The Best Quarantine Wine-and-Food Pairings

So you’re trapped at home. Many are trying to work from home, sure, but more often than not, home-bound confinement has turned into a feast of snacking and sipping.

If your takeout tastes and culinary skills are refined, and you’re taking the time to cook and bake congratulations! You’re eating well. But for many of us, our isolation meals are a little more freeform.

So how do you pair wine with that glutinous meal of the chips in your cupboard? Or perhaps, the kind-of lazy bowl of ramen? Below, you’ll find the best (nontraditional) wine and food pairings. Think breakfast-for-dinner, late-night ice cream, and indulgent instant noodles. 

How to Pair Wine with Cheetos

White Wine and Cheetos

Okay, so you’re stuck home and your standards have fallen drastically—the cauliflower in your fridge just doesn’t look enticing. If you’re opting for a snack of Cheetos, opt for a French white with a punch of minerality (perhaps an aligote or folle blanche?), perfect to punch through the wave of saltiness of the American snack. Just mind the cheese powder on your wine glass.

How to Pair Wine with Breakfast

Wine and Breakfast

On a regular day, pairing wine with breakfast sounds like a problem. But when you’re working from home, kicking off a home-bound weekend, or snacking on breakfast for dinner, wine sounds, well, perfect. The key here is to not opt for something sweet. Breakfast is inherently full of sugary and salty flavors, so look for something floral—may we suggest a crispy Albarino? Though a bubbly hit of cava will certainly do the trick.

How to Pair Wine with Charcuterie

Wine and Charcuterie

Some say there is a time and place for bubbly, but we’d argue the latter. Bubbly isn’t a special-occasion drink: in this climate, even small accomplishments garner a glass or two. Plus, bubbly breaks through the fat and saltiness of a charcuterie board.

How to Pair With with Instant Noodles

Wine and Ramen

Good ramen is rich, savory and salty all at once, packed with a wave of umami flavors. Packaged ramen is, well, parts of that, but no judgment here—it fills a void. If you’re trapped sipping store-bought packages (if so, consider cracking an egg on it or adding a bit of curry paste), pair it with a pinot gris. The varietal is simple enough to pair with basic ramen (no overly conflicting flavors) and light enough to balance the saltiness.

How to Pair Wine with Ice Cream

Wine and Ice cream

Here, the proper pairings will depend on the flavor. Chocolate calls for a fruit-forward pinot noir, or maybe look to a tempranillo’s leathery cherry notes. Nutty ice creams? A crisp Riesling will cut through the butteriness. Plain ol’ vanilla? Just go for it and have a glass of bubbly.

Kate Dingwall
Kate Dingwall
Kate Dingwall is a writer and editor, primarily covering the spirits and travel world. Her work has appeared in, Wine Enthusiast,, MAXIM Magazine, DuJour Magazine, Eater, VinePair, Culture Trip, Canada's 100 Best Restaurants, and a number of other publications, online and print. Outside of writing, she is a sommelier and an avid martini drinker.

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