What’s the Perfect Wine for Mac and Cheese?

This week’s food section recipe takes a look at a great comfort food fallback: Mac and Cheese.

Talk about a tough meal to find the perfect wine pairing. How do you find a wine best suited for a rich dish like macaroni and cheese — and no, we’re not talking about the kind that comes in a box, we’re talking the homemade, gooey, cheesy, stick-to-your bones kind of Mac N Cheese.

The first suggestion? Look at the sauce. What will be the main flavors coming from the dish? Will the heaviest cheese flavors come from cheeses like Gruyere or Swiss, or will sharp Cheddar dominate? Or, are you considering adding a thick layer of Parmesan to the top?

Here’s what we’d recommend to stand up against the different mac and cheese recipes:

If you choose the Swiss Mac with Potatoes, we recommend trying Hogue Cellars Chardonnay.

One of the oldest wineries in Washington, Hogue makes a great little Chardonnay with a little butter, a little vanilla and nice apple pear flavors framed in a medium body.

If you aren’t a fan of chardonnay, take a look at pairing this dish with a rose Zinfandel (not to be confused with a white Zinfandel).

We’d recommend Pedroncelli Winery’s Rose of Zinfandel. Don’t let sweet fruitiness of this wine fool you. It has the stamina to take on the heavy weight of the potato, cheese and mac.

For the next recipe of Panko-Crusted Mac and Cheese may we recommend a delicious food wine?

Sawtooth Winery’s Viognier, which is blended with a bit of Marsanne and barrel fermented for a more voluptuous body. Its rich creamy flavors are sure to pair well with the steamy Panko-crusted mac and cheese.

If you’d prefer a red for this one, look no farther than sunny Spain. The country’s ever-faithful Senorio de Balboa is made from the Tempranillo grape and aged in American oak. It has the weight and fruit to smooth up to the cayenne and sharp cheddar.

Lastly if you’re looking for something to cut through the richness of Ina Garten’s Gruyere and extra sharp cheddar Mac and Cheese, we’ve got a couple of reds to consider.

Columbia Valley winery Jones of Washington has an Estate Syrah filled with rich full flavors of plum, raspberry, and red current with polished tannins that would pair nicely with this recipe.

If your preference is a big and juicy Merlot, bursting with cherry and blackberry flavors, then try the Chilean Cono Sur Merlot.

Most of these wines can be found at your local grocery store just around $10 or less.


Brynn and Mary