Wine Pairing With Your Favourite Fast Food

Every year, National Fast Food Day rolls around, offering us a chance to celebrate the quick and delicious meals that have become a staple in our busy lives. Yet, for those with a penchant for the finer sips in life – the VinoVossers – this day doesn't mean you have to forgo your beloved ritual of wine pairing. In fact, it presents a delightful challenge: pairing fast food with fine wine. It’s a juxtaposition that might raise eyebrows, but done right, it can elevate a humble meal to an experience worth savoring.

Wine and Fast Food are versatile companions. Expertiment and enjoy. (Photo: Kzenon/

Chicken Nuggets and Sparkling Wine

Chicken nuggets, the quintessential fast food snack, require a wine that can match their crispy texture and complement their simplicity. A sparkling wine is a superb choice. The effervescence of a nice Brut Champagne or a crisp Prosecco cuts through the fat and balances the saltiness of the nuggets. The acidity and bubbles will cleanse your palate, making each nugget taste like your first.

Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut Champagne

Valdo Marca Oro Prosecco Valdobbiadene Superiore Extra Dry

Burgers and Bold Reds

Burgers, with their juicy patties and array of toppings, demand a wine with body and character. A full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon with its bold tannins stands up well to a meaty burger. The tannins help slice through the richness of the beef, while the dark fruit notes complement any sweet or savory sauces. For cheeseburgers, particularly those with cheddar, consider a Zinfandel. Its spiciness will highlight the smokiness of the grilled patty and the sharpness of the cheese.

Clos de Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Francis Ford Coppola Winery Director's Cut Zinfandel

Tacos and Aromatic Whites

Tacos come in various fillings, but a common thread is the need for a wine that can handle spice and complexity. An aromatic white wine like a Riesling, preferably off-dry, works wonders with spicy tacos. Its sweetness soothes the heat, while the acidity and zestiness refresh the palate. For fish tacos, a chilled Sauvignon Blanc with its citrus notes enhances the flavors of the fish and the crispness of any slaw.

Take the robust flavors of meat tacos, where the succulence of beef, pork, or lamb melds with the smokiness of chipotle or the zest of lime, and you have a dish crying out for a wine that's equally bold yet not overwhelming. Enter Tempranillo, a hero from the Spanish vineyards. Its balanced blend of fruit and oak aging brings out the smoky nuances of the taco meat, while the wine's gentle tannins complement the protein-rich filling. It's this harmonious dialogue between the vibrant tastes of the tacos and the earthy, ripe essence of the Tempranillo that can transform a simple meal into an extraordinary gastronomic delight.

Chateau Ste. Michelle Dry Riesling

Viña Real Rioja Crianza

Pizza and Versatile Reds or Rosés

Pizza is as varied as it is popular, but a safe bet is to pair it with a medium-bodied red like Sangiovese or a delicious Rosé. The acidity in these wines balances the fat from the cheese and the acidity of the tomato sauce. For pepperoni pizza, a Chianti can be particularly delightful as its hints of cherry and earthy notes bring out the spice in the pepperoni. A dry Rosé, on the other hand, is an all-rounder that works well with both meat and vegetarian pizzas.

Ruffino Riserva Ducale Chianti Classico

AIX Rosé

Fast Food & Wine Pairing Overview

Here's a quick guide to help all VinoVossers navigate their fast food and wine pairing adventure:

  • Chicken Nuggets: Pair with a Brut Champagne or a crisp Prosecco to cut through the fat and enhance the flavors.
  • Burgers: Opt for a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon for a classic beef burger, and a Zinfandel for cheeseburgers, especially with cheddar.
  • Tacos: Choose an off-dry Riesling for spicy varieties and a Sauvignon Blanc for fish tacos to complement the heat and the freshness.
  • Pizza: Go for a Sangiovese or a versatile Rosé, which stand up well to a variety of toppings and balance the richness of the cheese and sauce.

As a VinoVosser, it's essential to not let tradition limit you; instead, relish the joy of pairing. Rules are flexible, not rigid, and the thrill lies in the experimentation. On National Fast Food Day, uncork a bottle of your preferred wine, settle onto the sofa, and savor the unexpectedly delightful pairing of fast food with exquisite wine. This day is a celebration of fast food's convenience and wine's sophistication, an opportunity to revel in their contrasts and take pleasure in the new discoveries.

Learn more about wine and fast food pairing here!

Peter Douglas

Latest articles