Wine Pairings for Toddler Leftovers.
I like to think that I’m pretty classy. It may be in my head though. Five babies later, I rock my ‘Mom Bun’ and yoga pants pretty much around the clock. That being said, my pre-pre-pre-pre-baby ‘ass-hugging jeans’ are still in my closet and do make an appearance every so often. You know, when we can afford a babysitter to watch this many children, we aren’t so tired that we do actually make it out the door, and there’s somewhere more inviting than our couch and Netflix. It may be rare, but we do go out. We are still madly in love and enjoy one another’s company. Typically, our date nights revolve around wine. Ok, now that I have established that I CAN actually get all fancied up and have a life, the reality is that most nights, I scrape the leftovers from all of my children’s plates onto my own. (OOOOOOH Don’t you judge me. I am NOT alone on this, right?) We don’t like to throw food away in our house. If the kids don’t eat it all, my husband and I will. I decided to turn this into a very humorous week of wine experiments in our home. Now don’t start overthinking any of this. Just let me wow you with all of my crazy wine drinking talents. Yes, I am breastfeeding. Yes, I am having a glass of wine. Did you not read my post on ‘Breastfeeding and Booze’ – Go read it NOW. John and I have wine a lot. Like every night – or at least every other night. It is my after-kid-bedtime reward! (I put Five babies to bed every single night.) Ok – back to the post at hand here. I have pulled in an expert. Seriously, I am not kidding. My good friend is studying wine (like actually taking classes to become a professional wine distributor. How did I miss that this was an actual job?). This chick knows her wines. This may be why we are friends… Nah.
I created a list of the nation’s most common toddler foods. Because I am a perfect mom, my children have never eaten these. They survive on only quinoa and roasted vegetables. DUH. I then asked the expert for the proper pairings of wine to accompany said foods. Why would I do such a thing? Simple. I cannot possibly be the only mom eating her kids’ leftovers every night. Surely, I’m not the only one doing so with a glass of wine in my hand. So it’s time that we paired accordingly. Instead of denying that this is happening, let us unite and embrace this stage of parenthood!
Without further ado… I give you:
The 15 Best Paired Wines for Toddler Leftovers
When in doubt, grab your favorite. Your favorite will pair well with anything because it is your favorite. (You like the science on that one? Good. Read on.)
Before beginning this little experiment, Chardonnay was my favorite. By the end though, I had expanded my palate – and I must say, the Albarino, the Rose’, the Cava, and the Chainti are all topping my new favorite list.
Also, if you have a Total Wine Warehouse near you, RUN there. While I would love to say that I hand-picked these wines, I did not. The professionals did. I gave them a mom budget of $9-12 a bottle, and they did not steer me wrong. (I’ll include the brands in my pairings.)
Chicken Nuggets and Sauvignon Blanc
- 2015 Anakena Sauv. Blanc from Chile: Leaves the mouth refreshed, happy, and ready for another drink! It’s freshness is not overly citrusy, which works well with the breaded chicken nugget leftovers. (Or the chicken alone because the children ate the breading as their dinner.)
Mac and Cheese and a Dry Riesling
- 2014 Bree White Riesling: crisp, light, and not overly sweet. (I do NOT like sweet wines.) Annie’s Gluten Free Mac-n-Cheese happens about once a month in our house, and while I’ll probably grab an Albarino next time (and a bottle of hot sauce for the leftovers), this Riesling was very good!
Grilled Cheese and Chardonnay
- Firebrand Chardonnay 2014: A bold, rich and oaky chardonnay that added a crisp compliment to the grilled cheese that I slathered in salsa before consuming.
Fish Sticks and Sauvignon Blanc
- EW. Fish Sticks. These are not good. Not good at all. Why do we give them to our children? Ian’s gluten free sticks are also allergy-friendly so my 4 year old tasted his first fish stick this week. He wasn’t amused to say the least. There were more leftovers than I was hoping for, so I ditched them and enjoyed the wine!
- Kemblefield 2015 Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough: A New Zealand white with hints of passion fruit and gooseberry leave a crisp tropical flavor behind. I’d be lying if I said I stopped after my small sample.
Hummus and Veggie Sticks and Pinot Noir
- This meal was included because my children eat it every day for lunch. They can’t be alone.
- 2014 D’Autrefois Pinot Noir is full of dark fruits and is so smooth going down, you won’t realize you are drinking red. It is just delicious, and John and I continued this bottle into our Brownie and Ice-cream Dessert after kids went to bed!
Spaghetti (With or without meatballs) and Chianti Classico
- Chianit Classico Casalino 2011: A warm bodied, full red that compliments a pasta wonderfully. I hadn’t known of this type of wine prior to the experiment, but my husband is quite grateful. He loves red wine and any excuse to sample a new one.
Mashed Potatoes and Peas and the perfect Cabernet
- 2014 Gnarled Vine Cabernet Sauvignon: An intensely deep, rich fruit flavor will leave your mouth happy. I loved this with the mashed potatoes. Let’s be honest, peas are peas, and unless I’m sautéing buttered English peas, they are just mush.
Cheerios and Champagne
- You had to have seen this pairing coming. If you are seriously eating your child’s cheerio leftovers, please feel fancy enough to pour a good glass of champagne with it. Saint-Reine Blanc de Blancs Extra Dry is a party champagne. (A cheerio party)
Scrambled Eggs and Mimosas
- Any cheap bottle of prosecco or brut will do with some high quality orange juice (or my favorite: a tangerine juice), but specifically I bought the Depreville Brut. Like I said, anything will due here, as you are just adding bubbles to juice
Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies (Organic version of Goldfish) and Chardonnay
- Butterfield Station Chardonnay: From the hills of California, this oaky, buttery chardonnay has a tropical underlay with a hint of vanilla to it. It’s just deep enough to make the half eaten bunnies bearable… or just trash them and drink a third glass of wine.
Peanut Butter and Jelly and a nice Rose’
- Pigmentum Malbec 2015 Georges Vigouroux Rose’: Hello beautiful pink wine. Did you know that there are pink wines? My 6 year old squealed with delight as this was put in the cart. I squealed equally as I tasted it! It is light and crisp and made with red fruits (Think berries). It is a great compliment to the PB&J, but I’d highly recommend saving a bottle for your next spicy meal! I’ll be purchasing this one again soon.
Cheese Pizza and Primitivo
- Masseria Cicella Primitivo Salento is a light bodied red. I didn’t even know this wine existed, but man is it worth trying. No heavy “Red Hangover” with this one.
Hamburger and Cabernet Sauvignon
- BrisAndes 2014 Cab has a hint of black cherries, perfectly pairing with the half of hamburger I inhaled.
Hot DogPick your favorite, our wine expert says there is no good pairing here – My professional mom drinking says that chardonnay works well.
- California Square Fine Wine Chardonnay: This was my splurge wine for the week. I LOVE a good chardonnay and this did not disappoint! (Not to mention that it had the coolest bottle.)
Quesadilla and Albarino or Cava(depending on your mood – bubbles or no bubbles.)
- I absolutely LOVED the Val de Sosego Albarino! Hands down a new favorite.
- Cava – It sounds so fancy! It’s basically just champagne. Ha. I won’t lie though. It was delicious. The Gran Tradicion Cava Brut is dry and creamy with a citrusy bubble.
I'm pretty sure this was my favorite blog to write to date. What's your current favorite wine to pair with your toddler's leftovers?