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Monday, May 01, 2006 

Dilemma: What wine to pair with Doritos?

Sometimes you want to settle in with a snack and some wine, but don't happen to have any artisan cheese, foie gras and chilled caviar on hand. Bill Daley says this isn't a problem.

He asks a number of Chicago-area wine experts for their favorite wine pairings with ordinary, everyday snack foods that might actually have on hand in your house.

Here's a few examples:

Doritos with a "big, sloppy" zinfandel works for Tracy Lewis Liang, wine director of Treasure Island foods.

Snyder's of Hanover pumpernickel and onion-pretzel sticks with a Carneros pinot noir makes for a happy Robert Owings of Arlington Height's Vintages.

Garrett's buttered and cheese popcorn (heated in the oven and drizzled with truffle oil) with any sort of sparkling wine pleases Brian Duncan, wine director of Bin 36 restaurant.

And, for me, (Daley) lightly salted goldfish crackers swim winningly with everything from New Zealand sauvignon blanc to California syrah to Spanish Rioja.

The article goes on to mention that Champagne actually goes very well with pizza, chips and many other everyday snacks. At the end of the article, Daley gives the best pairings:

THE SNACK: Popcorn

THE WINE: Perrier Jouet Champagne Grand Brut

The buttery sweetness of the popcorn flattered the bubbly, matching the Champagne's sweeter, more aromatic notes. $36

THE SNACK: Potato chips

THE WINE: 2005 Girard Sauvignon Blanc

The salty but light crispness of the potato chips were a perfect foil to the lush, grapefruit-like flavor of this California white. $18

THE SNACK: Peanuts

THE WINE: 2004 French Rabbit Chardonnay

The funky depth provided by the peanuts helped fatten up this French white's thin, herbal character. $11 (1 liter tetra-pak)

THE SNACK: Peanuts

THE WINE: 2004 Georges DuBoeuf Chenas

This Beaujolais was a light sipper with plenty of summer cherry flavor. Again, the richness of the peanuts helped boster the wine. $14

THE SNACK: Popcorn and potato chips

THE WINE: 2003 Wild Horse Zinfandel Paso Robles

Everyone's favorite on its own, this peppery, smoky zin needed little help from the snacks. Some thought the popcorn provided a mellow match while others thought the potato chips worked best. $15