If you’ve visited this site in the past and spent any time at all reading about what interests us around here, then you’ll know that wine pairing suggestions rate pretty highly. This is doubly true when the food being paired is one that people tend to ignore when seeking to pair up their vino (Hello there, marijuana, popcorn, Halloween candy, and dozens of other atypical dance partners for the nectar of the vine!) So when a product arrives in the Flavorful World kitchen that makes of us the distinct request to be matched with a complimentary wine, I feel obliged to grant said request.
You know where this is going now, don’t you? Of course you do, because you’re intuitive and good-looking, and would have seen it coming from space, even if I hadn’t given the good stuff away in the title of this post.
Four bags of Neal Brothers Kettle Chips in assorted flavors arrived here, sent to share their gifts with a selection of chosen-by-yours-truly wines for the benefit of snackers and sippers everywhere. The chip flavors received were Pink Himalayan Sea Salt, Montreal Steak Spice, Spicy Srirachup, and Maple Bacon. The wines drunk on the job in the course of determining a complementary match for each one were many. And as I sat chewing and swallowing on those occasions, it occurred to me once more as on many a day or night in the past when my mouth and stomach were filled with delicious food and drink, that life can on occasion, be quite good.
So what follows is my list of wine pairings for each flavor of Neal Brothers Kettle Chips.
Pink Himalayan Sea Salt: An uncomplicated chip with a clean taste unadulterated by artificial flavoring additives.
Wine pairing: Chardonnay or Cotes de Provence Rosé
The combination of Chardonnay’s considerable acidity and fruity character accomplishes the same as the peach- and citrus-forward rosé in this case: both reduce perception of this chips’s fat and salt, smoothing edges that might seem rougher when paired with a dry wine of lesser residual sugar and higher tannin.
Maple Bacon: Imbued with faint sweetness and a touch of smoky salt, this chip evokes crispy bacon dredged in pancake syrup.
Wine pairing: Cream Sherry, Late-harvest Riesling, or Junmai Ginjo Sake
The caramel and toffee character of cream sherry strikes a similar chord with this chip’s maple syrup-inspired sweetness. Late-harvest Riesling’s higher residual sugar content, while born of more fruit-based origin than the caramel-led sherry, does likewise, balancing bacon’s salty contribution. Junmai Ginjo sake’s dryness, its understated sweetness, reminiscent of banana and herbs, and its significant acidity stood up well to both the savory and sugary sides of this chip’s coin.
Montreal Steak Spice: This chip is aromatic with dill that follows through onto the tongue along with garlic notes and the delayed fire of black pepper.
Wine pairing: Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon makes a great match for a steak-inspired kettle chip by drawing on the chip’s savory garlic, dill, and pepper flavors, as a tannic old world Cabernet Sauvignon can tend toward herbal flavors like mint and dill and vegetal ones like bell pepper in addition to subtle peppery intimations.
Spicy Srirachup: Ketchup-led flavor, with the heat of sriracha following closely behind.
Wine pairing: Pedro Ximenex Sherry
The flavors of raisin and honey of this wine complement the subtle sweetness of the ketchup while mitigating the spiciness of the chips, bringing these two seeming flavors dichotomies into harmony.
Learn more about Neal Brothers Kettle Chips at www.nealbrothersfoods.com/