If you're waking up with a slight hangover from last night's Zinfandel-and-Oreos binge, I have amazing news: according to some wine tasters, pairing wine and junk food isn't just for when you're going through a rough breakup anymore (although, come on, I think most of us knew that one already). People are willing to pay experts to find out which types of vino go best with their favorite "cheat day" treats. Wine connoisseurs just took a while to catch up, probably because their job literally entails being a little buzzed, all the time. Come to think of it, if I didn't have a paralyzing fear of wine mouth, I'd totally be considering a career change right now.
This tiny-but-important-revolution in wine tasting has come about slowly over the past few years, but there's definitely a market for it. Kevin McNamara, tasting room manager at Paradise Springs Winery, originally held his wine and junk food events by request, but they now occur every October after demand grew too great, NPR reports. Wine author Anthony Giglio held a similar seminar at the Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival, which ended up selling out. According to McNamara, "there's no [particular] demographic" for his events, so I think it's fair to say that literally everyone agrees that wine and junk food is a match made in heaven.
There are only a few rules the experts seem to follow: either pair things that complement each other, like McNamara's suggestion of Tootsie Rolls and port, or things that contrast, such as Riesling and a spicy burger. Most importantly, Young Winos of DC founder Jess Hagadorn told NPR, "drink what you like." Seems like good advice to me.
We here at Bustle take wine pairings like these very seriously, and have previously helped you decide what wine goes best with your Halloween candy and your Chipotle order. So if you need some help planning what to drink with those Pringles that have been calling your name, we've got you covered. Like any self-respecting college graduate, I have extensive experience consuming a staggering variety and quantity of junk food. As for the wine, I may not be an expert wine taster, per se, but I am most definitely an expert wine drinker.
Without further ado, I bring to you my favorite junk food and wine suggestions.
Chardonnay and Potato Chips
Chardonnay is light and delicious. Potato chips are salty and delicious. I don't see what could possibly go wrong with this pairing.
Pinot Grigio and Lo Mein
The important part is that this can't be good lo mein — it has to specifically be terrible, from that one dubious takeout place up the street where you're kind of scared to order anything that isn't vegetarian. Bonus points if the Pinot Grigio is the $3 kind from Trader Joe's.
Riesling and Red Vines
Riesling tends to be pretty sweet in the first place, so why not pair it with something equally sugary? If you're not a fan of Red Vines but still want to make your dentist cry next time you visit, try it with Starbursts or gummy bears.
White Zinfandel and French Fries
This one has been personally tested by yours truly on many, many Friday nights, and trust me, it is so good.
Pinot Noir and Anything from Krispy Kreme, Seriously
Another personal favorite here. The red wine should balance out the insane amount of sugar and fat that makes Krispy Kreme doughnuts so darn addicting, and also probably the source of my future type II diabetes.
Remember, these are just suggestions. If you have a favorite pairing that completely goes against the guidelines above, go for it! As long as it tastes good, or at least terrible-but-intriguing, does it really matter whether a wine snob would judge you for it? Let your wine-freak flag fly!