Surprisingly Delicious Wine Pairings With Your Kid’s Snack Foods
The kids are fed, bathed, brushed and in bed. Don’t feel like cooking another dinner tonight for the adults? Instead of whipping up a grown-up meal from scratch, warm up a plate of the kids’ dinner and pour yourself a big ’ol glass of wine. Or grab a handful of your kid’s favorite snacks with a glass of your favorite fine wine. You might be surprised how well fish sticks go with chardonnay!
Which wines pair best with your kid’s favorite snack foods?
It’s okay to snack on your kid’s favorite foods. Honestly, why not? To make it easy, we’ve paired some all-time favorite kid’s snack foods with wines that compliment them. Bon appetit!
Mac & Cheese + Champagne
Dive into a decadent bowl of creamy macaroni and cheese, my personal favorite “kid” food. If you want to make the dish feel a little more grown-up, throw in some steamed broccoli or grilled chicken to complete the meal. To cut through the heaviness of mac and cheese, pair it with Champagne or another sparkling wine like it’s more affordable cousins Cava or Prosecco. Sparkling wine isn’t just for celebrations, the acidity and refreshing bubbles are a perfect foil for heavy, creamy dishes like mac and cheese.
Chicken Nuggets + Pinot Noir
Walk on the wild side with some dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets paired with a bright, medium-bodied pinot noir. Warm up nuggets in the oven instead of the microwave so they don’t get soggy and accompany them with some delectable dipping sauces. Try garlic aioli instead of ranch, or marinara sauce instead of ketchup. Pinot noir pairs great with poultry and is easy drinking so you might end up finishing the bottle!
Spaghetti’Os + Chianti
Feel the amore with the classic Italian combination of spaghetti and Chianti. Even if your pasta comes from a can, you’ll still be transported to Tuscany once you open a bottle of Chianti. The red wine is rich and full-bodied, complimenting the acidity in the tomato sauce. Top your Spagetti’Os with some parmesan cheese or fresh basil and light a candle to transition that kiddie meal into an indulgent adult dinner.
PB&J + Rosé
Peanut butter and jelly is one of the world’s most delicious combinations, a legendary sandwich perfectly pairing bright, fruity jelly with rich, creamy peanut butter. Since PB&J is already such a balanced dish, it can pair with any wine that doesn’t overwhelm the flavors, such as a light rosé. In France, rosé is often enjoyed during lunch, so don’t be shy about pouring a glass to pair with your sandwich during the day, as well! The crispness of the wine cuts through the peanut butter while the fruity notes show off the jelly.
Fish Sticks + Chardonnay
Seafood and a citrusy Chardonnay is a classic combination that works even if your fish is deep-fried into sticks! Opt for a West Coast Chardonnay with lemon notes to go with your fish, and you might just forget that you’re not in a restaurant. A fine dining combination you can eat with your hands? Sign me up.
Grilled Cheese + Pinot Grigio
A chilled pinot grigio will cool down a hot, gooey grilled cheese and complement the umami flavors of the toasted bread. Whether you’re stacking American cheese in white bread or trying a fancy version of a grilled cheese with Brie or goat cheese on sourdough, pinot grigio is a balanced white that will go with any combo. For a perfect crunch, spread a little garlic aioli (or mayonnaise) on the outside of the bread instead of butter before you grill it up.
Hot Dogs + Merlot
Grilled hot dogs and hamburgers pair well with a juicy merlot. Even with a little too much char from the grill, the meat dishes can be saved with a generous serving of red wine. Whether you’re preparing your hot dogs on the barbecue or in the microwave, Merlot works since it is lower in tannins with generous fruit flavors. Upgrade the ketchup to BBQ sauce for a richer, more complex flavor profile.
Chocolate Chip Cookies + Cabernet Sauvignon
You have a mountain of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies ready for the bake sale… they won’t miss one or two! Chocolate pairs well with full red wines that bring out its decadence, like cabernet sauvignon. The big, bold fruit notes in the wine compliment buttery cookie, while the robust tannins stand up to the sweetness of the chocolate. To fire up every inch of your palate, try sprinkling the cookie with a bit of sea salt. Mind blown.
More food and wine pairings
No matter what kind of after school snacks your kids love (and you love to munch on), there’s a wine pairing for you. Here’s a few other pairings to snack on:
- Goldfish crackers + Champagne
- Pepperoni pizza + merlot
- Butter noodles + white wine
- Popcorn + sauvignon blanc
- Oreos + chardonnay
- Ham + riesling
This post was originally published in December 2020. Content updated in February 2022.