Anyone else find themselves at a loss for dinner plans these days? Maybe to be more concise, making dinner every night feels like a lot, especially with just two of us. Pre-COVID, we mixed up our weeknight meals with dining out. It didn’t have to be fancy, it just got you off the hook for cooking every night. Truly, this is one of the bennies of having grown ass children. Read my lips: I don’t have to cook dinner every night anymore. They would probably argue that I didn’t when they were at home, but that’s another conversation. Let’s focus on the positive, and what I’ve learned about simple “meal planning” and most importantly what wine to drink with said simple meal.
Adding wine to anything you prepare or put out for dinner, makes it feel like more of a meal. So does sitting down. So grab your box of Ritz crackers and your block of cheddar cheese and cop a squat. I’ve done the research for you- which wines pair best with our I-don’t-want-to-cook dinners - aka chic-food.
Kris’ List of Personal Wine Pairings with 10 Chic-Food Meals
Avocado Toast + Vinho Verde
Maybe to some avocado toast is a thing of the past. Whatever, my daughters and I were eating avocado toast before it had a name. We were the original avocado toast for dinner trio. Maybe we invented avocado toast? It’s what you do with the other half of an unused avocado. Obviously. The effervescent lemony lime crispness of a Vinho Verde cuts right through the richness of avocado – these belong together. Bonus: Vinho Verde is typically a lower alcohol wine hovering in the 9% to 11%.
Eggs + Sparkling Wine or Champagne
When was the last time you went to brunch and had a mimosa? Just sayn’. There’s a good reason why many of our favorite breakfast foods come with a glass of bubbles. I prefer a dryer variety, a Cava, or if my date is buying, a glass of Champagne, but knock yourself out. If you’re a Prosecco drinker, do that! Bubbles stand up to a variety of foods, and are a repeating theme here in my non-expert opinion. The bubbles and acid cuts like a butter knife through egg-iness. That being said, don’t get French Toast with Caramel Syrup and expect for a match made in heaven. When dealing with the sweets, you absolutely want to venture into the sweeter wines or be forewarned – ICK.
Popcorn + Bubbles
As I said, a recurring theme for me. Nothing tickles me more than a bowl of buttery salty goodness and my crisp Cava. Easy. And who hasn’t had popcorn for dinner… fes up.
While we’re venturing into True Confessions, let’s talk about...
Doritos + Rosé
Some may say you would want to go with a light almost red, but give me a French style dry Rosé anyday with the chip made in heaven. I believe Doritos are a food group that should appear somewhere next to the vegetable base categorically speaking. Challenge me.
Truffle Fries + Rose´
Again, we have a pairing that is meant to be. I suppose if you’re eating a cheeseburger with those fries, this would be a consideration, but who eats a cheeseburger with their truffle fries.
Soft Pretzel + Crémant
This one came to me at an d’Alsace tasting years ago, and what a delightfully wonderful surprise it was. That yeasty bready goodness with a creamy bready Crémant.
Here’s a fun fact taken from Wine Enthusiast ““Crémant” is the French term for traditional-method sparkling wines made outside Champagne. This means that the second fermentation, which gives the wine its bubbles, must happen inside the bottle. That’s followed by a minimum aging period of nine months on spent yeast cells, or lees. This maturation gives the wines their creamy texture.”
Tuna Fish Salad Sandwich + Sauvignon Blanc
Tuna is a regular go-to weeknight meal. Or a regular go-to when I’ve convinced my SO it’s a good idea. Said sammie with an icy cold, crisp and citrusy SauvBlanc.
Macs-N-Cheese + Chardonnay
Personally I’m not a big California Chard drinker, but I know many many who love them. All the same, a bubbling hot, gooey stringy melt in your face plate of Macs-N-Cheese does go really well with a big, slightly oaked, buttery Chard. I still would prefer a more mineral forward French chard here, but that’s a personal preference. I encourage you to try both and report back.
And this brings me to my last, all important dinner food…
Some love their chocolate with bubbles. I don’t get it. It would have to be a Demi-sec affair to go there, and still I’m taking a pass on that combo. I’m going to jump the rails here and suggest two different suggestions.
Dark Chocolate + Mezcal
In the spirit of the matching flavors concept, try a dark 70% borderline chili dark chocolate with a sip of Mezcal. Wowza. It’s a mouthful, but oh so fascinating.
Dark Chocolate + Strega
This is a lesser known Italian herbal digestif with a crazy beautiful flavor. It’s very similar to Chartreuse, and less expensive. Try this with a mellower dark chocolate, say around a 55%, a little more sugar to play with the herbal sweetness of Strega.
It’s important to say that at the end of the day, I’m no expert, I’m an enthusiast and opinions are like, well we all have one. If you like the way something tastes with something else, then that’s yours. Do not let the wine snobs ridicule you when you order a Pinot Grigio with your petite filet.
It’s your mouth, do what you wanna do.