So what do you do when you’re heading home from a long day of work and you’re looking forward to a nice glass of wine but you know there’s nothing in the fridge to pair with that bottle you plan to pop open? Even though you don’t do it too often, a slice of cheesy pizza, or a big, oh-so-bad-for-you burger, sounds amazing. Where’s the next drive-thru?
Here are a few ideas of which kind of wine goes with which kind of fast-food. Are you ready? You might want to write this down.
Burger King Whopper with Cheese
The wine: Figge Syrah 2006 Burger King burgers are flame-broiled, and cold-weather syrahs from Monterey are aged in charred barrels. So the wine’s smokiness comes out when paired with the meat.
Taco Bell Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco Supreme
The wine: Garciarevalo Casamaro Verdejo 2014 Oddly, there’s not a lot of flavor to the taco considering its shell is made from Doritos, so basically, I’m just trying to bitch slap the whole meal and wake it up with my wine selection. By pairing it with a super-high-energy wine — with a ton of acid and vibrant passion fruit and grapefruit flavors — I’m hoping to make this taco taste like something.
KFC hot wings
The wine: Scarpetta Timido Spumante Brut Rose NV Here, the chicken’s flavor is overpowered a bit by the spice and vinegar, neither of which lend themselves especially well to wine. I’m going with a traditional brut rose from northern Italy. It works well with the spice, and the bubbles wake up the palate and really liven up the wings.
Subway Cold Cut Combo (w/ Swiss cheese, mustard, mayo, lettuce tomato, and onion)
The wine: Santo Stefano Barbera D’Alba 2012 With a sandwich like this, we want to look at the individual ingredients and try to give them a boost. I’m going with a Piedmontese everyday drinking wine, which should help draw out the flavor of the Italian cold cuts, bread, and tomato.
Arby’s Beef ‘n Cheddar
The wine: La Quercia Montepulciano D’Abruzzo 2013 There is more sugar in the bread of this Arby’s sandwich than there is in a Coca-Cola. Montepulciano is like big boy Kool-Aid, really juicy and easy-drinking, so it works hand-in-hand with the sugar. Also, the sweetness of the wine just makes that burnt onion on the top of the bun explode.
Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich
The wine: Talley Pinot Noir 2012 I noticed a long time ago that really fruity, juicy pinots from the California Central Coast offset spice really well. And this chicken’s got plenty of extra kick.
Pizza Hut Stuffed Crust Pepperoni Pizza
The wine: Arianna Occhipinti Sicilia SP68 Nero d’Avola e Frappato 2013 Acidity is the key to everything when you’re pairing wine with greasier foods, especially one like this where you’ve got this abundance of cheese and pepperoni. This wine brings a high level of fresh acidity and a lot of bright red fruit to complement the tomato sauce.
McDonald’s Big Mac
The wine: Bonny Doon “A Proper Claret” 2012 When you think about burgers, you think huge and fatty. But this Mickey D’s classic isn’t your usual 1lb patty with meaty juiciness, so you don’t need a big, monstrous wine to pair with it. A Proper Claret is juicy, easy, and friendly — it doesn’t see a ton of oak or have a lot of tannin to it. To me, it kinda screams Big Mac.