Impossible food wine pairings: chips and salsa!

We pick, you decide! That’s right, people, this is more fun than Fox News. I pick a wild and crazy food that we eat here in Amurrica, and you decide the wine pairing!

And if you think I’m going to lob a softball at you with some sorta cheese or bacon no brainer, forget it. We’re swinging for the fences here. There are no right answers, of course. So which wine has worked for you with…

Chips and salsa!

Comments are open.


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47 Responses to “Impossible food wine pairings: chips and salsa!”

  1. Beaujolais Villages, if you paid less than $8 for the bottle.

  2. Pedro Domecq Mexican brandy. Lots of it.

  3. I think it depends greatly on the type of salsa. If you are doing a mild salsa (maybe with a heavier dose of cilantro), then I’d say a grassy Sauvignon Blanc. If you are kicking up the heat, then maybe a slightly fruitier wine like a Chardonnay would balance the fire and have a hint of butteriness that would go well with the tortilla chips.

  4. 1945 Mouton Rothschild would be my pick.

  5. Picpoul de Pinet
    Muscadet de Servre-et-Maine
    100% Godello

    All best with tomatillo/chile verde salsa

  6. 1) Albariño
    2) Sauvignon Blanc
    3) Roussanne
    4) Carta Blanca

  7. A young Barbaresco–soft enough, but determined to stand tall against the salsa.

  8. I completly agree that it depends on the type of salsa. A light salsa verde or pico would work well with a chardonnay. However, I prefer a zin with most salsa especially if it has roasted peppers.

  9. A Rose Cava. Sparkling wine and chips are heaven, but bruts are often too much for the salsa. So, something pink and bubbly and not too dry if you can find it!

  10. Ay caramba, Dr. Debs, you took “las palabras” right out of my keyboard! For me, a Rose Cava is a foregone conclusion.

  11. We had a great Argentine Sauvignon Blanc tonight that would go perfectly with chips and salsa! It’s crisp, young, not overly fruity and is way too drinkable! Yum, bring on the spicy salsa!

  12. Pinot Gris.

  13. Great stuff! I like these ideas. I had a Premier Cru Chablis the other night and stumbled on some chips and salsa in the other room and it really didn’t work–not disastrous, just not pleasurable. Definitely needed to go either rounder, fuller, sweeter or more zingy, like the godello (nice pick!).

    Great point Marta! I like your thoughts about mild to spicy. How about this for another curve ball–guacamole?! It totally changes the composition of the food since it removes the acidity of the tomato and adds a ton of fat… Mmm, fat…

  14. Sweeter and zingy…how about a Spatlese Riesling from the Mosel?

    Seriously…off-dry riesling with salsa works my friends!

  15. I agree with Lenn, although I might even go with kabinett. I enjoy Kabinett with items involving ketchup and LOVE it.

  16. Brooklynguy —
    The 1945 is too flabby for salsa. The 1967 Mouton is my choice.

    Seriously, a cheap vinho verde

  17. I was thinking the 67. You’re probably right. One problem though is that the 67 still needs a bit of air time to really show itself and the bright tomato flavors of salsa tend to fade with exposure to air.

    Maybe it would be better to have a vinho verde, or a cremant d’alsace or de Bourgogne.

  18. Rose Sparkling or Champagne.
    Buona Bevuta a Tutti

  19. A nice lip-smacking SB comes immediately to mind, though I’ve been enjoying a few vinho verdes this summer that would be great with salsa — mildly effervescent, tart. A gruner veltliner would be an interesting choice as well…

  20. Hate to say it but, beer! Icy cold and frothy. That said, if it’s going to be chips and salsa then keep the price point WAY down and check out Wine Blogging Wednesday at for the low down on Spanish wines under $10. Mexico and Spain may be worlds apart but some of their Cavas would be perfect.

  21. NZ Sauvignon Blanc or Kabinett to Spatlese-level ripeness Riesling.

  22. Thanks, Stacy, I was waiting for somebody to say Chateau Coors Lite, Non-Vintage. I would also suggest the Clos du Corona a la lime.

  23. These are great comments! My wine club may be doing a meeting on food and wine pairing with appetizers, I never thought to bring out the chips and salsa. Thanks for the ideas!
    Albany, NY

    Wine and Stories from the Vineyard blog –

  24. A simple inexpensive Grüner Veltliner. Tried it last night to verify…worked out okay.

  25. St Superey Savignon Blanc….enough sweetness, fullness and earthiness to balance out this wacky combination.

  26. I was surprised to see that someone else thought of Albarino for this one as well – thought I was one of the few! Further digging showed that actually recommends the pairing as well. Who knew!

  27. I have the perfect wine – 2006 Barnard Griffin Rose of Sangiovese. Very dry, fruity with a pleasing light strawberry finish. And it also pairs well with just about anything off the grill. Fantastic summer wine!

    Still available at the winery for $10.99.

    – William

  28. Given the wine list you are likely to find at that Mexican restaurant…, beer, beer

  29. Stacy has it right I think: Beer.

    If no beer, then Gabrio has the answer: a sparkling Rose. I’m partial to Gloria Ferrer Rose myself.

    Lenn makes a good point about Spatlese Riesling. The only problem for me is that I’ve never had an off-dry Riesling that I actually enjoyed.

  30. Hey! Try a (fresh) Bugey Cerdon!

  31. […] this should be an “impossible food pairing” post, too. A double-play, if you will. So which wines do you like with hot dogs? Vega […]

  32. A semi-dry Riesling actually goes really well with all kinds of Mexican food (as with all spicy food), not just chips and salsa. The first time I tried the combination, it really blew me away, because my mindset was always on beer with Mexican food. The Barth Spatlese Hassel from the Rheingau is what I would recommend with it!

  33. A full bodied Grenache, chilled down a little.

    A Marsanne, Roussanne, or a blend of the two.

  34. […] Continuing our fine, week-long tradition of “impossible food-wine pairings” (see chips n salsa), we pick a food that we eat here in Amurrica and you decide what to pair with it. And […]

  35. a nice cheap glass of txakolina.
    only if its poured from 4 feet above the glass though.

  36. No matter what, I would stay at or below the $10-$12 mark. Depending on the characteristics of the salsa, try one of the following:

    1) vihno verde (fantastic, very cheap summer picnic wine that goes great with nearly everything; also slightly efferevecent)
    2) riesling
    3) savagnon blanc

    Reds (generally not as successful as white):
    1) zinfandel
    2) beaujolais villages
    3) Some inexpensive cotes du rhones, and most any inexpensive red from Chile


  38. […] sport of it, I sent an SMS to the number with our own “impossible food wine pairing” of chips and salsa! And what did the computer reply […]

  39. This is easy for me. A crisp Sauvignon Blanc would mellow the tanginess of the salsa and provide a complimentary taste to the chips.

    Beer is what I will probably have tonight, however, with my nachos, prior to the Colts game.

    Go Colts!!!

  40. […] at foods we enjoy in America that present an impossible wine challenge! We have previously digested chips and salsa, nori, and the falafel sandwich. And now, for all the meat-a-tarians who were getting cranky, we […]

  41. […] pasta was good, the pairing excellent. I’m sure that Dr. Vino would have approved (I love his “Impossible Pairings!” […]

  42. I love wine with chips ‘n salsa – my favorite is definitely zin, which helps bring out the heat in the milder salsas my wife makes from scratch (she tries to keep them mild to moderate).. WA state riesling is also very nice with the warden’s garden fresh, homemade salsa.

  43. […] “Betting wine for football.” “Impossible food-wine pairings: chips and salsa!” Image: Permalink | Share This | food and wine, wine and sports This entry […]

  44. […] “Impossible food-wine pairing: chips and salsa!” “Impossible food-wine pairing: breakfast burrito!” (image; and yes, that was the […]

  45. are you for real? i’m drinking a king cab 2004 (alexander valley) ($25) and it is great with chips and salsa. however, i am mexican from southern california so what isn’t great with chips and salsa? stop with all this wine snobbery already!!!

  46. I’d say “more fun” than MSNBC. That’s the hoot.

  47. […] many of our “impossible food-wine pairings.” So, from the archives, here they are: * Chips and Salsa * Buffalo wings * Seven-layer dip * […]


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