Ask any sommelier, casual wine enthusiast or twenty-two year-old college girl what their favorite wine is and you will get answers that run the gamut from dry to sweet, cheap to expensive, and "more about taste" to "will mess you up after just one glass". Wine is an amazing drink like that, it brings people together. There are some who get paid to swish it around in their mouths and spit it out. There are people who buy wine glasses with quirky sayings about their favorite blush. Then, dear readers, there are parents. Parents don't care about the specifics. Parents don't care about whether its supposed to be cold or room temperature. Just pour. It. In. A. Glass. Or don't. We're flexible.
If you fall into any of these categories at all, I'm glad you're here and I'm glad you're reading this! If you're a wine-drinking parent, however, this one will hit especially close to home. Today we're talking about food pairings! But this isn't your average red meat and red wine style pairing list, oh no. This list is here to help you pair things you've probably already got in your pantry or fridge because, let's face it, you don't have the energy to go to the store or put together a charcuterie board. So without further ado, I present to you, A Parent's Guide to Wine Pairings.
1. Rose and Eggo Waffles
I can't speak for all households, but breakfast for dinner is always a hit with my guys. It usually looks something like scrambled eggs, pancakes or waffles, sausage or bacon, basically the breakfast I wish I had time to make every morning but do not (I say all of this so that you don't think I'm downing a glass of wine at 7am). Since it's dinner and I've probably reached the end of a long day filled with drop-offs, pick-ups, work and errands, I'm more than ready for a DRANK. That's how I discovered waffles and rose. I did try a few different combinations before and maybe someone more educated than I can tell you why this works so well but believe me when I say it just does. The light fluffiness of those Eggo waffles, the crispness of the wine and, just because dry waffles ain't it, you've got to top that bad boy off with some butter flavored syrup. It will truly help you make it to bed time.
2. Merlot and Goldfish
My six-year-old is a sucker for cheese-flavored snacks, Goldfish in particular. We always have them. We buy them in bulk. If I ever need to munch on something in between tasks, it's usually Goldfish. So imagine my surprise when I had just taken a sip of my merlot and then tossed one in my mouth before running off to scrub a toilet or something and the two actually went well together. I instantly poured a handful of the cheesy snack into a plastic bowl, grabbed my wine tumbler and skipped off to complete the dreaded task. The combination did not make it any more enjoyable but it did help get me through it.
3. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cheez-It Cheddar Jack
This is one of the few times that I will suggest a specific flavor of snack and my reasoning is this: merlot usually has a slightly sweeter flavor compared to cabernet sauvignon, so the lighter taste of basic Goldfish pairs well with that. Cab, on the other hand, is drier and when you mix that with the punch that comes with the cheddar jack cheez-its?? Oh, baby...it just feels fancy somehow. There's a little bit of a tang with the cheddar jack, a bite, if you will, that sits on your tongue and dances with the fruity richness of the wine. It sounds weird but it is absolutely true.
4. Sauvignon Blanc and Cool Ranch Doritos
To be honest, we rarely have Cool Ranch Doritos in my house, so it's always a treat for me when we do. I mentioned that the main snack eater likes cheese-flavored treats so it's almost always Nacho Cheese for him and Spicy Nacho for the husband. However, one fateful movie night, when I had my own personal bag of the zesty delicacy and a glass of the herbal-leaning wine, fireworks went off on my palate. The light beverage really made the almost sour seasoning on the chip pop. It was a perfect pairing for a humid summer night. That sounded cheesy, sorry. But it was.
5. Cabernet Franc and a pepperoni pizza Lunchable
Wine and pizza go together so well that there have been dozens of lists made about types of pizzas and their perfect wine match. However, I am a mom. I've gotta make these kids eat vegetables sometimes. It's in the job description. So while I'm arguing with them about broccoli and carrots, I sometimes sneak away to enjoy a pizza Lunchable because I am an adult and I ate all of my vegetables already. I've earned it. Cabernet Franc is what you'll usually find in my tumbler with a lid because it compliments the slight spice of the pepperoni. I love spice. The berry tones in it also help to make that weird soggy crust thing taste a bit better.
You don't have to take my word for any of this. I'm just a wine drinking mom with a lot of snack foods in my house. But if you try them and you like them, please let me know! If you have any other fun pairings, I'd love to hear about them!