You have successfully put your little ones to bed. They’re in their pajamas, their teeth are brushed and they have fallen asleep a minute into your bedtime story. Take a breather, you worked hard today! Now before you go into a sudden panic over what to eat for dinner, consider indulging in your kids’ leftovers. We know it sounds crazy (and we’re not saying it should be a nightly thing), but you might be surprised at how well a little sauvignon blanc pairs with those dinosaur chicken nuggets.
After all, you most likely put in the long, strenuous effort to get your kids to take a bite, and maybe even finish some of their meal. So why not turn what’s left into a classy dinner for two? We’ve paired the most common kids’ leftovers you’re likely to serve with compatible wines and beers. This will save you the time it takes to create a second meal, and provides you with a delicious beverage pairing!
Guide to Wine and Kids’ Food Pairings
Wine can be an overwhelming breed of beverage. There are a plethora of choices and so many rules on what you can drink with which food. Not to mention all of the other considerations, like the temperature at which each bottle should be stored. Whether you already have a few bottles at home or want to pick one up at the grocery store, so many choices can be intimidating.
Plus, with one kid running around the store, the other one needing the bathroom and another taking control of your cart, you don’t have much time to make a selection. So we’ve put together a basic wine guide for moms that gets straight to the point: how it tastes and what kids’ leftovers to pair it with.
Pinot Grigio + Fish Sticks: Italy’s most popular white wine, pinot grigio is dry, has a punchy acidity and goes with most foods. It’s specialty pairing? Light fish dishes, which means your child’s leftover fish sticks are a match made in heaven.
Chardonnay + Mac and Cheese: This is a fan favorite in the United States and is usually served chilled. Chardonnay has complex fruit flavors and a creamy finish, great for your child’s leftover mac & cheese or reheated grilled cheese.
Riesling + Carrots and Hummus: This is a versatile wine that is dry, but has a touch of sweet. It’s great for taming down spicy dishes, but can also go with your kids’ leftover carrots and hummus. Because of its crisp flavor, it coordinates well with the carrots. The richness of the hummus tones down the earthy flavor that comes from the combination of carrots and riesling.
Rosé + PB & J: Rosé originated in France, so you will already feel fancy drinking it, even if it’s with the crusts of your child’s PB & J. The crisp flavors of rosé cut through the creamy peanut butter and the touches of sweetness bring out the jelly taste.
Sauvignon Blanc + Chicken Nuggets: The freshness of the wine creates a yummy taste that is not overly citrusy and pairs well with the breaded portion of the chicken nuggets.
Pinot Noir + Cheese Crackers: A pinot noir is light, silky and brings out earthy flavors. It’s also great for parents who want a quick pour of wine after a long night, since it can be stored at room temperature. Pair this with the remaining cheese crackers your little ones left as a great late night snack.
Chianti + Spaghetti: A rich, full red compliments your child’s leftover “pasghetti” nicely. Because of the acidity in tomatoes, the tartness of chianti is the way to go.
Merlot + Hot Dog: The tannins in a merlot give it a luxurious, full-bodied flavor, which is ideal for anything hearty or meaty, including your son’s leftover hot dog!
Grenache + Taquitos: Grenache has a bright, earthy flavor that pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the corn tortilla and variety of spices in the beef.
Port + Chocolate: Port is a very sweet wine and stronger than the average table red wine. It’s the ultimate nightcap with a few bites of your children’s leftover Halloween candy or “you’ve been good” sweets.
Beer and Kids’ Leftovers Pairings
For the parent who prefers a fresh brewski over wine, we’ve included a few beers you can pair with your kids’ leftover meals. Treat yourself to a cold brew and try out these unique pairings.
Porter + Cereal: The nutty flavors of dry cereal go well with a classic porter. The maltiness of the porter has big flavors that contrast the subtle flavors of the cereal.
Pilsner + String Cheese: Your daughter took one bite of her string cheese and said she was done with her meal. Turn that frown upside down, and pair with a neutral, crisp pilsner that complements the cheese.
Fruit Snacks + Belgian Strong Ale: The maltiness and complexity of the Belgian strong ale makes the perfect beer for a variety fruit snacks pack. They both have prevalent dried fruit flavors as well.
Lager + Buttered Pasta: The best meal with a simple pasta dish is a chilled lager. When dealing with such a simple dish, a lager balances out the butter with a hoppy, bubbly taste.
Next time, rather than throwing out the kids’ leftovers, consider pairing them with your favorite alcoholic beverage. Who knew that chicken nuggets tasted so delicious with a sauvignon blanc? And the dry cereal from little Jimmy’s lunch could be the best complement to your favorite porter?