Smores: an impossible food-wine pairing?


It’s that time of year when millions of Americans gather around campfires, saying “I hate white rabbits” as they try to get out of the smoke. Of course, once positioned upwind, thoughts inevitably turn to…S’mores! Yes, what would summer be like without a booster shot of high fructose corn syrup in the form of graham crackers sandwiching molten marshmallows with a slab of Hershey’s chocolate?

And a wine lover’s thoughts might also drift to an inevitable pairing with wine! Which wine goes with smores? Or are they…impossible?!?

(As an aside, above you can see my s’mores technique of trying to melt the chocolate on a rock close to the fire. Didn’t work so well. Hit the comments with your preferred technique and/or ingredients.)

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35 Responses to “Smores: an impossible food-wine pairing?”

  1. S’mores. YUM! I add a slather of chunky peanut butter to mine because, yanno, more fat = more yum. Years ago at camp, we used to peel a strip off a banana, shove graham crackers and chocolate into it, and toss it on the coals.

    Looks like you just needed to move that rock closer to the fire. Next time, put the chocolate bar in your pocket to warm it up first. It will melt faster. It also helps if the ambient air temp is warm which we’ve not had much of this summer.

    A super-sweet dessert wine might pair nicely, like a Vidal Icewine or something late-harvest.

  2. Smoky, rich, crackerey. This screams old vines Chilean Carignan, obviously.

  3. No sweat on this pairing: a top Michigan raspberry wine. Plenty of substance, not ultra-sweet, and great acidity to cut through all that goo. And they go great with chocolate.

  4. I’ll tell you exactly what goes with s’mores! A nice, clean, stainless-steel fermented, fruity Viognier. The cold and crisp wine with the gooey, warm sweetness of the s’more….sublime!! We serve this pairing every winter around the bonfire at my winery, Hard Row to Hoe Vineyards and it is a hit with everyone…because who would have guessed! Washington State Viognier preferred, Hard Row to Hoe even better. Try it. Let me know what you think.

  5. I have had a Michigan raspberry wine with smores and it is a great pairing.

    I would also go with Chilean Cabernet. The structure, acidity and weight would hold up to the cream deliciousness and bring out the flavors of the chocolate in the wine.

  6. I think a tawny port would go fantastic with the chocolate/marshmallow/smokey combo! Even poured over ice would be nice.

  7. My vote would be for the most stereotypical California Chardonnay possible–a big oak and butter bomb. I’m not a big fan of that style, but I think here all of those characteristics could work.

  8. On many a camping trip I’ve brought along 10 Year Old Tawny Port. Most recently a chilled Cockburn’s 10 Year Old Tawny was the perfect match. The nutty, caramel and red fruits of the youthful Tawny paired beautifully with the perfectly charred marshmallow sandwiched between a wedge of dark chocolate and graham cracker. Mmmmm …

  9. Absolutley no doubt, Moscato d’Asti. Light like the marshmallows, sweet like the chocolate, and has some extra texture to match the graham crackers. Plus, cool wine on warm food is always a fun sensation.

  10. Dr V, when you come to Austin, I will take you to the Trailer Park eatery for some trailer park s’mores. And we will drink Brachetto! Thanks for the shout out the other day…

  11. Just off the top: a Banyuls (a sweet portish wine from France. Not to be confused with Bandol.) And also a chilled Pedro Ximenez sherry. I could even skip the Smores and just drink these around the campfire.

  12. There’s a wine bar called UnWine’d in Vancouver that serves up table side S’Mores. The individual components are given to you in a nice little presentation (with a sterno flame). The wine list is fantastic…great experience and I highly recommend this spot if you are ever in the area.

    Jim from Hello Vino

  13. I agree with Jim on the Banyuls. Plus the Mas Amiel Maury, Rosenblum’s Desiree, Trentadue’s Chocolate Port, or maybe an LBV. And then, a diabetic coma.

  14. Definitely opt for the tawny port with this option. As far as technique goes. I prefer a rotational method, spinning clockwise, close to the flame. This is maintained without igniting the marshmallow until the skin turns a light, golden brown.

    For the impatient, light the marshmallow, blow it out and you’re done.

  15. I’ll second (or third) the tawny port suggestions as well as the Banyuls, but I’d probably go domestic on this one with a late harvest zin (Bella makes a nice one) or LH Petite Sirah (like T-Vine’s Psychedelic Rooster). Gotta admit, the Brachetto idea is very appealing…

  16. Y.U.M. There are so many good suggestions here my mouth is definitely watering. I’d definitely go with the tawny port if it’s chilly out and a sparkling wine (Prosecco, perhaps?) if it’s a warm night.

    By the way, I know some will consider it cheating, but my secret to ooey-gooey s’mores is to use chocolate frosting instead of a slab of chocolate bar.

  17. I agree with all of the tawny port recommendations. I once tasted a 100 year old vintage port that had a symphony of marshmellow and toasty nut flavors… not that anyone has a 100 year old bottle of vintage port laying around on a camping trip, but it would have been perfect.

  18. I think port is an uninspired choice….what about some of the grapes from Santa Cruz that are smoked filled themselves from last year? You can also do a harsh petite syrah I would guess, especially if it is earthy.

  19. Port is entirely too powerful for the delicate texture of the marshmallow. An easy choice, yet, but what about a slightly sweet sparkler. Way better here.

  20. My goodness, why bother! You Americans eat some strange things.

  21. my first instinct was port too, but then while reading the comments- that guy who said viognier reminded me of the mer soleil late harvest viognier. that would be great! plus, the one we’re selling has a couple years on it, so it’s really got this burnt caramel thing going on right now. when I had it, I really thought about pairing it with coffee cake, but now that I think about it, s’mores would taste pretty yummy with it!

  22. Rutherglen Tawnies work with these, first hand experience.

  23. I haven’t tried this, but a Brachetto d’Acqui may pair well with the S’mores because of the chocolate. Then again, I probably wouldn’t waste any wine on S’mores!


  24. Sauternes

  25. Madiera, Malmsey most likely. It will stand up to the resulting goo when my marshmallow catches fire.

  26. So many good selections already…I love the idea of a raspberry wine…and 10 year old tawny, with my vote going to Grant Burge from Australia.

    I’d also have to throw in with a late harvest Zin, like Liquid Love by Tobin James or perhaps even the dessert wine by Rosenblum, Désirée.

  27. I’m leaning towards the Brachetto myself. Try with interesting chocolates too, like those infused with chilies, or w/salted caramel, etc. I set it on a rock near the fire, too….just gotta be patient.

  28. When in doubt, go with bubbly. I can’t think of a time when this strategy has failed me. I often like Cava, but have not tried with smores.

  29. Yes, I think second to a cold, crisp Viognier I would try s’mores with a bubbly. Good idea!

  30. What is most important is not allowing the bugs and gnats into your wine while enjoying your S’mores. I use the Wine Glass Crown. Check them out at “

    Very cool!

  31. […] Vino challenges you to match a wine with ’smores. And here I thought scrambled eggs were a tough […]

  32. I think many sweet late harvest wines would complement well: Tokaj Aszu, Riesling, Sauternes, Beaume de Venise, Banyuls. Because there’s chocolate involved, even a nice port or late harvest Zinfandel. Yummy!

  33. Definitely champagne! A perfect combination, I think.

  34. I don’t see what the problem is. You have burnt wood, chocolate, cinnamon (depending on your graham cracker)….bordeaux

  35. Founders Wine Cellar in Baroda is actually planning on releasing a wine specifically made for s’mores in October… s’Merlot. I had a sample over the weekend and it was fantastic. Chocolate, marshmallow, and I think a hint of cinnamon with merlot.


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