It can be tempting to reserve your finest bottles for fancy dinner parties and other special occasions. While we’re all for celebrating life’s big moments with elevated food and wine pairings, there’s something to be said for enjoying a seductive Pinot Noir with a greasy slice of pizza on a random Wednesday night. In wine, as in life, opposites can attract—sometimes the optimal partner for an aromatic Gewürztraminer is a fiery bowl of Thai drunken noodles. Ditto a well structured Merlot and a juicy hamburger. So dust off that bottle you’ve been saving for that perfect moment. Here are seven wines to pair with all your favorite comfort foods now.
Cacio e Pepe + Domaine Antoine Lienhardt Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2018
There are few dishes more satisfying than cacio e pepe (literally, “cheese and pepper”). Economical, delicious, and easy to make, the humble pasta is a Roman favorite for good reason. For the perfect low-high pairing, pour a glass of this Burgundy 2018 Pinot Noir from Domaine Antoine Lienhardt. “This Pinot won’t overwhelm the purity of the peppery cheese sauce, but it adds a hint of spice and red fruit that’s like a cherry on top,” says VIVANT wine advisor Matt Ayre.
Pizza + Château Peybonhomme-les-Tours Energies 2017
Take your pizza and wine game to the next level by uncorking a bottle of this expressive Merlot blend from Bordeaux. “The wine’s biodynamic backbone lends a splash of fruit that plays well with the subtle spice of the meat toppings and the weight of the cheese and the dough,” says VIVANT wine advisor Lars Williamson.
Chocolate Mousse + Château Guiraud Petit Guiraud 2017
Sometimes you just want to stick your spoon into a jar of chocolatey goodness. Add to the indulgence by opening up a bottle of Sauternes, a richly-textured, golden-hued wine from Bordeaux. Says Matt Ayre about this “baby Sauternes” from Château Guiraud in Bordeaux: “It has the sweetness to stand up to the intense decadence of the chocolate, but it also has a gorgeous floral character that would be a perfect complement for the mousse.”
Hainanese Chicken Rice + Josmeyer Riesling Grand Cru Hengst 2016
If you’ve never had Hainanese chicken rice, run, don’t walk, to the nearest Malaysian or Singaporean restaurant to discover a new dish to add to your comfort food favorites. Then reach for a dry and juicy Riesling like this Grand Cru from Alsace. “It has an ideal balance of body and acid to work with the tenderness of the chicken and the oiliness of the rice,” says Matt Ayre. “Plus, its bright floral and tropical notes go nicely with a variety of condiments.”
Fried Chicken + Champagne Fleury Symphonie d’Europe Extra Brut 1993
At first glance, a plate of fried chicken may seem like an incongruous fit for an elegant glass of bubbly. But trust us: the evolved flavors and toasty, creamy notes of this Côte des Bar Champagne go beautifully with the crispy deliciousness of fried chicken. “Its acid and bubbles will lift up and enhance the richness of the dish,” notes Lars Williamson.
Bangkok-style Drunken Noodles + Vignoble des 2 Lunes Gewürztraminer Grand Cru Hengst 2011
Thai drunken noodles rank as one of our favorite midnight snacks. For a feast that’s worth staying up all night for, pair the spicy noodles with a complex white like this flamboyant Gewürztraminer from Alsace. With a mouthful of tropical fruits, rose, and lychee, it offers a “salty-sweet juxtaposition that’s a total treat,” says VIVANT wine advisor Daniela DaSuta.
Hamburger + Château Bellegrave 2016
Does it get any better than a traditional, griddled hamburger? We think so. The next time you fire up the grill, uncork at an ebullient Merlot like this full-bodied beauty from Château Bellegrave (Pomerol, Bordeaux). “Protein and salt in red meat help clog the tannin receptors on your palate,” notes Daniela DaSuta. “That makes tannic reds seem smoother and fruitier. And the intensity of this red pairs well with the richness of a burger.”
All of these wines are biodynamic, organic or sustainable. They’re available on VIVANT for purchase and delivery direct to you anywhere in the world.