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It’s the weekend. Are you ready to hibernate and do nothing? Yeah, us, too. Except it’s the first weekend of the month so we’re feeling fancy.


We’re thinking, a proper bottle of wine should balance out the supreme laziness offered by endless TV streams, unlimited bowl of chips, and our pambahay.

We asked Zeus Grageda of Sommelier Selection Inc, a level 2 wine expert in the Wine and Spirit Education Trust, which wines will pair best with casual, regular weekend craving items—think Eric Keyser cookies, V-Cut potato chips, polvoron, and popcorn.

“I’m not actually a sommelier because I am on the trading segment of the industry,” he quickly clarifies. “But I may be called a Sommelier if I work with restaurants, hotels, or resorts.”

With a clear level of specificity, we know we were in good hands. See below, and get stashed.

Craving for: Eric Keyser’s Dark Chocolate Chip Cookie
Pair it with: A fruity robust wine with smooth tannin, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Primitivo/Zinfandel.
Raison d’etre: “The cookie is bitter. The fruitiness in the wine will balance it,” Zeus says. “These wines don’t only offer fruity flavors but also cacao notes.”
Factor in: The salt content of the cookie. “I believe it is the most important factor. It will enhance the flavor by suppressing the bitterness of the wine and the chocolate.”

Craving for: Spicy Delimondo corned beef
Pair it with: Sweet wines like Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinoy Gris, and Chenin Blanc.
Bear in mind: “When pairing wine with spicy food, high alcohol content and oaky wines must be avoided. Too much alcohol level will increase the burning sensation in your mouth while oaky wines will give you more bitter taste,” says Zeus.

Craving for: Goldilocks Polvoron
Pair it with: Wines with a sweetness levels between medium to high, like a still wine or a sparkling wine.
Rule of thumb: “The wine must be sweeter when pairing with dessert or else it will result in bitterness in your mouth,” says Zeus.
Check out: German wines with sweetness categoies of Auslese Beernauslese, Trockenberneaulese and Eiswein are good. South of France is also a good producer of sweet wines like Sauternes, Barsac, Cadillac, and Monbazillac. Moscato d’Asti from Piedmont is the best Italian recommendation.

Craving for: Balut
If you’re feeling white wine, pair it with: Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Viogner, Dry Chenin Blanc, Chablis, Pinot Grigio, if you’re feeling white wine.
If red wine is your jam: Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, and Gamay if you’re feeling red.
Bear in mind: “The acidity in wine will give it a flavor the way vinegar does in Balut,” says Zeus. So get fresh and unoaked white wines with minerality and salinity. And if red is your poison, look for those light in body, with a low tannin, and medium to high acidity.”

Craving for: Potato Fries Barbecue Flavor
Look for: Semi-sweet wine or white wines that have ripe tropical fruits and stone fruit characters.
Up for consideration: A bottle of Rosé with good raspberry or strawberry characters.
Avoid: Full-bodied wines with high tannin. “It may overpower the flavor and texture of the fries.”

Craving for: Buttered popcorn
Pair it with: A bottle white wine like buttery chardonnay! “If it’s well-aged in an oak, the wine’s acidity and body will be rounder and the pairing will be creamier in the mouth.”
There’s science to it: According to Zeus, an oaky chardonnay usually goes through malolactic fermentation, where malic acid converts into lactic acid. “The process makes the wine creamier, rounder, and buttery, which makes it the best for buttered popcorn.”
Feeling like red? An Oakey Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Nedo d’Avola, Sangiovese, or Rioja are good options. “The acidity of the red wine will cut through the oiliness of the popcorn.”

Craving for: V-Cut Potato Chips
Pair it with: Dry white wines from cool climates: “The acidity from these wines will give another complimenting flavor with the chips. It will cut through the oiliness of the food.”
Note: The salt content. “Full-boadied and oaky red wines are possible choices too. Given the salt content, you’ll be surprised the wine will taste fruitier and smoother.”

Illustration: Madel Crudo


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