GOF Dish and Discuss: Wine and Junk Food Pairings


Who says wine is always classy? We have no shame in matching our favorite vinos with unexpected foods. After all, being a Girl on Food doesn’t mean being a snob. Below are our favorite wine and junk food pairings.

Popeye’s Fried Chicken & French Sparkling Wine

I am a classy lady, but I’m also from Texas. This basically means a sparkling-wine-soul-food combo was inevitable, but fried chicken with champagne just sounded like the best possible solution to a long day. I did cheat in two regards- I got chicken tenders from Popeyes because a) I hate eating meat off the bone because I’m lazy and b) Popeyes is my comfort food don’t judge and also this is technically a French sparkling wine and not an actual champagne. I’m saving the real, $40+ a bottle for the next time I can fly back to Oklahoma City and eat at my favorite college joint, but I digress.

Elizabeth Junk

Why is fried chicken and sparkling wine such an amazing combination? Mostly because champagne goes with virtually anything, but also because it actually compliments a fried food like this perfectly! The crispness and acidity cut the fat and give the palate something exiting to savor. Plus bubbles! It also makes your $8 Popeyes feel extra ~fancy~ so there’s that. Many champagnes also have a flakey pie crust quality, which means it’s perfect suited to go with that buttery biscuit you get with that fried chicken. But don’t take my word for it- hit up your favorite fried chicken spot, pop open a bottle of bubbly and have the best night in $15 can buy.

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2012 Syrah & Crispy M&Ms

I’m gonna be real here and say that this was a difficult post for me – I love wine, and I love sweets. Typical twenty-something woman, right? I’m not the pickiest wine drinker out there (not in an alcoholic sense, come on now), mainly because I find it exciting to explore all that the wine world has to offer. But there is one thing I have discovered whilst broadening my wine horizons: I may love sweets, but I prefer a dry wine over a sweet wine. So when I come to use something like this GraysOnline wine delivery service, I make sure that I select mainly dry wines so I can get the utmost satisfaction when it comes to having a meal with it too. And a dry wine pairs pretty perfectly with a sweet snack, if I do say so myself.

Liana pairing

Meet Chateau Ste. Michelle 2012 Syrah. Its smoky, straight-from-the-barrel notes add a fine contrast to pretty much any cuisine, but you don’t have to get too luxurious with it, hence the uh, crispy M&Ms… The crispy, chocolatey goodness of these colorful little guys curbs the cravings, but doesn’t contribute to a sweetness overload, thanks to the Syrah. I know, you’re probably thinking, “Wine and chocolate, so original.” But I happen to think the pairing offers a unique movie-theater-meets-wine-bar dynamic. Plus, fancy chocolate is overrated. PLUS, if you weren’t aware, crispy M&Ms totally existed years ago when I was a wee elementary school, uniform-clad kid, but they disappeared for a decade-long hiatus… and now they are back. So seriously, take advantage of them while they are here, ‘cuz you never know when Mars will retract the offer.

I hope you try this pairing so you can see for yourself how delish it is! And for the white wine lovers, I also recommend Chateau Ste. Michelle Gewurztraminer – a varietal that Washington state kills at. I have to tell you that because I’m the only blogger currently based up here, and there’s a whole world of Northwest wines that are waiting to be tasted by you. And paired with your favorite childhood candy! xoxo

Copper Ridge White Zin & Cheeze-Its

katie wine

When it comes to snack time, I’m a serious sweet n’ salty kind of lady. Bring on the wine and cheese! Well, the Cheez-It’s anyway… and make sure they’re the white cheddar flavor! The act of shoving handfuls of the creamy and smooth crackers into my mouth is only slightly classed up when I follow it with my favorite wine– please spare your laughter– white zinfandel. I’ll drink my cheap, pink “grandma wine” with pride, because I love myself and I like to drink wine that tastes like candy instead of pretending I like bitter reds (no shade to actual wine coinsurers!). The bottle I drank today was Copper Ridge’s White Zinfandel, a minor step up from my usual Two-Buck Chuck, and it was quite tasty! This snack pairing is yummy and the flavors both fall on the extreme ends of their respective salty and sweet spectrums making for a great combination.

Chardonnay & Fish Tacos from The Royal in NYC

Who needs a four star restaurant and a 1982 Cabernet when I can hightail it down to my local dive bar and pair some of my favorite no meals with some delicioso vino? Granted, I am not a snob when it comes to a yellow tail chardonnay and a tator tot pairing. In fact, I think that’s an absolute dream but is my off the beaten path suggestion for a rainy Wednesday evening when all you need is a belly full of comfort food and light buzz.

megan pairing

Exhibit A: Fish tacos and chardonnay. Everyone knows the old adage, red with meat, white with fish, and when it comes to one’s junk food pairing there is no exception. These tacos have seared cod with spices, pico de gallo, Mexican creama, avocado all bundled like a new born babe in a tortilla. Take bites of this rustic fried delight in between sips of the light oaky house blend and you will find yourself floating off on the shores of Cape Cod on a brisk weekday afternoon.

Michelle St. Chateau Riesling & Carnitas Frachos

reno pairings

Classy yet trashy is the only way I do junk food. My guilty pleasures are a glass of Michelle St. Chateau Rielsing with Carnitas Frachos. Yes, you read that right… Frachos. It’s a beautiful marriage of french fries and nachos. You just substitute the chips for fries and wash it down with that sweet glass of vino and BOOM! You are partying Reno style. #KeepItClassyReno

Cabernet Sauvignon & Jose Ole Taquitos

cab sauvWhen it comes to wine and junk food pairings, nothing beats out taqsome delicious taquitos with a glass of cabernet sauvignon. I prefer eating the Jose Ole beef and cheese taquitos found in the frozen aisle. 30 seconds in the microwave, a glass of cab, and a Law and Order: SVU marathon is the perfect combination. Cabernet sauvignon is known to pair well with heavy meats making it great with the spicy, beefy Jose Ole taquitos.

Prosecco & Wing’s from Bru’s Room in Miami

processcoIt has taken me years, but I have finally found a junk food and alcohol combo that captures the essence of who I am. Seriously. As much as I love a good Sangria, Pinot Grigio, and especially Reisling, nothing says “I’m classy, but will still check you” quite like a champagne and hot wings combo. If I am feeling extra fancy, I will switch to Prosecco and chicken wings, for no other reason that most people have never even heard of Prosecco (in South Florida), let alone ordered it in a restaurant. I never substitute the hot wings because fried chicken wings drenched in blazing hot sauce is a national treasure. Some of the best wings in South Florida can be found a Bru’s Room. Sometimes after a long week at work, I treat myself to an order of hot wings and get a bottle of either Lamarca Prosecco or Vieux Clicquot champagne. Nothing else like it.

Barefoot Pinot Girgio with a Sour Patch Watermelon Slurpee & Doritos Unloaded from 7-Eleven

pairing julianneThere’s nothing like being that person and mixing wine in a Slurpee outside a 7-Eleven in broad daylight (I had to work that night, don’t judge!). It really makes you feel Grace Kelly level elegant.

This was my first time trying Doritos Unloaded, there was something very blush worthy about having the poor 7-Eleven employees make a new batch since they were out. They just seemed annoyed with me. Then I bit into it. Lord. It tastes nothing like Doritos. It’s just cornmeal and flour coated over fake American cheese. Not my proudest moment. But I am happy to share it with you today.

What’s your favorite wine + junk food pairing? Let us know in the comments below!
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Actress and Founder of Girls on Food: I was born and raised in the suburbs of Sacramento, California. I grew up a typical “McDonald’s kid”. I was very picky about what I ate and refused to try new foods. No fun, I know. My Mom started taking me on trips to Europe when I was a teenager and that’s when my palate for finer foods began to develop. Some of my most memorable favorite meals include Veal Bolognese in Rome, Gyros in Athens, Paella in Lisbon and Duck L’Orange in Paris. While this helped me grow out of a fast food phase, I still eat out quite a bit. I know I should be at home cooking, but I love dining out. I started working in restaurants in various front of the house positions at age 15. Since my start, I’ve worked in every casual restaurant setting you can think of: a teriyaki stand, brewery, sushi nightclub, trendy Mexican, family-style Italian, American diner, pizza parlor and even a BLT themed food truck. I can't help but notice that many of the LA food bloggers don't have any sort of background working in a restaurant. A lot of my perspective on food and dining out comes from my years of experience in the biz. Since starting this blog, I have shot appearances on a couple of cooking competition shows as a taster (including MasterChef Junior and another upcoming show). We have also started producing a Youtube Channel. IMDb page here: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm2023647/ For this site I contribute content from all over Los Angeles (and the world) to showcase my favorite fine-dining spots, steakhouses, exclusive supper clubs, Hollywood nightlife and our very own #GOFx events, which I plan and coordinate.