Here's a question — is there any better pairing than reality television and wine? Answer: no. Not even unexpected animal friendships, although it's a close one. And that's why I've chosen some wines to pair with Real Housewives franchises, so you can get the full experiences of these shows from the comfort of your couch. Because, honestly, even if seeing Bethenny Frankel going ham on the rest of the New York Housewives has you craving a Skinnygirl margarita, who has the stamina to get up and make one? Let alone to tear themselves away from the drama on their screen for the amount of time it would take to make one? Nobody, that's who.
Much better to get yourself a bottle of wine, so that all you have to do is tip it over enough to pour some into your glass without missing a moment of Kenya Moore twirl-twirl-twirling through Atlanta like the Gone With The Wind-fabulous creature she is. (Or, hey, you can drink right out of the bottle if you want. I won't tell, and these ladies won't mind.) Each franchise is unique and different from the others in its own special way, so I chose wines to draw out those nuances just like a food pairing might at dinner. It's The Real Housewines, if you will. So, break open the wine cellar, grab that remote, and let's get down to business.
1. The Real Housewives of Orange County
This is the earliest franchise — it began in 2006 — so we're going traditional, for sure. Plus, it's based in California, so I'm thinking a citrusy, acidic Sauvignon Blanc. I was tempted to go Chardonnay with this crew, because duh. But I think a Sauvignon Blanc has just enough full-bodied Chardonnay, with just enough pucker to explain the faces that these women make behind each others' backs. Plus citrus, orange... you get it.
2. The Real Housewives of New York City
Once again, I have to steer myself away from the obvious choice, which is Pinot Grigio, because these ladies are much more Champagne. (Sorry Ramona.) Not only are they always celebrating something, whether it's an opening or a charity event, but those bubbles go right to your head. The next thing you know, you're screaming at your best friend.
3. The Real Housewives of Atlanta
For those richly-layered, complex RHOA ladies, you know I had to choose a wine that goes with everything. A bottle of Pinot Noir is classy AF, but it can also stand up against strong flavors where other wines can't. Pair it with a juicy cut of steak — because these women don't deprive themselves — or a light cheese and fruit plate, and it stands up against all of it. Just like the cast, you're gonna have every single flavor coming through, forming an addictive, watchable show, even when you might expect them to clash.
4. The Real Housewives of New Jersey
It was never gonna be anything but Chianti, and I think we all know that. Bold, Italian, and utterly unapologetic, it's the perfect glass to impress your guests as it's spilling into their laps after you flip the table.
5. The Real Housewives of DC
Your best bet with this one-season franchise is table wine, because it's a blend of multiple varietals, and you can sneak anything in there. Just make sure you take the label off and replace it with something more impressive if you're planning on bringing it to a party at the White House. Tareq and Michaele Salahi, I'm looking at you.
6. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
Welcome to Beverly Hills, where life really is all diamonds and Rosé. It's a mix of red and white, because you never know where you stand with these ladies, or what you're going to get. It can be sparkling or not, but either way it's festive. It's for drinking in the sun with your best friend when you're beyond the chitchat and ready to have some real talk. I know Lisa Vanderpump agrees with me on this.
7. The Real Housewives of Miami
Um, what's a wine that is theoretically good, you're just never in the mood for it, and you end up having to throw out the bottle because it turns to vinegar? That's basically what happened with this franchise, as it ran for three seasons to sagging ratings before being pulled. Let's say Merlot for them; it fell out of favor after Sideways , so it doesn't get a lot of love. And who wants red wine in that Florida climate? It all looks good on paper, but I can't explain what went wrong with the formula. People just aren't that into it.
8. The Real Housewives of Potomac
How about a nice Moschofilero? It's an obscure varietal that most people haven't heard of and I can barely pronounce. And part of me doesn't believe that it's real. You see the parallels here.
9. The Real Housewives of Dallas
Just like these ladies, the thing about White Zinfandel is that it might seem overly sweet, and it isn't everyone's cup of tea. But boy, oh boy, should you not underestimate it. One too many cups of "Jesus Juice," and you'll find yourself snoozing on the bar top after Brandi Redmond and Stephanie Hollman have drunk you under the table.
These ladies are serious about their libations, so you should be too. Obviously, make sure you're all holed up at home before popping a bottle, and always drink responsibly. These ladies won't let up until you're loosey-goosey enough to have a screaming match on vacation or admit your husband was lying about his cancer that whole time. It's all too real without a couple glasses, so don't come unprepared if you can help it.
Images: Bravo; Giphy (9)