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.



Beer: Märzen/Oktoberfest
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.”

Pirate’s Booty

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.”

Cheese Sticks

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.”


Animal Crackers

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.”

Fruit Snacks

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.

Wine: Beaujolais
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.”

Wine: Sauternes
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.

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