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Crisps and Wine Matching

If anyone thinks we wine people take it all too seriously, here’s a new experience.

We matched 7 types of retro crisps with 3 whites and 3 reds.  The crisps were Frazzles, Skips (Prawn Cocktails), Quavers (Cheese), Squares (Salt&Vinegar), Monster Munch (Pickled Onion) and the non-retro Doritos (Chilli Heatwave).  The aim was to decide which was the best and the worst matches.

Here is how each wine fared:

1.  Vulcaia 2011 Inama - Lovely smoky, guava flavours and a oily texture.

The best match here was the Doritos (Chilli Heatwave) which emphasized the corn and spicy flavours.   The worst by majority was Skips (Prawn Cocktails) which was wrong in so many ways.

2.  Trebbiano d’Abruzzo 2005 Valentini – earthy, Provençal herbs, viscous and rich and a touch tannic.

This wine brought out the bacon flavour in the Frazzles.  The Monster Munch made this wines taste like urine and the Quavers (Cheese) didn’t fare much better.

3.  Riesling Spatlese 2008 Schmidtt – Very sweet for a Spatelese with petrol and honeyed apricot notes.

This was probably the most difficult wine to match with most most crisps clashing badly although the awkward Skips (Prawn Cocktails) found an unlikely match.   Everyone had a worst combo here and we quickly moved on…

4.  Barolo Gancia 1998 Molino – Fully mature, earthy, barnyard with medium weight and firm tannins.

The Squares (Salt&Vinegar) did best here with the savouriness of the wine and the saltiness going hand in hand whilst the vinegar calming the high acidity in the wine.   This was probably the most crisp-friendly wine although the Quavers (Cheese) were completely overpowered.

5.  Serpico 2003 Feudi San Gregorio – big full blockbuster from Campania near Naples.

The Doritos (Chilli Heatwave) was the clear winner in this one with the spicy chilli matching the spicy exuberant fruit of the wine.  The Skips (Prawn Cocktails) once again were left wanting although the Monster Munch (Pickled Onion) were also pretty vile.

6. Rioja Gran Reserva 890 1998 La Rioja Alta – Ripe banana and spicy oak with great vibrant acidity.

The Frazzles came top again with the smoky bacon complementing the sweet spicy oak flavours.  The Monster Munch (Pickled Onion) once again clashed in a big way.


We probably wouldn’t recommend trying this at home unless you have something pretty hearty to follow for dinner (we’re off to Tooting High Road for a curry).  Retro crisps were clearly not created to match fine wines, however, Frazzles and Doritos were the most wine friendly.  Sweet wines such as the Spatlese Riesling provided the most extreme clash whilst the Barolo proved its versatility.

Next time will be Retro Chocolate!!!


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