Barrel to Bottle: Junk Food and Wine Pairings

Not every meal involves sitting down to five courses that took hours to prepare. Wine consultant Emily had the great idea to turn this into a podcast. We asked her to prepare a tasting of some of her favorite junk foods and pair them were the perfect wine. Pat normally skips the wine episodes, but he heard there were going to be nachos so he showed up.

We start off with the first course, an appetizer of some very sad-looking nachos. These aren’t loaded nachos with lovingly prepared queso, smoked chicken and homemade tortilla chips. These are bag chips with the store-brand Mexican cheese blend, on a paper plate melted in the microwave. But what happens when you pair them with Luzon Blanco, a white wine from Spain?

Alicia lived off Top Ramen Chicken in college, so she’s very familiar with the second course. Today we’re stepping things up from the 10¢ ramen to the fancy $1 ramen. Emily wanted to pair the salty, oily broth of ramen with the crisp acidity of a sparkling prosecco, and the bubbles add texture to what is just a bowl of noodles and soup. Does La Bella Prosecco elevate the ramen and take it to the next level?

It’s Pizza Time for course three! A very s****y-looking pizza, actually. Greg was told to get a $5 pizza, and although he didn’t show up with Little Caesars, he did get a very cheap pizza on corrugated cardboard. We might live in the greatest pizza city in the world, but the assignment was cheap pizza. And what better country to go to for a pizza pairing than Italy? Emily avoided the typical pizza/wine pairings and instead went with Colosi Nero D’Avola.

We’re moving on to the sweet portion of the tasting with donuts from the grocery store. Specifically, some very yeasty-ass donuts that Greg picked up at the grocery store last night. Roger might stick up for Greg’s pizza choice, but he draws the line at these donuts. That is until he has the transcendent pairing that Emily has brought, Bartenura Rosé Sparkling Moscato. It’s a very sweet wine, but you always want something your wine to be sweeter than the food you’re eating it with. Bartenura has turned a mediocre, sweaty donut into a freshly glazed strawberry delight.

Finally, today’s tasting ends with ice cream. Sadly it’s not Moose Tracks or Cookie Dough, but just plain old vanilla. The pairing for the final course is sherry. Roger goes all in right away and pours it straight on his ice cream. If there’s anyone that has an artisanal ice cream guy, it’s Roger. But even he has to admit that the Lustau San Emilio PX poured onto the vanilla ice cream is an incredible desert.

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