginnings over red-boxed French fries with Grace and Frankie.
Cheers to redefining value.
Cheers to possibly the worst year ever.
Cheers to rewriting and cocreating our futures.
Cheers to You, marvelous human for everything you’ve overcome.
Cheers to McDonald’s!
With a world turned upside down, I wish you all the magic and merriment of seeing Champagne flutes waiting to be filled.