If you're looking for advice on the right wine to drink with leg of lamb or poached salmon, there is no shortage of resources. Of course, this isn't the sort of food most of us eat every day. Sure, we'll partake in the fancy stuff if we're out at a restaurant trying to impress a date, but more often than not, we're stuck eating fast food with drinking buddies.
During these times, beer doesn't always have to be the libation of choice. Burgers, fried chicken and the like can be enjoyed with a nice glass (or carafe) of wine. Then again, we couldn't find anyone providing wine pairing tips for the common man's greasy cuisine, so we took it upon ourselves to find the right vino to sip with some fast food favorites.
Dominos Cheese Pizza They're open late, they deliver, they offer coupons and they're everywhere. As a late night snack or quick dinner this is a convenient one to pair with wine. The red sauce matches dry Italian reds, like a relatively inexpensive Chianti.The Ruffino Chianti, priced at about $15, is a good choice, but please, don't drink it with the Cinna Stix, we're not even sure they're edible.
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Burger King Steakhouse Burger Heaped with potato, onions, bacon, steak sauce and cheese, this burger is doing its best to replicate everything you might get with a steak on the cheap. Steak and a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon is a no-brainer, and Joel Gott California Cabernet Sauvignon is truly tasty at only $15.
McDonalds Grilled Chicken Sandwich Club This grilled version of the McDonalds Chicken sandwich has hickory grilled taste, bacon, cheese, lettuce and tomato add more flavor. We find Chardonnay to be an excellent match. We recommend trying Ronald's treats with a Rodney Strong Chalk Hill Chardonnay.
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White Castle Double Cheeseburger The admittedly less famous Double Cheeseburger is the one that gets our interest. It's twice the distinctive onion-infused burger flavor to love, and depending on if you've smoked, 4 to 15 of them can provide a very satisfying meal. The California Petite Sirah with its deep, dark flavors is good match, and Concannon Vineyards Limited Release Petite Sirah would be the perfect choice at around $14. Just don't pick up NPH on the way there.
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Wendy's Chili. When it comes to Wendy's, chili is a good choice, because it's not typically found on the menu at other fast food places. Wendy's considers it a side, but if you grab a large, the combination of meat, beans, tomatoes and spices can certainly mike a quick, filling meal. French Beaujolais with its fresh, fruity flavors will balance the heat coming from the chili quite well. Ones offered by Georges Duboeuf are solid, and we're sure the late great Dave Thomas would approve.
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Dunkin' Donuts Bacon, Egg & Cheese Bagel The word Donut is right in their name, but coffee and breakfast sandwiches are what you think of when this franchise comes to mind. Sparkling wine (with or without OJ) is a great choice to match up with their savory bacon, egg and cheese on a bagel. Try Italy's Zardetto Prosecco for only $15 and get your boozing started bright and early.
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In-N-Out Burger Double Double Those on the West Coast know and love the In-N-Out. A good choice is the Double Double, animal style, of course. It's two patties, tomato, cheese, lettuce, onions and a messy helping of special dressing are a powerful flavor sensation that needs an equally intense wine. Try a Zinfandel with big, up-front flavors, like Bogle's Old Vine Zinfandel ($10) . You'll also want about 40 napkins.
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KFC Chicken A bucket of the Colonels original recipe fried chicken is a bedrock of greasy goodness that our takeout devouring nation is built on. By and large chicken is an easy dish to match with wine as it adapts well to many flavors. Pinot Noir is a variety that's very malleable to various foods, and Mark West consistently makes what I consider the best California Pinot Noir under $15. It's a tough grape to get right on the cheap, but West has his ways.
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Subway Italian BMT The Italian BMT is the classic Subway sandwich. Salami, ham, cheese and a variety of veggies are all brought together by oil and vinegar. Full flavored and grounded in old world inspired ingredients, my favorite wine to pair with it is a rustic Argentine Malbec. For approximately $12 the Navarro Correas Malbec is the first one we'd reach for, no matter what Jared had to say about it.
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Chipotle Chicken Burrito If you go Mexican, the Chipotle Chicken Burrito features beans, chicken, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, and cheese. Merlot is what you'd want to mix with the plethora of flavors found in this south of the border specialty. It has the stuff to hold it's own and still stand out on it's own. For about $13, the Casa Lapostolle Merlot from Chile holds to the Latin theme.