When you find yourself on the couch with a bag of McDonald’s or Taco Bell, craving wine, embrace it. Regardless of what you might think, fast food and wine do go together, and Charles Ford, General Manager & Sommelier of S.K.Y. Restaurant Chicago came up with the pairings to prove it.
So read on, grab a bottle, and live your best damn life.
“Rosé is a perfect palate-cleanser after you dip a nugget into the McDonald’s Honey Mustard sauce,” says Ford. “It’s cold and crisp, perfect for getting your taste buds ready for the next handful of nuggets and fries.” Yum!
For this pairing, Ford suggests Forty Ounce Rosé, the new 40-oz bottles that the Internet is loving (but any rosé will work!). “Chicken nuggets are great for brown-bag malt beverages, just this time change up what’s inside the bag,” he says.
Ford recommends a sparkling wine to go with your Big Mac — classy and delicious! He suggests Ca’ del Bosco Brut Cuvée Prestige: “It’s a great, zippy bottle with enough body to stand up to the Big Mac.”
The wine is a blend of chardonnay, pinot bianco, and pinot nero. “This is a killer bottle of bubbly that out-drinks a handful of Champagnes,” Ford adds. Sign me up.
Ford says the Whopper is a serious meal, and he likes pairing it with 2015 Day Wines Papacito Pétillant Naturel.
“With a serious sense of body coming from the Primitivo used to make Papacito, this bottle is up to the task of equalizing the Whopper,” he says. And that certainly is no easy task.
“A wine that sucks the moisture out of your mouth is the exact opposite of the pairing you’re looking for [with a Baconator],” says Ford. For this, he recommends Bodegas Barco de Piedra Tempranillo, which has juicy red fruits and no lingering tannic finish.
“The Barco de Piedra makes your mouth water a little bit, making only a juicer bite for that bacon masterpiece from Wendy’s,” he says. Almost as good as the pairing is the price, which Ford says is about $10 at local retailers.
“In all honesty, I have to say that the best pairing for Wendy’s is a Frosty,” Ford says, joking. But if you’re looking to enjoy deliciously salty fries with some wine, he says to try the 2015 Lemelson Vineyards Pinot Noir.
“Potatoes are smooth and creamy, and Lemelson makes some of the silkiest textured Pinot Noir in Oregon,” Ford says, adding that this bottle is “a great pick for almost any occasion.”
Ford says acidic wines will hold up to Chipotle. “Just about everyone who eats here has their own solid go-to in regards to the burrito,” he says. “For a wine to go with this dish, it needs to be clean and crisp, with lots of acidity.”
He recommends 2013 Vidal + Vidal Verdejo Cepas Muy Viejas. “Acid in fruity wines acts like a highlighter of all the flavors going on in your mouth,” Ford says. “That cilantro-lime dressing [Chipotle puts] in their white rice is perfect for a Rueda Verdejo.”
Ford’s Taco Bell philosophy is to douse your Crunchwrap with hot sauce. Whether or not you agree, you’ll appreciate his selection for this pairing, a 2014 Buil & Giné ‘Nosis’ Verdejo.
He says it’s lower in alcohol, making it “the perfect vehicle for that hot, saucy Crunchwrap.” He adds that “the wine is fermented in stainless steel — this gives off the cleanliness your palette seeks out when you’re in the mood for a thirst-quenching wine.”
“Don’t mess with fried chicken and Champagne. This pairing hits the mark on so many levels,” says Ford, who prefers Champagne Pierre Paillard Les Parcelles’ Bouzy Grand Cru, which he describes as “crispy and bubbly, fatty and refreshing.”
“Just Pinot Noir and Chardonnay blended here,” he says. “The bottle has a pretty low dosage, keeping its mouthfeel very trim and elegant.”
And nothing says fancy AF like a Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich and Champagne.
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