GANJA BABE: 5 FUN WINE & SNACK PAIRINGS TO HELP LEVEL UP YOUR 4/20 EXPERIENCE
Happy 4/20, Thurstqueens!
I don’t know about you, but I cherish this special holiday. It’s probably one of my favorites right after Halloween and Christmas if you want to know the truth. With all that in mind, the older I get, the greater desire I have to celebrate 4/20 with a bit more… panache? If you will?
Let’s be real, Thurstqueen. You’re not in college anymore and getting high, wrapping yourself in a scarf from Anthropologie, and eating handfuls of Swedish fish out of the palm of your hand has gotten significantly less cute as you enter your prime. You deserve to level up your stoned snacking game.
Because of this, I wanted to share with you some great 4/20 wine and snack pairings if you want to class it up this year after celebrating this special holiday. So bust out your bong, put on some Thievery Corporation, and let’s goooooooo!
4/20 PAIRING ONE: FLAMING HOT CHEETOS & OFF-DRY ANJOU ROSÉ FROM THE LOIRE
If you’re a spice fiend and the idea of channeling your inner 15-year-old sounds appealing this 4/20 — this is the pairing for you.
Flaming Hot Cheetos are the perfect snack for quelling one’s masochistic side. With their crunchy texture and their smoky hot af-ness, they all but DEMAND a wine that is off-dry. You want a little bit of sweetness to balance out the spicy.
I recommend hitting up a Cabernet Franc-based Rosé from the Anjou AOC from the Loire Valley. The Anjou produces some truly stunning off-dry rosés that are surely a hit with spicy food. They have a juicy, red fruit quality that pairs quite nicely with the spicy and sometimes smoky component of the flaming hot Cheetos.
4/20 PAIRING TWO: SALT & VINEGAR CHIPS WITH ALBARIÑO FROM SPAIN
If you love all things salty and tangy after getting your blaze on — look no further than this pairing.
A lot of Spanish Albariño has a distinctive saline — and by saline I mean “salty” — component to it. This saline quality, coupled with the citrus fruit aromas an Albariño typically has tends to emphasize the salty and tangy components of the salt and vinegar chips.
Consider this the essential pairing for the Cannabis aficionado who loves all things salty and crunchy.
4/20 PAIRING 3: NUTELLA AND RUBY PORT
You decadent betch. You’re the type to get super high on the poshest hybrid strain you purchased from MedMen out of your cute little pink bubbler and eat Nutella out of the jar with the spoon. You were me in college.
Anyway, a decadent stoner snack such as this requires an equally decadent wine pairing. Enter Ruby Port. The juicy red fruit of the port pairs beautifully with the rich chocolatey components of Nutella. Not only that, but Ruby Port is weighty enough to stand up to Nutella’s richly decadent texture. Throw in a gold spoon for good measure!
4/20 PAIRING 3: TOTINO’S PIZZA ROLLS & CHIANTI
If you’re the person who hits up their bong and decides that it is an intellectually sound decision to use an oven, this is the pairing for you. You taker of risks, you.
Such renegade behavior requires a pairing that is equally daring. Let me explain what I mean.
For years, Chianti was one of the most maligned wines around. A lot of Chianti production in Italy in the 1970s wasn’t that great, and winemakers - or vigneri - would cut this Sangiovese-composed wine with white grapes, like Trebbiano. That’s a big no-no, by the way.
Fast forward to 2022 and Chianti tastes better than ever. Though a less informed wine consumer would balk at the idea of drinking Chianti out of one of those straw-covered flasks, or fiascos, Chianti is definitely a wine you should have with your Totino’s pizza rolls.
Ever heard the statement, “What grows together, goes together?” The aromas of tomato, oregano and the kiss of salinity in this rustic Italian wine pair perfectly with any type of pizza.
4/20 PAIRING FIVE: CHEESE POPCORN WITH PEANUT M&MS, TABASCO SAUCE, AND CHOCOLATE CHIPS THROWN IN PAIRED WITH CAVA
You like to do things your way. Perhaps you may even have a bit of a culinary background, or a Guy Fieri-esque sensibility. Your love of mixing snacks knows no bounds, and you may even be the type to put cheese whiz on a doughnut after you’ve blazed.
Essentially, you will stop at NOTHING to achieve the ultimate 4/20 flavor profile and experience stoned-snacking nirvana. If a mixture of sweet, salty, and nutty is your thing, because you’re a snack megalomaniac and want it ALL when you’re baked, why not consider pairing your culinary masterpiece with a bubbly and crisp Cava?
Cava goes with pretty much everything. With light flavors of crisp green apple and toasted hazelnuts, coupled with the brilliant crispness of bubbles, Cava is the perfect choice for such a snack. Cava is a great value alternative to more expensive sparkling wines - lookin’ at you Champagne - and should definitely be a wine that is consistently in your rotation.
PICK OF THE WEEK: VINOVORE FEELING LUCKY ROSÉ $20.00 @ VINOVORE
I took two very important things into consideration for the 4/20 Pick of the Week.
The label had to be visually appealing, because who doesn’t want to look at pretty colors and a beautiful pink pony after enjoying an edible on this special day, duh?
The juice has to be DZAMN good with a silent “z.”
To be clear, this wine checks off both of those boxes. It’s so delicious, I almost felt weird hyping this wine as the Pick of the Week for the 4/20 article, because the Vinovore Rosé a stunning unfiltered Rosé I will be most definitely adding to my rotation on a regular basis. And I HIGHLY, EMPHATICALLY suggest you do too.
An unapologetically frisky wine that is what unicorn pink dreams are made of…
I could go ON and ON about this unfiltered blend of 97% Sauvignon Blanc and 3% Langonesi sourced from Italy.
This peppy glass of pink has aromas of cotton candy and bubblegum that prance around in your glass. On the palate, picture strawberry jam with watermelon rock candy. It just screams fun.
If this wine were a person it would be Elle Woods from Legally Blonde. If it had an astrological sign it would be a Gemini. Take one sip of this dreamy concoction and you’ll feel like you’re in college again, laying out with your girls, wearing a bikini - possibly with a joint in hand - blasting music from artists like Rina Sawayama on repeat. The ultimate carefree, fun in the sun wine.
FOR MORE INFO—
This wine was crafted by Coly Den Haan, an Italian Somm and very gifted winemaker! A long time ago, I very briefly sold some wines from the Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico to Coly back when I was starting out as a broker and she was running a super awesome wine bar in Downtown LA called The Must. (If you’re reading this, hi Coly!)
Anyway, since then, she’s opened this badass wineshop specializing in Women-made wines and is clearly killing the game. Vinovore is an awesome wine shop that specializes in Natural Wines from exclusively female producers. If you’re on the East Side in Los Angeles - you definitely need to pay this place a visit. I’ve never seen a more dope selection.
At $20.00 this wine is priced to steal. If you do not want to pair it with flaming hot Cheetos, you can pair it with a spicy Thai salad, or Carnitas Tacos loaded with salsa. With all those juicy, off-dry strawberry notes, this frisky pony absolutely demands a spicy pairing to really shine.
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