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Pairing with Mac and Cheese

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I am planning on making mac and cheese for my wife tonight (its a sentimental thing) for Valentines Day and was hoping for some wine pairing suggestions.

I am using a combination of american and cheddar cheese and will be baking it with a bread crumb topping.

Usually I drink big red wines (zin, syrah and cab) but wasn't sure how well they would pair. I am leaning towards a Chardonnay from CA but also have some NZ Sauvingon Blanc in the house and can always pick up something else. And if you think the reds would work that would be awesome!

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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  1. I think a nice Pinot Noir would be great--I love red wine but think white would be better with the mac and cheese--add a nice salad

    1. If you're going with a cheddar base, then do this to maximize the meal....

      Serve a cabernet or zinfandel with the dish AND (this is key), add a good amount of parmesan reggiano either into the cheese or shave it on top of the dish. Also add a few twists of fresh cracked pepper.

      Cabernet & zin love cheddar but they hit their zenith with parmesan reggiano. And the pepper notes will tie it all together.

      I can't resist continuing on this "fast food and fine wine" theme... if you serve this gourmet mac n' cheese, why not also serve a gourmet burger with it?? Cab & zin are great wines with a fine grilled hamburger and the upscale mac 'n cheese would make this worthy of a very high quality wine.

      1. I'd go for a refreshing, fat-cutting white like the ones I serve with cheese fondue: Fendant, Chardonnay from Mâcon or the Jura, almost any Savoie white. If red, think supple, fruity and low alcohol like a Beaujolais cru.

        That being said, I seem to recall Andrea Immer recommending Rioja Crianza as the best match for mac and cheese.

        2 Replies
        1. re: carswell

          Yep, I'd go with an unoaked chard. Maybe a white burgundy?

          1. re: oolah

            >>Maybe a white burgundy?<<

            Sure. Mâcon is at the southern end of Burgundy. Many whites from that general area -- de Villaine's Côte Chalonnaise or Brun's Beaujolais blanc, for example -- would make a fine affordable choice.