Now that school’s started, the kids’ lunch box treats are likely doubling as your late night snack. We spoke with Matt Simpson, owner of The Beer Sommelier, LLC consultancy and a Toms River native, and Gary Pavlis, PhD, a professor at Rutgers University who’s worked in the NJ wine industry for 30 years, to find the perfect pairings.
In Germany, this gets paired with a soft pretzel, which is salty and baked just like Goldfish. “[Märzens are] a beautiful deep shade of copper,” says Simpson. “Put these next to each other and it’s a match made in heaven.”
Wine: California Chardonnay
“These crackers are buttery and full-flavored,” says Pavlis, “so the wine must be comparable or it’ll get lost.”
Beer: India Pale Ale (IPA)
IPAs are super popular nowadays, beloved for their bitterness and hoppy nuances. Simpson says, “it should pair really well and cut the acidic cheddar.”
Wine: Sauvignon Blanc
Pavlis says nearly any dry wine will work well with these kid-friendly puffs, but, “I’d stay with a white wine; from California would be best.”
Beer: Belgian Saison
Simpson says saisons are, “extremely effervescent, kind of bready [and] a little citrusy.” The fat from the cheese gets lifted off your palate by the CO2 in the beer, giving you “a real, full sensory experience.”
Wine: Pinot Grigio
“Any dry wine; cheese and wine are an easy match,” says Pavlis. “Just stay away from Sauvignon Blanc.”
Beer: Milk Stout
Milk stouts have lactose, which makes them sweeter with roasty notes of chocolate and coffee. “It reminds me of chocolate milk and animal crackers,” says Simpson.
Wine: Finger Lakes Riesling
Rieslings have a reputation for being generally sweet, though there are plenty of dry ones, too. This pick is “just a little sweet,” says Pavlis, “so the Riesling will spice up the crackers.”
Beer: Berliner Weisse
Simpson says this style is, “light, [made with] wheat, tart, acidic [and] light bodied.” If you feel inauthentic washing down some gummies with it, don’t: Berliners are typically paired with fruit or woodruff syrups back in Germany.
From the French region of the same name, this is a light-bodied, fruit-forward pick. “Fruity matches fruity,” says Pavlis.
Rice Krispies Treats
Beer: Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout
This late night snack is packed with marshmallow and vanilla flavors, which is the main reason for Simpson’s choice: “You get a little bit of coffee, some chocolate from the roast and vanilla from the bourbon barrel.”
This type of vino is super sweet, just like Snap, Crackle and Pop’s signature goody. Pavlis’ sweet-on-sweet pairing makes a tasty, quick dessert.