Having a wine tasting party, or just feel like having some wine? People have no problem cracking their favourite beer and drinking it with whatever snacks are around but for some reason, we get intimidated when choosing a wine with our food or we feel guilty drinking wine with something we might not feel is suitable.
Wine can actually pair well with lots of easy-to-find things. Here’s a quick guide to 7 perfect snacks to pair with wine that won’t make it taste like battery acid…
Cheese and crackers are always a pretty safe bet, but some are definitely safer options than others. Hard, nutty cheese? Best for full-bodied whites like Chardonnay, especially if oaked. Goats cheese? Try zippy, fresh whites like Sauvignon Blanc. For blue cheeses, forget what you’ve been told about dry red wines; it’s sweet wines that sing with the saltiness with these – whites particularly! Check out our longer article on wine and cheese pairings here.
2. Prawns (shrimps)
A simple platter of prawns for some reason feels much more glamorous that it actually is. Pop the Prosecco to go with them or a cool, steely, fairly neutral white, such as Chablis, Pinot Grigio, Muscadet or Picpoul.
I can almost hear you sigh with relief. Yes, popcorn is actually a very, easy pairing with a lot of wines. Whether salty, sweet or coated in caramel, there will be an ideal match. For salty, we like an Extra Brut Prosecco. Buttery? Needs a viognier or a Chardonnay. Here’s a longer article on the ‘science’ – ahem – of matching wine and popcorn.
4. Dark Chocolate
Ok, so chocolate is one of the hardest things to pair with wine but it’s also one match we REALLY want to work! If you’re going to do it, your best bet is to stick to very dark chocolate with a full-bodied red. Our favourite match is dark chocolate and Syrah. If it’s white or flavoured chocolate however, we have you covered in this feature.
5. Cold Meats
Boom! The easiest match in the world. Salami, parma ham, bresaola, pastrami…Lighter to medium-bodied reds are fantastic here. Try a Gamay (Beaujolais anyone?), Cabernet Franc or even an Italian Barbera or Chianti.
6. Crisps (chips) & Tortilla chips
We’re presuming there’s a lot of salt and /or flavour going on in this bowl. Off-dry whites or slightly sweeter Prosecco styles (‘Extra Dry’ or ‘Dry’) are a very easy match for the salt. For jalapeno spice however, dial up the fruitiness and sweetness in the wine to foil it. Try a Sauvignon blanc from New Zealand or a light, bubbly red, slightly chilled such as a . dry Lambrusco. It will provide a really interesting, quirky match too.
The tomato and garlic on a pizza can actually make your wine taste a bit metallic. There is a reason why Italian wines go so well with it though, so fear not! Sangiovese and Montepulciano are good matches on the red side. For whites, try fruity Italians like Fiano or Trebbiano. They’ll quench your thirst for sure and stand up to the acidity and garlic.
Have you found any perfect wine and snack pairing that we need to add to this list? Tweet us @TheWinerist! In the meantime if it’s serious snacks and wine you need, try one of our walking food tours with pintxos in San Sebastian.