I was asked recently, "What did you do after school when you were a child?". The person asking the question was trying to see what my childhood hobbies were, and if they related to my current career. The answer flowed out easily because what I loved to do most was make believe I was someone else. Sometimes I was a singer, mother, nurse or waitress. Other times I was a mermaid swimming in our pool, or a chemist mixing all of my grandmother's perfumes together. However, when I think back more often than not I was just pretending to be my favorite characters from movies as they played on the television screen. I watched movies hundreds of times and played along as best as I could. When "Hook" came out in 1991, it was my newest obsession. My favorite part in the movie was when all of the "Lost Boys," including Peter Pan sat down to eat. They had no food but pretended anyway. Suddenly the most delicious things they could imagine appeared in front of them, similar to a Thanksgiving feast. I thought it would be fun to eat along at the same time and would pour myself a bowl of Cap'n Crunch® cereal. I guess I felt Cap'n Crunch® was the best choice for the movie since it reminded me of the name Captain Hook. I decided to put the milk in a wine glass that I felt resembled a goblet and would then take a bite of the dry cereal and then a sip of the milk to get the full effect. As I ate the cereal and watched the scene, I desperately wished for a place where you slept in hammocks from enormous trees and flew everywhere you went. I never wanted to grow up and instead hoped that somehow these places were actually real. As you can see, the only thing that I can really say has changed since childhood is milk in my wine glass.
I was told that Cap'n Crunch® and wine have been tried and there was a clear winner. So, I decided to see if it was true. Just to be fair, I used the wine everyone had been talking about, a German Riesling Spatlese and thought for a moment about a second choice. When I pair food and wine, it becomes about instinct. I've tried a lot of different foods with a lot of different wines and can just pick up a feeling of what will work together. I'm not always right, as you can see with the Goldfish pairing, but more often than not I have a pretty good sense of what will work. The wine that came to mind immediately was a frizzante (semi-sparkling) Chardonnay, that was slightly sweet by the name of "Mamertino" from Puglia, Italy. I had sampled the wine with vanilla cupcakes a few months prior. The wine wasn't sweet enough against the cupcakes but was delightful all the same. I thought it could really work with Cap'n Crunch® because of the slight sparkle and touch of sugar, as well as flavors of crisp apples, peach and apricots that I anticipated would agree with the sweet corn and oats. And boy was I right! The Riesling Spatlese's flavors were too intense. I couldn't even taste the cereal up against the wine until the flavors of the wine faded off the palate. Sugar-wise it worked and the wine clearly had beautiful acidity to wash off the film that's left on the palate, but other than that, they weren't making magic happen together. Now, of course one could argue that I hadn't chosen the right producer. I'm open to trying others in the future, but for me the Mamertino frizzante Chardonnay was like a well executed ballet. Everything was just in sync. The wine was creamy and smooth on the palate with a slight spritz from the bubbles. The cereal too, has a slight crunch accompanied by the creaminess of the milk. I didn't loose the flavors of either one, they were both there unfolding together and for a moment I felt like I was tasting apple pie. Neither the wine nor the food is extremely loud in terms of flavor, nor are they over the top sweet. Finally, the bubbles in the wine helped to wash all the flavors off the palate and you now have a pairing that I am willing to put to the test! Either way, I encourage you to try both and let me know your thoughts! Cheers!
Wine featured in this photo: Lo Duca Mamertino frizzante Chardonnay (Available @ Khoury's Fine Wine $13.99)