Food & Drink

Final Presidential Debate Drink Pairings

If ever there was a reason to drink, it’s this election season. I wake up every day wondering if it’s all been some sort of fever dream, but no, this is all really happening, and even weirder, we’re coming up on the third and final presidential debate. While I can’t tell you what snazzy pantsuit Secretary Clinton will wear or whether The Donald will finally snap and actually physically attack her on stage, I can suggest a few beverage pairings for different topics the debate will cover. My advice is to pick the one that speaks to you the most and stick with that for the night, but feel free to grab one of everything and do a little debate beverage-pairing taste-off with your friends.

So drink up, settle in, and try to remember that this is an actual election and not a reality show. Or maybe pretending that it IS a reality show will make it easier? I don’t know anymore. Where’s my rosé?


The Economy

Is the economy recovering? Is it in the toilet and any progress is just some elaborate ruse by the Obama administration? Are you just thrilled when you can get your Mint account to actually sync up with your bank accounts and tell you how much money you don’t have? Reward yourself with America’s most popular and profitable beer style, the lager. For an especially crisp, refreshing take on this style that’ll really help you get into the election season spirit, try the Brau Pils from DC Brau, a popular Washington, DC, brewery. Stock up, folks. It’s going to be a long night.


Foreign Relations

As former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton knows a thing or two about foreign relations. So let’s toast her political legacy with a delicious Riesling from New York State. In an article for Thrillist about her favorite things to eat and drink in New York, Hills suggests “If you’re in the neighborhood, stop in for a glass of some of New York’s best Riesling” from Fox Run. But we don’t have time for a leisurely afternoon in wine country right now, so any New York State Riesling will do—off-dry (slightly sweet) styles will go down easy with a variety of debate-watching snacks.


National Security

As a wine professional in the DC area, I’ve chosen wines for more than a few generals and their important dinner meetings, and their wine of choice is almost always something full-bodied, red, and American. Nothing is more quintessentially American than Zinfandel. Sipping on a really great one from a classic producer like Ridge will remind you that America is already pretty great. Ridge’s East Bench Zinfandel is a classic bold, brambly Zin, and it’s fairly, shall we say, full-bodied. At a time like this, a little elevated alcohol might not be the worst thing.



We may never quite understand Trump’s tax plan, but if taxes make you grumpy, you’ll be in good company in France, where complaining about taxes is a national past time. It may not be rosé season anymore, but I downed quite a bit of rosé during the last debate, and it really made the whole thing more tolerable. Channel your inner cranky Frenchman with a fun and refreshing rosé from the Loire Valley. I really love Fabrice Gasnier’s Chinon Rosé. Made from Cabernet Franc, it’s a slight change of pace from the super-pale-pink Provencal rosés that have been so popular for the last few summers, making it perfect for fall drinking.

Hopefully you’ve found something to make your debate-watching experience a little more fun. Don’t forget to tune in at 9pm Eastern, 6pm Pacific, with a glass of something delicious!

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