As a mom of two-within-two-years, I’ve had many learning opportunities to refine my coping skills. While this category of behavior includes healthy activities like working out or meditation, I tend to defer to other ones such as wine, junk food, and mindless television. The truth of the matter is that I have more friends who pour a nice glass of red, grab a brownie, and curl up with the Bachelor at 9 o’clock, than friends who put on running shoes or try to clear a spot of carpet in the toy room to find Zen after the kids are down for the night.
In recent years, it feels like wine has become more casual. I’m not saying that it’s better this way, I’m just saying that it seems like wine has lost some of the snootiness that used to come tethered to it. I’m sure this statement makes wine enthusiasts cringe, so I now add the disclaimer that I’m common folk when it comes to wine. I can tell when a wine is really bad, and I can tell when a wine is really fabulous, but I tend to not complain much about the bottles in between, despite having preferences and favorites.
Where as “rules” like red with steak, and white with fish, used to limit pairing in the generation of Chardonnay and Merlot drinkers, I think our generation is a little more adventurous. If we were playing Family Feud and the category was, “Things that you pair with wine”, I think many of us would shout, “Chocolate!” and “Cupcakes!” before “Cheese!” And why not?! It may sound less classy to admit that you want junk food with your wine, but even junk food has flavors that are dying to be paired with. And unlike cheese, junk food is just plain fun… Crunchy, salty, gooey, sweet, and unmistakably comforting (albeit temporary). There – I said it. I know, you can’t believe I’d admit this…
Although I’d never say to a girlfriend, “I’ve got a chilled Rose, why don’t you bring a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos with you when you come over…”, I certainly admit that I’d unapologetically snarf down both things at a single sitting. Much to my surprise, I learned that I wasn’t alone when I recently came across a magazine snippet about how to pair wine with junk food. Intrigued, I did a little more research, and get this… it’s actually trendy. Really!! I suppose there’s something to be said about a fun, new challenge. As crazy as it sounds, it is really more of the same. After all, isn’t pairing and enjoying wine all about playing off the flavors? These flavors just happen to be out of a foil bag, rather than off of bone china.
Check out the original post for a list of fun wine-junk food pairings, the next time you're looking to mix it up: