Wine Wednesday: What Do You Pair With a Corn Dog?

September 21, 2011

Who says wine has to be snobby? Our wine education keeps it real with a class on pairing fair food with wine. According to sommelier and class teacher Traci Dutton, the L.A. County Fair has some of the best fair food in the country. According to her, if it was a restaurant it would have five stars. So no need to feel like you are limited to cornd ogs and funnel cake, by any means.
Traci selected Tasti Chips (homemade potato chips), empanadas from Piaggo, and meatballs from Eddie’s Italian Cucina, along with a double Gloucester, Jarlsberg Swiss and Kerrygold Aged Cheddar with Whiskey. I have to say, it was all pretty gourmet.
Before we even began we were instructed to use to Piper Sonoma Brut (a sparkling wine that is a good value and easy to find) to cleanse our palette. Refreshing! We then paired it with the Tasti Chips, first with cheese sauce and then without. The saltiness of the chips had a good balance with the bubbles and the creamy texture of the wine. Next we tried a Frisk Prickly Riesling, which comes from a region in Australia known for good Riesling. The sweetness of the Riesling tasted delightful with the chips and Traci told us that if our cheese sauce had a jalapeño kick, it would match even better. Spicy and acidic always pairs well with a Riesling.
We moved on to the chicken empanada, filled with lots of grilled vegetables with a nice flaky crust. An Argentinean dish deserved to be paired with two great Argentinean wines. The Medrano Estate Torrontes, a white, and the Alamos—Wines of Cantina Malbec, a red, showed how the grape can really change the taste.
Our last Fair delight was the meatball. Traci commented that her husband is a chef and makes delicious meatballs, but this one rivals his. I agree (I haven’t tasted Traci’s husband’s meatballs, but these were very delicious)! You could tell they had used a mixture of meats to give a complex flavor. We tried the meatball with a Vecchia Cantina Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano DOCG and a PureCru Sangio Vetta. The Sangio Vetta, a California expression of Sangiovese, was quite a treat as it was made by one of the judges for the L.A. International Wine & Spirits Competition. The intense flavor stood up well to the red sauce and meatball.
Traci said that next time she does a class like this, she might just do “What pairs well with a giant smoked turkey leg?” I can’t wait to try it! You don’t have to wait for a class though. Just bring your fair meal over to the Wine and Spirits Marketplace, grab some wine and enjoy!
What do you think? Have you tried pairing wine with any fair foods?

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