Dare to Pair: Potato Chip Extravaganza

Lays is getting all sorts of crazy these days.

In case you live under a rock haven’t tasted the potato chip incarnation of Siracha or “Chicken and Waffles,” here’s a teaser of these creative flavors:

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After seeing this three times in an hour, it was time for a chip extravaganza of the more classic varieties, to get the simple pairings perfect before heading out and really getting crazayyyy with “Cheesy Garlic Bread” and “Siracha.”

The Daring Pairing continues…


The Chip: Original with Ridges

The Dip: French Onion

The Wine: Bubbles

The Why: The salty/fatty/creamy/crunchy combination here demands something versatile, palate-cleansing, and light to clean up (and lift up) the hodge-podge of flavors and textures of this dynamic duo, and nothing does this better than bubbly.  I recently tasted a great, widely available non-vintage Cava, Anna de Cordoníu which was fresh and inviting, and I think would do quite nicely.

The Chip: Mesquite BBQ

The Wine: Clos La Chance 2010 Zinfandel

The Why: Adding a flavor to a chip is equivalent to adding a particular sauce or flavor-inducing cooking method to any dish, so with BBQ chips a fruity and BBQ friendly wine like this California Zin (which is fruity, full, and fun without being too serious, like Queen Latifah) is a natural match. Similarly, a young Tempranillo or Sangria would work well.


The Chip: Wise Kettle Cooked Jalapeño

The Dip: None or French Onion

The Wine: Villa Argento 2011 Pinot Grigio

The Why: I think Wise may have mixed up black pepper and jalapeño flavors, but the result here was nonetheless delicious. Villa Argento (the neighborhood 1.75L bargain) was a great match because its light and flirty citrus flavors kept the dip feeling like and helped wash down some of the intense spice. (It also fits with the sauce rule above.) We also loved how the peppery elements of the chip made mystery-ingredient bargain dip seem more complex and flavorful.

The Chip: Tostitos Hint of Lime

The Dip: Tostitos Mild Chunky Salsa

The Wine: Martin Codax 2011 Albariño

The Why: These chips are one of my absolute favorites–I have no idea what’s really in the lime-infused dust, but I love it.  Here Albariño (or a fruity New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc) is a great match because the high acid and citrus flavors complement the lime chips, while keeping salsa heat from igniting the palate.

Stay tuned for Daring Pairings: Lays “Do Us A Flavor” Edition.


Potato Chip Pairings Uncorked:

Laura Loves: How Entwine Chardonnay actually suggests potato chips as a pairing on the label.

Fun Facts: According to the USDA, Americans eat about 17 pounds of potato chips per person per year.

The Ultimate Chip Pairing in 140 Characters: If they’re plain, drink Champagne; 4 Flavored chips & dips, let the sauce named direct your sips.


  • February 26, 2013
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