It might sound crazy, but don’t knock it until you try it. One experience with champagne and Cheetos, and I bet you’ll be hooked.
The Ultimate Wine Pairing
Wait, WHAT?! Did you write champagne and Cheetos?
I understand I have some splainin’ to do. So here it is: Any student who attends the CIA (culinary institute not central intelligence) takes a three-week intensive wine studies course. Bottles down, my favorite class. And while the instructor, Steven Kolpan, focuses mostly on wine and food pairings for fine dining, he notoriously repeats to every class Cheetos are an absolute knockout with sparkling wine. So of course, I had to see for myself.
And it’s AMAZING. The savory, processed cheesy crunch cut with an effervescent, creamy mouthful? Done, done and done. So why does this work, you may be wondering?
The science behind wine pairings
Generally, salty, smoky and spicy foods pair well with the cutting acidity and restrained fruit notes of a sparkling wine. And so do bold cheeses (even the artificial ones). So the whole cheezy chips thing isn’t that farfetched. To wax poetic, the crunchy little twigs of goodness bring out the subtle fruit of the wine. Might I recommend skipping the mystery ingredient namesake snack for Barbara’s cheesy puffs. Still not an everyday food, but Barbara’s sources much better ingredients and I now prefer them to the original.
Don’t stop at cheese puffs
This particular time, I also picked up a small bag of Cool Ranch Doritos. A match made in buttermilk herb heaven. Basically, if it ends in “os”, you will succeed. In sum, there are two simple rules. Make sure the sparkling wine is dry (a Brut) not sweet. And buy the biggest bag of Cheetos you can find. Then champagne and Cheetos yourself into the Crazy Wine Pairing Sippers Club.
Yours in wine,
Sit, stay, drool with Sadie Mae
Back after a rebellious break from the established sit, stay, drool system. She’s proven she does takes after me, willing to go to great lengths to wrap her lips around the cool flavors of ranch.