Pair It Up! Salty Snacks

Let’s face it, we’re not always pairing Sauternes with Foie Gras or Barolo with mushroom and truffle risotto. Sometimes, and - really - it’s not just sometimes, we’re pairing our wines with less fancy fare.

Sometimes it’s chips. Sometimes it’s popcorn. Sometimes it’s pretzels.

Hey, it doesn’t matter. No matter what you’re snacking on, there’s a wine pairing that works. Let’s look at a few of them.

Salt & Vinegar Chips

There’s obviously a saltiness going on with chips, but the key thing is the vinegar component. There’s a high acidity aspect here, and you want to keep that high-toned element going with a white wine that indeed has a bit of tang and vibrant acidity as well. Flat Rock Cellars 2013 Nadja’s Vineyard Riesling should do the trick.


Almost always, it’s a dry sparkling wine that works with popcorn. Particularly if you’re dressing it up with something that brings extra saltiness, and who isn’t? Make some popcorn, add butter and a good dose of sea salt or parmesan cheese. Now, it’s time for something lively and citrusy to lap up that saltiness and refresh the palate with something bright. Oh, hey Lakeview Cellars 2008 GMR Sparkling. What’s up?


I’m talking real pretzels. Warm with good hunks of rock salt, and then some lashings of kicky mustard on the side. First thing’s first. Don’t go with a wine that’s too dry, it’ll only enhance the heat of the mustard. Which in turn, will make any wine’s alcohol seem more apparent. Don’t go too sweet either; you don’t want to drench the poor thing in something cloying. A good, dry pink wine should provide a solid match and also bring a nice, fruity component to the table. Aure 2011 Rosé, we’re looking at you!


Kurtis Kolt is a Vancouver-based wine consultant, writer, competition judge and enthusiast. Track him down at, or on Twitter and Instagram @KurtisKolt

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