My Fast Food & Wine Pairing Experience: Pancheros

After reading an article recently about pairing fast food options with wine, I decided to try my own version to see if it was even worth attempting to pair in my opinion.  I decided that I would like to try the concept of fast food pairing with some of my favorite carry-out options.  I want to test a spicy Chinese dish with a Rose, a local fried chicken joint with a barrel fermented Chardonnay, a local pizzeria pairing as well as a burger pairing from the local dive bar that dishes out some fabulous, juicy burgers and hand-cut fries.  My first experiment was with one of my go-to lunch/dinner on the run stops, Pancheros.

One evening I stopped at Pancheros Mexican Grill and bought a steak and carnita burrito with chips and salsa for dinner.  For those of you unfamiliar with Pancheros, it is similar to a Chipotle.  They make their own homemade tortillas and press them fresh when you order and load up the burrito with your choice of proteins and fresh vegetables (along with the typical rice and beans). In a word, delicious. On my drive home, I decided that I would try to pair it with a red wine that I had at home.  Upon finding a Tempranillo on my shelf, I decided to go for it. The Tempranillo was from Spain, the burrito derives from Mexico.  They speak Spanish in both countries.  That seemed like enough reason for me to pair them.  In all seriousness, I thought the flavors from this wine would compliment the pulled pork in my burrito.  This pairing did not fail me.  The particular wine I purchased was fairly weak in intensity, but the savory spice flavors in the wine married with the acidity of the pico de gallo and chips as well as the fresh veggies and meat in the burrito.  I would definitely put this combo together again!


Fast Food Wine Pairings

I recently stumbled across the following article online about fast food wine pairings on FoodBeast:

The Quintessential Guide to Fast Food + Wine Pairings

Honestly, I don’t know whether to be horrified or whether these people are brilliant.

I suppose every meals deserves to have a great wine pairing, but then doesn’t something as mundane as a McDonald’s sandwich deserve to be paired with a Boone’s Farm wine?  Or does it?  Is there an argument to be made that the methodology of pairing wines can certainly be translated to fast food?

The points made about a good fast food wine seem valid.  You need a wine with high acidity to cut the fat. It should be inexpensive, as fast food is not overly priced. It should enhance, not compete with the flavors of the meal.  It should be a bit quirky, as eating fast food and drinking wine together is in and of itself thinking outside of the box.  They even have specific pairings in the article to help you out.

Maybe I need to test some of their suggestions and report back before making a judgement. I am leaning towards wine with fast food being a ridiculous concept, but that is solely based on the fact that whenever I eat fast food, I am not savoring or enjoying the meal. Fast food is purely for convenience in my case, so I personally would not drink wine with it.  But I realize that many people rely on a majority of their meals coming from fast food, so maybe people in these situations like to have a nice glass of wine with their dinner. Who am I to judge? My philosophy has always been drink whatever you like and enjoy, so why should that be any different when fast food is involved?

Has anyone ever had wine with fast food?  Any thoughts on the subject?