Who doesn’t love endless amounts of fried food? We know we do and of course, we love wine too! Check out these 11 fair food and wine pairings just in time for fair season. Here’s the thing, wine and food pairings don’t have to be fancy! In fact, some of the best food and wine pairings are with casual foods. We know...many state and local fairs have been canceled this year, but we have some good news! Many state fairs are having “drive-thru” options where you can drive up and get some of your favorite fair foods. (Sign us up!) The Minnesota State Fair, which is the largest in the United States in terms of attendance, is one of these! You can also always try to recreate your favorite summer fair foods at home. Okay, now time to get to the good stuff – the pairings!
1. Corn Dogs
Of course we had to start with one of the most well known fair foods ever! Corn dogs are perfectly crispy and savory. The best wine to go with this fair food creation is a Sauvignon Blanc or a dry sparkling rosé. Corn dogs can be pretty salty and you’ll need a wine to pair nicely with that salty flavor. Looking for a red wine instead? Try a Garnacha! The red fruit-flavors and the slight bitterness from the vino will pair perfectly with the cornmeal outside and hot dog inside. Our favorite wine to pair with corn dogs is Bright Cellars own, Azuli Sauvignon Blanc. With tasting notes of grapefruit peel and fresh herbs, it's a perfect match of the salty fried goodness for a corn dog.
2. Deep Fried Oreos
Welcome to adulthood, where you pair your Oreos with wine instead of milk! The best wine for deep fried Oreos is Lambrusco. This sparkling red wine is perfect for Oreos. The flavors of strawberry, rhubarb, and black berry will pair nicely with the chocolate outsides and creamy insides.
3. Cheese Curds
We are from Wisconsin, so we had to throw these in here. Even if you’re not from Wisconsin, you should seriously consider making these at home. It all depends on what kind of cheese curds you’re eating. For fresh cheese curds go with a Chardonnay. The green apple and citrus flavors will cut through the creamy salty cheese curd. If you’re more of a fried cheese curd type of person, try going with a Prosecco. The bubbles from the wine will pair nice with the fried food and also cut through the saltiness. Maybe you want to try Poutine! This is a popular dish in Canada. It is a combination of cheese curds, french fries, and brown gravy. You’ll need a low-tannin red wine for this one, like a Pinot Noir. The fruity flavors from the Pinot Noir will match with the savory flavors from the poutine.
4. Deep Fried S’mores
This summertime treat just got better! The biggest thing to focus on when pairing s’mores is the chocolate that you’re using. This is usually the most powerful flavor of the s’more. The best wine for a traditional deep fried s’more would be a Tawny Port. This wine has flavors of cinnamon and toffee that will pair nicely with the milk chocolate flavor from the s’more. Want something other than a traditional s’more? Try deep frying any of these s’more variations too!
5. Bacon-Wrapped Corn on the Cob
We are talking about fair food, of course we had to do bacon-wrapped something! No matter what you put on top, grilled corn is best paired with an unoaked Chardonnay. The slight dryness from the vino helps cut through the salty flavors from the corn seasonings.
6. Krispy Kreme Burgers
Ditch the boring old hamburger buns and replace them with Krispy Kreme donuts! First, stop thinking about how many calories it is...you don’t want to know! Second, pair this perfect blend of sweet and salty with a Vouvray. The honey and pear flavors from Vouvray will pair beautifully with the sweet flavors from the donuts.
7. Cream Puffs
Cream puffs are the ultimate fair food! These golden brown puff pastries filled with vanilla cream go great with a glass of sweet rosé or Muscat. You always want to make sure that the vino you’re drinking with desserts or sweeter food is just as sweet or sweeter than the food. If not, the wine will taste bitter – no one wants that!
8. Deep Fried Mac and Cheese Bites
As if this childhood staple couldn’t get any better, and then it’s thrown into a deep fryer! Deep fried mac and cheese bites are ooey and gooey cheese filled deliousiness. They are best served with a glass of chilled Chenin Blanc. This wine can be both dry or sweet. We suggest one more towards the drier side for this pairing. The flavors of pear, yellow apple, and honey in Chenin Blanc will give a slight sweetness to this salty snack.
9. Funnel Cake
This is arguably the best sweet fair food. So simple, yet so yummy! The fried dough and powdered sugar from a funnel cake will pair perfectly with a sweet Riesling. The sugar on top of the cake will mix together nicely with the Riesling and help bring out those sweeter flavors in both the vino and the dessert.
10. Deep Fried Butter
You can literally find just about anything at a fair as long as it is deep fried! Deep fried butter is crunchy on the outside yet melty on the inside. This deep fried creation is best paired with a Chardonnay. Chardonnay has flavors of vanilla, pineapple, and butter! The deep fried butter will pair nicely with the slightly sweet butter flavor from the Chardonnay.
11. Deep Fried Girl Scout Cookies
This pairing all depends on what kind of Girl Scout Cookie is your favorite!
- If you like Caramel Delites go with a Sauternes
- Lemon-Ups are your thing? Try a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.
- Maybe you like Thin Mints – Go with a glass of Grenache.
Check out this pairing guide to find all your favorite Girl Scout Cookies and their wine pairing.