Bachelor Pad-Approved Pairings
Though the Bachelor Pad I call home is an acquired taste, that certainly doesn’t mean the residents don’t have taste. Years in the service industry have taught my comrades to refine their palates, learning the ins-and-outs of Tuna Tataki, Lamb Vindaloo, Filet Mignon, and Foie Gras. The beauty (or perhaps irony) is that we find ourselves guiltily crawling back to the heavily processed, preservative, and red dye #6-filled foods of our suburban youths.
Recently, while scrubbing a pile of Velveeta-crusted dishes and wondering how so many bags of Fritos got into the apartment after one late-night adventure I was struck by the lack of any wine-drinking advice attached to these foods. Why should beer and vodka lovers get all the fun of bad-for-you foods? (Though my man Dr. Vino puts up a good effort for the wine-loving folk.)
I thus resolved to put the good, bad, and bizarre food combinations of the Bachelor Pad (and America) to the test, and to find their wine mates in the process.
Yes, there is a method to my madness–simplicity. I’ve got two rules, (1) Drink it if you like it, dump it if you don’t; and (2) stay traditional. Great pairs last forever (unlike J.Lo and anyone), remaining blissfully in love across geographic borders, food textures, and bizarre customs regulations. For example, sharp cheddar cheese is generally good next to chardonnay or cabernet sauvignon, so it should follow that macaroni and cheese would be good with the same wines. Ham goes well with sweeter wines, like riesling, so SPAM and bacon should too.
To test my hypotheses, I forcefully cajoled invited a crowd of food-lovers (read: NYC humans) to the Pad, and jumped into the kitchen with my favorite bachelor and a healthy dose of boxed wine. Our captives friends rated each dish next to the wines, and announced their favorites.
Of course we only used the best, most-wobbly, spillable, plastic stemware.
Boxes of Gato Negro Cabernet Sauvignon and Bota Box Pinot Grigiowere our house selections–both excellent for the price ($19.99), and versatile. The cab had deep, berry smells, and was smooth and full in the mouth–totally delicious and supremely drinkable. The Bota Box was light and crisp, with an aroma like a fresh April morning (Unlike the Velveeta in the Crockpot next to it) . Overall, I recommend both boxes for parties, day-drinking, or America’s Next Top Model marathons. Naturally, some guests also brought wine, so we ended up with a plethora of sips from vinho verde to Coppola vineyards and back again.
Here, the delicious, preservative-filled results of my foray into obscure food/wine pairing.
- Queso Dip. Velveeta and Crockpots should be up there with peanut butter and jelly and other American staples, in my humble opinion, because nothing is easier and more addicting than a little queso. (Except maybe Real Housewives….I mean that shiz is ADDDICTING). Ours was most popular with the pinot grigio, which didn’t try to compete with Kraft’s “Liquid Gold,” and added a refreshing lightness to this artery-clogger. 2. Mac-n-Cheese. The classic comfort food–and who can resist when it’s often 3 for $1? We certainly couldn’t, and this magic-in-a-box was our most popular dish. Light, refreshing Casal Garcia Vinho Verde was the wine winner, though Yellowtail Chardonnay was a close second.3. Tater Tots! They were the school cafeteria staple, and now they’re coming back faster than ever–According to Yelp! 248 NYC restaurants now offer plates of these bite-size champions. Ours were most popular dipped in the aformentioned queso, making them the winner of the “Most likely to cause an instant heart attack” award. The favorite wine pairing for these wasCoppola Merlot, a sultry, medium bodied red. (Though the queso-dippers unanimously agreed that pinot grigio remained king when combining the two dishes.) 4. “The War Eagle Special.” A little history here, the infamous bachelor of my apartment, John, is a down home Arkansas boy, and this is his hallowed recipe, named for the backwoods town of War Eagle. A combination of SPAM, potatoes, bell peppers, and onions, this stir-fried beauty was enjoyed even by the most discerning of guests. (Though we did lie to them about the SPAM….) This won the “Best for Breakfast” award, and was favored with the Gato