Wine Pairings for Toddler Leftovers.by Elizabeth MacDonald
Raise your hand if you have ever eaten microwaved or room temperature kids' food for dinner? Perhaps you are even thinking, "Those gluten free chicken nuggets aren't actually that bad." This stage of parenthood is rarely filled with gourmet meals. Instead of fancy cheeses, you'll enjoy a half eaten string cheese as an appetizer.
You have to just laugh at the picked at cheese pizza, bird bites of quesadillas, and plates of pasta that you end up consuming so they don't go to waste. While it feels a bit depressing, you can still pair those kiddie foods with wonderful wines - and then do a happy dance in the kitchen.
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.
Don't be afraid to go outside of your comfort zone. Maybe even splurge on a few 'nicer' bottles of Albarino, Rose, Cava, and Chainti.
Also, if you have a Total Wine Warehouse near you, take an afternoon field trip. The professionalsI will work with your budget and help you find exactly what you are looking for.
Here was my take away, and I can safely assure you that no wine was wasted while producing this article:
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 kids tasted fish sticks for the first time. Only the 3 year old finished a stick. 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 sample glass.
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. 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, the 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.