Wine and junk food pairings for Valentine’s day!


Image by Darien Funk

Wine: the best way to get drunk while also maintaining the illusion of class. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, most of us are looking for ways to make ourselves and/or your significant others feel special. But being on a student budget can really narrow down your options — most of us can’t afford to splurge on a fancy night out with food and wine to match.

That, however, doesn’t mean you can’t bring your Valentine’s Day celebration up a notch from a drunken, PBR-fueled sexcapade followed by a helping of whatever-you-can-put-together from the single onion, half empty can of pasta sauce and bagel you have lying in your fridge.

This Valentine’s Day, treat yourself to a nice, moderately priced wine paired with your favourite UberEats option. Here are some of the best food and wine pairings for celebrating on a budget.

Cabernet Sauvignon & A&W

This red wine is full bodied and pairs amazingly with red meat, especially if it’s been thrown on the grill, making fast food burgers to obvious pairing. Since cabernet sauvignon is a robust wine, it needs a hearty burger patty to stand up to it — no lunch-meat thin McDonalds patties could do the trick here. I recommend heading to the U.S. section of the LCBO and picking out a California cab sauv — the warm climate makes for a rich and fruit-forward bottle with lots of nice flavours from the oak. Grab your favourite person and your favourite burger, the more patties the better, and drink up.

Riesling & Lazeez Shawarma

Shawarma is a university student staple and there are few things better than a large Lazeez on the sticks delivered directly to your door. Since shawarma is rich, flavourful and a little bit spicy, you’re going to want a light and slightly sweeter wine to complement it — enter riesling. Riesling is a great wine for those who are looking to transition into the world of grown-up wine after spending years of drinking Girls Night Out or Jacob’s Creek moscato. Depending on your preferences, you can get a bottle of typical Riesling which tends to be sweeter, or a bottle of Dry Riesling which would be my drink of choice. Remember, the salt in the food will make whatever you’re drinking taste sweeter in comparison!

Sangiovese & East Side Marios

Ah, wine and spaghetti — an      age-old pairing. I know this name may sound complicated, and at the risk of sounding like a wine snob      (most of you probably won’t know what this wine is), but trust me on this one. This Italian wine pairs beautifully with a nice tomato sauce and you can easily find a budget option at your local LCBO. My favourite savings sangiovese is by Fantini, and it will hardly cost you more than a whiskey sour at Bauer Kitchen. Pair this bad boy with classic spaghetti and meatballs, or the sausage and peppers penne if you want to spice things up a bit.

Chardonnay & Meltwich

Chardonnay goes very well with mild, buttery dishes, so what better pairing than a university student favourite: grilled cheese! The creamy melted cheese and the buttery toasted bread will pair great with the wine’s soft sweetness and hints of apple. I would recommend getting an oaked chardonnay from a moderate climate and to avoid adding any strong flavours like hot sauce or tomatoes because it can mess with the flavours of the wine — chardonnay is a sensitive creation.

Pinot Grigio & Sakura Island

Something about eating takeout sushi in your bed while wine drunk with the one you love just hits different. This is one of the lighter white wines available and you can typically find a great budget option in the Italian section of the LCBO. Its crisp and mild citrusy flavour pairs great with sushi. The lightness of the wine allows it to pair well with many sushi options, from the classic California roll to a crispy tempura roll — you do you.

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