Cheetos with Wine

"It ain't easy bein' cheesy," says the sly, smooth voiced Chester Cheetah.  As the mascot for Cheetos, Chester graced our television screen in the early 1980's wearing dark shades and high top tennis shoes.  He was the epitome of cool.  Like many kids, I enjoyed watching cartoons after school.  When a Cheetos commercial came across the air waves my eyes were immediately glued to the screen.  In elementary school, I'd open my lunch bag hoping to find Cheetos accompanying my sandwich.  Since we bought the variety pack of chips, it was always up in the air which chips you would get.  If Cheetos were in the bag, I'd whisper a quick, "YES!"  But the best part about Cheetos was even when you finished the bag, you got to lick the cheesy goodness off your fingertips!

Barbera d'Asti and Cheetos are magic together!  Barbera d'Asti is a red wine from the Piedmont region in Italy.  It's made from the Barbera grape and produces wines that are full of black fruit and spice with good acidity and low tannins.  Together the Cheetos intensify the fruit flavors in the wine, and the wine intensifies the cheesiness of the chips.  The sharpness of the cheese balances nicely with the acidity in the wine and the acidity also helps to wash the fried cheese flavors off the tongue.  This is by far one of the best pairings I've had to date.  If you're a Cheese Puffs fan, try Blanc de Blancs Champagne.  Cheese Puff's are milder in flavor and work well with the delicate, crispness of Blanc de Blancs.  Again the wine brings out the cheese flavors in the Puffs and the Puffs bring out the fruit flavors in the wine.  The bubbles from the Champagne help to was the powdery cheese off the palate and tempt you to take another bite.  Both of these pairings are incredible!