Comfort food goes better with wine

24 Jan

Your suegra just made another snide remark about the messy kitchen, you have a pile  of work projects due like, yesterday, and your angelito is squealing with delight after dumping the contents of his sippy cup on your keyboard. Ay, ay, ay…

Before you reach for that can of diet cola (or run screaming from the house), consider this: Wine (consumed in moderation, of course!) has been shown to have some heart-healthy benefits, thanks to a few of its natural components. Diet soda? Nada, baby. In fact, a recent study showed that diet colas can actually raise blood pressure – just what you need when you’re stressed out.

Putting on my Suave Disclaimer Voice, the following is not medical advice but a tongue-in-cheek perspective on how to slow down when la vida gets loca. Drink responsibly, as in no more than one glass a day, and make sure your health history allows it. Oh, and do not try this at home if you’re under 21.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way… Who doesn’t feel like a drink after a crazy day? A glass of wine helps me chill with a pre-dinner snack, a homemade meal, or while I’m cooking. If you’re like me, stress ups the snacking ante, so here are some suggestions on how to make that [insert comfort snack food here] go down smooth as seda:

1.    Chocolate 

Nothing tames the Stress Monster like cacao. The Mayas were on to something when they named chocolate a sacred food. Make your chocolate binge a religious experience by pouring yourself a glass of Pinot Noir to go with it. The strawberry and raspberry aromas that characterize this wine will complement the sweetness of the chocolate without being over the top.

You don’t have to break the bank to enjoy a good Pinot Noir. Trader Joe’s and your local grocery store have some quality selections for under $10. A worthwhile investment when we’re talking about our sanity.

2.    Queso

Ah, cheese…my number one go-to comfort food when I want to make the world go away (or hurl my laptop out the window). Cheddar and Pepper Jack go really well with a sassy Shiraz. The spicy notes and rich character of this wine complement the kick in spicier foods, and the richness of the cheese tames any rough edges in the wine. A match made in stress-free heaven.

I’ve written about this one before, but one of the best deals I’ve found is the Luchador Shiraz, available at Cost Plus World Market for the insanely low price of $6.99.

3.     Chips

Maybe it’s the calming taste of corn tortillas or potato chips, maybe it’s the texture and rhythm of the crunch, crunch, crunch. Or maybe it’s just the salt. Either way, a bag of chips is my edible blankie when things get a little wacky.  I like a crisp Sauvignon Blanc with my salty chips. Heck, even a buttery Chardonnay works well with the vegetable oils in fried tortilla chips or in the Peruvian version of the classic bag of Lay’s, pictured here. Once again, you can find great white wines for under $10 at your favorite grocery store or deli.

If you didn’t see it here, let me know what your favorite stress-relieving snack food is, and I’ll suggest a vino that would work with it. Salud, and happy stress-busting!

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11 Responses to “Comfort food goes better with wine”

  1. jameshansen January 24, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

    I love your blog! It is so imformative and well written!!

    • Pamela January 24, 2012 at 12:12 pm #

      Gracias, querido! May your chip-fest be a happy, stress-relieving occasion. Besos…

  2. Sandra Huerta January 24, 2012 at 6:20 pm #

    I will take the Pinot Noir and chocolate any time! Gracias, Pamela!

    • Pamela January 25, 2012 at 9:49 am #

      De nada, Sandra! Glad to know there’s another Pinot and chocolate fan out there!

  3. Helena January 24, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

    Thank you for the info! I go straight for the chocolate, and now will have to try it with Pinot Noir. As for that Shiraz I will look for it here in Sunny Miami and I have a question: what snack would a Malbec complement?

    • Pamela January 25, 2012 at 11:48 am #

      That’s a great question, Helena. Because of Malbec’s wonderfully robust structure, it’s an excellent pairing with roasted meats and barbecue. However, because we are talking about snacks, I would suggest firm cheeses such as sharp cheddar or parmesan. You could even pair it with salami and crackers. ¡Buen provecho!

  4. Ericka Sanchez (@NibblesNFeasts) January 24, 2012 at 9:39 pm #

    My favorite comfort food to eat with wine is definitely cheese and crackers. It’s just so good but when I’m eating it, it doesn’t feel like comfort food. Is that weird? Lol!

    • Pamela January 25, 2012 at 11:50 am #

      I agree, Ericka. You don’t necessarily have to be stressed out to enjoy cheese and crackers. It’s a great snack to enjoy any time!

  5. Silvia January 25, 2012 at 11:09 pm #

    My comfort food is cake!!!

  6. Patty at A Day in My NYC January 26, 2012 at 8:56 am #

    We have the same tastes in go to comfort foods/drinks! I love it! There really isn’t anything a little wine, chocolate, cheese or chips can’t make better :)

  7. modernmami February 2, 2012 at 11:09 am #

    My comfort snack food is chips too, but sometimes cookies. I try not to let it get to me, though, because if not I’d be eating all the time with stress. LOL

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