Excerpted from Diane McMartin’s This Calls for A Drink!.
Whether it’s a snowstorm, hurricane, or an earthquake, there’s always an impulse to stock up on food and toilet paper before or during a disaster. And what people tend to buy is delicious, empty-carb-laden junk food. The end is nigh, might as well eat up! Plus, you’re being sensible, because it’s nonperishable! Right, that’s the reason . . .
Why not pair your favorite guilty pleasure junk foods with great wine and beer? If this is really the end, you may as well go out with a bang.
Cheddar & Sour Cream Flavored Ruffles. Are these laced with crack in addition to dehydrated cheese powder? Because they are really, really hard to stop eating before you’re practically ill. Diabolical Ruffles call for something crisp and refreshing, yet assertively flavored, to stand up to that artificial cheese powder. This calls for sparkling wine, obviously. Cava is great, but pop some Champagne if you’ve got it. Remember, this might be the end! Don’t save that bottle for a special occasion. Because all we’ve got is THIS MOMENT, and EACH OTHER (you’ll drunkenly say to your roommate, hugging her and making her feel awkward while she reassures you that this is just a power outage during a not-even-very-big summer rainstorm).
For Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts (no frosting, for the love of Christ!), try a white Port. Tawny or ruby Port can be a little heavy or overwhelming. After all, you wouldn’t want to drown out the subtle wheat notes of the Pop-Tart pastry. White Port is a fortified dessert wine just like regular Port, but it’s made with white grapes, so it’s lighter in body and color, and doesn’t share the red versions’ drying, tannic grip. The result is a wine that tastes sort of like marmalade and toasted hazelnuts. Rozès makes a delicious white Port that’s great chilled if your toaster works and you’ve heated up your Pop-Tart, but you can drink it room temperature as well.
For Pizzeria Pretzel Combos, you’ll want something that marries with the powdered oregano and rich, delicious cheese product. Try a classic Chianti! If it’s good enough for takeout pizza, it’s good enough for its flavor-crystal equivalent. Fiore makes an affordable Chianti Classico, but if you want something that’s really structured, dark-fruited, and serious, try the Chianti Classico from Castello dei Rampolla.
Honey Mustard & Onion Pretzel Pieces call for a light, yet assertive red that won’t get lost when up against mustard’s punchy, vinegary flavor. A wine heavy on Mourvèdre, a grape from the south of France known for aromas like leather, barnyard, and smoke, would be the perfect thing to wash these down, in addition to lots of water, because they are incredibly salty (not that that is usually a deterrent). Mas d’Alezon is a unique small estate in France’s Languedoc region, and their Faugères Montfalette is earthy and full of ripe, brambly, wild berry flavor, yet doesn’t feel heavy or cloying. If only you could say the same thing for that sticky honey mustard coating . . .
For the sweet, smoky, salty wallop that Barbecue Fritos pack, a smoked beer will amplify those flavors. The newfangled Honey BBQ Flavor Twists are also great for their more substantial texture, but the old-school regular barbecue flavor is damned delicious, too. Rauchbier is a German style of beer that harkens back to the good old days when all malt was dried over an open flame, giving the resulting beer a smoky flavor. Go classic with the Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen from Brauerei Heller-Trum. They make beers brewed from smoke-kilned malt in a couple of different styles, but they’ll all have that distinctive charred flavor, which really brings out the sweetness of the Fritos. If it’s too difficult to track down an authentic Rauchbier, Stone Smoked Porter is one of the first smoked beers made by an American brewery. A darker take on this style, it gets its flavor from peat-smoked malt, so it has a bit of that salty funk that peat has—a perfect complement to salty corn chips.
About the Book:
What wine goes with your life?
Any decent wine book can tell you what to drink with a grilled steak. But what’s the best wine to pair with a blind date? For watching the Oscars? For a big birthday? Written by Diane McMartin, this inspired drinking guide matches wines and beers to the significant—and not so significant—events in life.
Binge-watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Try a Riesling—refreshing but with depth. Dumped a jerk? Celebrate with a sparkling rosé. Here are hundreds of unexpected recommendations delivered in a voice that is fresh, hip, full of attitude, and as solidly informative as it is entertaining. It’s everything you need to know to drink like an adult, even if you don’t always behave like one.
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