Welcome back for another wine and food pairing blog, and today we're talking about your guilty pleasure, your drunken pit stop, and your god-send when you're starving on a road trip...why, it's fast food of course!
Never had a glass of wine with your fast food meal? Well, you're probably not alone, but the thing is, those high-fat, paper wrapped morsels make the perfect accompaniment to a glass of wine. That's right. A beverage fit for a king with one of the cheapest meals you can buy = match made in heaven.
Before jumping right into the good stuff, I must preference by stating I did all my own tastings and vetted each meal against a series of wines to ensure each combination I'm about to share is worthy of a gold medal. Why on earth would I eat 5 fast food meals in 5 days? Easy! So you won't have to! So whether you visit your drive through for date-night, drunk-night, or done-with-this-pandemic night, buckle up because we're going for a trip down fast food lane...cheers, Corkers!
#5: Arby's Hot Ham and Cheese Slider with Kabinett Riesling
Why it works: Who doesn't love thinly sliced, pit-smoked ham with melty cheese on a soft slider roll? Since the ham offers both sweet hickory and salty flavors, it pairs really nicely with the acidity and sweet, peachy notes of the Riesling. What is Kabinett? It's a term identifying the sweetness level in the wine, which For Kabinett is 148-188 g/L. The crispness in the wine also pairs wonderfully with the nuttiness of the Swiss cheese and with the sweet rolls! A win - win!
#4: Taco Bell Cinnamon Twists with Chenin Blanc
Why it works: Chenin Blanc is a lovely versatile wine that can vary greatly in sweetness, depending on when the grapes are harvested. Especially in the Loire Valley, the grapes that are harvested last are sometimes subject to "noble rot", which despite the name, is actually a good thing; it intensifies both the sweetness and the flavor profile of the wine. The result? A sweet and creamy beverage that pairs perfectly with desserts! The wine features signature notes of toasted almond, salted butter, allspice, and baked apple making it a lovely compliment to this classic cinnamon and sugar sweet. With this winning combination, you'll be doing the twist in no time!
#3: Burger King Whopper with Syrah
Why it works: The beef patties from BK have that signature flame-grilled taste that make it far superior to other fast food burgers (which shall not be named.)This characteristic also makes it a delightful mate to Syrah, which is a rich "meaty" wine featuring notes of black pepper, bacon fat, and sweet tobacco. Simply delicious! Pro tip: if you plan ahead and decant your Syrah for at least an hour, you're guaranteed to witness the magic of this pairing in your mouth.
#2: McDonald's Chicken McNuggets and French Fries with Sparkling Wine
Why it works: The magic that happens when sparkling wine meets fried, high-fat foods is undeniable. The bubbles cut the salt and compliment the crispiness of the fries perfectly! If you really want to go all out, try it with Champagne *chef's kiss*.
#1: Popeye's Chicken Sandwich with Cava
Similar to the situation with the Mickey D's fries, the bubbles and acidity in the Cava is the perfect way to cut through the fat and saltiness of the fried chicken. Each sip cleanses the palate and somehow leaves you hankering for another bite. Why Cava over other sparkling wine options? It's wickedly affordable! Not only that, but Cava is dry, crisp, and refreshing, and since it's made with the traditional Champagne method, it features those bready notes we all know and love: brioche, toast, butter, and sourdough bread. Tantalizingly tasty!
There you have it, Corkers! Five fast-food favorites paired with beverages fit for kings. As always, drop a comment and let me know your favorite pairings!
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Until next time...Cheers!