10 Cozy Comfort Food And French Wine Pairings for Late Winter

Although French and American cuisines are quite different, both excel in the comfort food department. We got to thinking – why choose between the two? To send this winter out with a bang, we’re alternating ten of our favorite French and American comfort recipes and pairing them with our favorite French wines.

Macaronis and Cheese

In this article

French: Blanquette de Veau - Chardonnay from Burgundy

Blanquette de Veau is one of French cuisine’s most quintessential comfort foods. This veal-based dish is served in a white cream sauce in which neither the veal or butter is browned (hence where the term en blanquette comes in!) The meat’s tender flavors and creamy sauce call for something equally robust yet acid-driven, making Chardonnay from Burgundy a top choice. (Insider tip: Look to lesser-known appellations from the Côte Chalonnaise and Mâconnais for budget-friendly alternatives in lieu of pricy bottles from the Côte d’Or!)

© ©Alleko

American: Grilled Cheese with Tomato Soup - Rosé from Tavel

Grilled cheese and tomato soup are a match made in heaven, however, their flavors call for slightly different wine pairings – enter rosé, the perfect happy-medium for multi-flavored dishes. The high acid and lack of tannins in rosé are perfect for pairing with a variety of foods. We particularly love rosés from Tavel with our hearty soups, as the wines’ darker-hues and fuller bodies tend to stand up to more robust dishes.

© ©Lauri Patternson

French: Cheese Soufflé - Crémant from Alsace, Burgundy, or the Jura

If you only take one thing away from this article, let it be this : you can’t go wrong with bubbles for food and wine pairings! The texture, acid, and structure of sparkling wines make them some of the most food-friendly bottles on the market. With cheese soufflé, the multi-faceted flavors in bubbles are brought even more to life. To taste the gamut of grape varieties and flavor profiles of Eastern France, we recommend grabbing some budget-friendly sparklers from Alsace, Burgundy, and the Jura – this is a tasting that promises to please basically every wine lover out there!

© ©La Cuisine de Géraldine

American: Chicken Pot Pie - White Blend from Bordeaux

Creamy chicken pot pie needs something high acid to cut through its rich flavors – enter white blends from Bordeaux. Crafted from Sauvignon Blanc and/or Sémillon, these fruit-driven, acid-laden bottles are perfect for slicing through the weighty flavors of cream sauces and stews alike. Check out bottles from Graves or Pessac-Léognan for some of our favorite options. 

© ©Haoliang

French: Boeuf Bourguignon - Pinot Noir from Burgundy 

They say what grows together goes together, and in the case of boeuf bourguignon, we couldn’t agree more. The earthy, red-fruited flavors in Burgundian Pinot come to life when served alongside the region’s eponymous stew, and the acid in these bottles promises to keep your palate salivating for more. For cozy nights in, this pairing promises to overdeliver.

© ©Mykola Lunov

American: Macaroni and Cheese - Freestyle Rhône

For an instant mental transport to the snowy winter days of your childhood, whip up an all-American tray of gooey Macaroni and Cheese. No matter which cheeses you prefer to throw in your blend, we recommend looking to the Rhône Valley for some delicious wine pairings.

It’s true that both red and white wine pairings can work here, and we find that the Rhône is pretty spot on for either side of the debate. For red fans, look to Grenache-heavy blends from the Southern Rhône. White wine aficionados, you can’t go wrong with a varietal Vigonier, Marsanne / Roussanne mashup, or zesty Southern Rhône blend.

© ©Manny Rodriguez

French: Potatoes au Gratin - Savagnin from the Jura

Potatoes au gratin instantly transport us of French après-ski culture, which leads us to the snow capped mountains of Eastern France, where the chalets are hot and the cool-climate whites are undeniably zesty. Whether tangy Savagnin from the Jura or crisp Altesse from Savoie is more your thing, both of these options promise a seriously thirst-quenching match for rich au gratin dishes.  

© © Nathalie Carnet Studio Sucré Salé

American: Fried Chicken - Champagne

Fried chicken and bubbles, need we say more? As we mentioned above, sparkling wines tend to deliver some of the most thought-provoking and thirst-quenching pairings on the planet, though sipping them along all things fried is next level. The high acid in Champagne cuts through the salt and fatty flavors found in fried batter. Whether fried chicken, mozzarella sticks, or other bar snacks are your guilty pleasure of choice, just make sure you’ve got some Champagne on hand.

© ©Victoria Priessnitz

French: Coq au Vin - Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley

Is there anything more cold weather friendly than braised chicken in wine sauce (especially when lardons, mushrooms, and garlic are present?) While the classic pairing for coq au vin is Burgundian Pinot Noir, we’ve found that earthy, pepper-driven bottles of Loire Valley Cabernet Franc really make this dish shine. Light-bodied red wine lovers, give it a go – your wallet will thank us later.

© ©Weymann Frank

American: Chocolate Chip Cookies - Vin Doux Naturel from Languedoc

We had to end our comfort food pairings on a sweet note! Enter chocolate chip cookies, America’s claim to snacktime, dessert, and comfort food fame. These gooey, chocolate-heavy treats scream for something sweeter (as is the rule with serving wine with dessert – the former should always be sweeter than the latter). We recommend seeking out a sappy Vin Doux Naturel from Languedoc. Whether red (Maury) or white (Rivesaltes, Muscat de Beaumes de Venise, etc) is more your thing, these fortified wines have got your back.

© ©Kieran Stones

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