Loaded Baked Potato Pringles with Wine

Pringles® are addicting.  The moment you pop the airtight seal and catch a whiff of the delicious Loaded Baked Potato scent, you're hooked.  I think the serving size should be changed to include the caloric content of the entire can.  I don't know a person alive who can stop themselves from eating more than the suggested serving.  It's as if they put some sort of chemical substance in them that makes your brain tell your hand to keep reaching in the can and stuffing your face until its empty.  And as kid who loved to play with my food, Pringles® served as the perfect duck lips to annoy my grandmother with by making quacking noises.  Several times I attempted to take a sip of a drink with the chips placed like this in my mouth.  Crazy as it sounds I was able to accomplish it since Pringles® are so durable.  Loaded Baked Potato is my favorite flavor.  The visual I get when I think of this flavor convinced me to try them.  Needles to say, I wasn't disappointed.  True to my wine loving nature my next question was, "Hmm, what wine should I pair with Pringles®?"

Duck lips and wine.  Now that's what I call sophistication!  Contrary to popular belief, Pringles® are fried, not baked.  When thinking of what wine to pair with my favorite flavor I had to take the greasiness of the food into consideration.  In the end I chose Chablis.  Chablis is a white wine made from the Chardonnay grape in Burgundy, France.  The wine has aromas of flowers, green apple and citrus with a distinct note of flint or steel from the soil.  Unlike many of the big, rich, buttery and oaky Chardonnays most people are familiar with, this one is quite different.  The cool climate gives the wine a lighter body and incredible spark of acidity that is missing in most "New World" Chardonnays.  After a bite of the food and then a sip of the wine I notice the sour cream and chive flavors spring forth.  Even the bacon flavor makes a small cameo appearance.  Both the wine and the chip feel light and crisp, mirroring each other.  Neither the wine nor the food out does the other.  There is really a balance of flavors and synergy that happens when you combine both.  The acidity in the wine washes the salt and grease off the tongue and I find myself continuing to reach in the can for another chip accompanied by another sip of wine.  Other wines to try with Loaded Baked Potato Pringles® are Pinot Noir (esp. Oregon or New Zealand), Chinon, Pinot Grigio, Kabinett Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc (esp. New Zealand), Cava, Champagne and Sparkling wine.  Cheers!

Chicken 'N' Waffles with Wine

Salty fried chicken with sweet, syrupy waffles?  I remember asking, "Do you eat them together?" I thought about it for a moment and realized it could work.  A play on salty and sweet, like peanut butter and jelly.  Roscoe's House of Chicken 'N' Waffles was all I heard Brandon talk about the first year we started dating.  He would say, "Next time we're in California we have to stop there!"  I had never experienced fried chicken with waffles in the same sitting and couldn't understand what all the fuss was about.  I should point out however that Roscoe's is extremely famous.  It was mentioned in Quentin Tarantino's movie "Jackie Brown" as well as the films Swingers and Rush Hour.  Snoop Dogg took Larry King to Roscoe's on Larry King Live in 2008 and it was even mentioned in the Notorious B.I.G's song "Going back to Cali" many years ago.  The opportunity presented itself one Thanksgiving to make our way out to my mother's house in southern California.  Brandon hadn't forgotten about his craving for Roscoe's chicken 'n' waffles and on our drive home we stopped by.  I couldn't believe how long the wait for a table was until I took that first bite.  The crunch of the chicken along with a bite of the syrupy, sweet waffles somehow worked perfectly together.  You can only guess what my next question was, "Why don't we have a Roscoe's in Las Vegas!"

To my surprise, Roscoe's House of Chicken 'N' Waffles had a bar inside the restaurant.  Although I'm not sure if they were serving an off-dry Prosecco, it would have been my first choice if it were not for the long drive home.  Prosecco comes from the Veneto region of Italy and is slightly sweeter than many other sparkling wines (be warned that some of the driest versions are labeled "extra dry" or "extra brut").  Dry again means almost no sugar.  You want a slightly sweeter Prosecco with chicken 'n' waffles so that the wine doesn't taste bitter against the sugar in the syrup.  The wine is full of citrus, green apple and floral aromas and is also "frizzante", meaning slightly sparkling.  For those of you who don't care for the more aggressive bubbles, this one's for you.  After a bite of the chicken 'n' waffles and then a sip of the wine, I notice the sweetness of the waffles spring forward.  The wine feels refreshing against such an intense bite of greasy yet thick food.  The slight sparkle from the bubbles help to wash the grease and butter off the tongue and re-fresh the palate.  Other wines to try with chicken 'n' waffles are white Burgundy, a buttery Chardonnay, German Riesling, off-dry sparkling wine/Cava and demi-sec Champagne.  *For the drier style wines I've mentioned above, please be warned that too much maple syrup can ruin the wine. Cheers!

Fish 'N' Chips with Wine

Wear green or die!  Well not really, but as kid I was terrified of getting pinched for not sporting green on St. Patrick’s Day.   It was always funny when someone forgot the holiday and as you leaned in to pinch their arm they’d yell, “No, I have green on my underwear!”  Who were they kidding?  I've heard every line in the book, “My eyes have green in them,” or “There’s green on the bottom of my shoe!”  As a child I also believed there was a pot of gold waiting on the end of every rainbow, if only I could find it before the Leprechaun did.  And if I happened to find a patch of grass with clovers, I would spend hours trying to find a lucky four-leaf one.   Today I celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by heading to a local Irish Pub and ordering fish ‘n’ chips.  And true to my nature, I find the perfect glass of wine to pair with one of my favorite dishes.

I love anything fried.  Plus this dish incorporates my all time favorite food, French fries!  When it comes to fried foods you need a wine that can cut through the grease.  I always ask people, "Would you drink a glass of milk with fish 'n' chips?"  No!  The thought of it is horrible.  We like drinks like beer or soda with fried foods because the crispness of the beverage mirrors the crispness of the food and helps to wash the grease off the tongue.  Bubbles help to achieve this as well as high acid wines.  I personally prefer New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc for its crisp acidity and vegetal, citrus driven flavors.  I love fish 'n' chips with tarter sauce and vinegar.  Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand won't be ruined by the condiments due to its intensity of flavor.  Other wines to try with fish 'n'chips are sparkling wines, Champagne, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Blanc, Soave, dry Rose, Chardonnay (no oak), Riesling and other crisp white wines.  Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Corn Dog with Wine

We moved to Redondo Beach at the start of third grade.  I was used to moving often, but hoped this would be the final place we'd call home.  Our apartment was located just blocks from the ocean and the famous Redondo Beach Pier.  There were pros and con's to moving somewhere new.  The pros were that no one knew you, but this was also a con since it meant you had to try to make friends with kids who had usually grown up together their entire life.  It wasn't long before I found a group of girls to have slumber parties and days spent swimming at the beach with.  One of our favorite things to do was to ride our bikes to the Pier.  The agenda was always the same, first we'd head to the arcade and then it was off to enjoy a corn dog.  I think the corn dog was actually my favorite part.  I always dumped extra mustard on top and licked the stick clean, since many of us know it's the last little bit left on the stick that's the most delicious!  What I wouldn't give to live near the beach again!

A corn dog and wine?  Yes! It's DELICIOUS!  I can't help but giggle when I have this pairing.  I think it's because corn dogs are so much apart of my childhood and here I am enjoying it with a glass of my favorite thing on earth.  I personally enjoy white Burgundy (Chardonnay from France) with a corn dog and mustard.  Maybe part of the reason this pairing works so well is because Burgundy is situated right next to Dijon, the mustard capital of the world.  Aside from that coincidence white Burgundy works with a corn dog and mustard for a number of reasons.  The first thing I notice is how sweet the breading around the corn dog suddenly comes across after a bite of the food and then a sip of the wine.  It's as if the wine turned up the flavor in the dish.  The mustard also seems spicier with an added kick.  The acidity found in the wine also works wonders with a corn dog because it helps to cut through the grease and cleanse the palate.  Additionally both the weight of the wine and the weight of the dish work nicely together.  If you're looking for a completely different experience, go for Kabinett Riesling paired with a corn dog.  The sugar in the wine is a nice contrast to the spicy mustard and also works wonderfully with the breading.  Kabinett Riesling also has the acidity to cleanse the palate in between bites.