McDonald's Wine Pairings

Finding out what works with your Big Mac, and more!


So what could be better than a Big Mac? A Big Mac and a glass of wine! Well, we can try to take mere takeout and transform it into a meal (or at least we can tell ourselves that). Seriously, what’s wrong with pairing wine with some Mickey Ds, especially in the summer when grabbing a snack to go sit in the park or at the beach is just so damn convenient?

We’re not talking haute cuisine - got that - but there are wines that will pair well with your basic McDonalds menu items. Or are there?

We find out so you don’t have to! Check out the whole story for all the sordid details!
The Winner's Circle

We crown a winner, with some runners up, for each of these great McDonalds'menu items!

So here is our first installment of Which Wine/Fast Food version 2.0, a look at America’s convenience foods and wines they pair with, or don’t!

For this exercise we’ve chosen a typical sampling from a McDonald's menu and paired them with a representative selection of wines that form a reasonable range of wines that one might expect to pair with food that come in cardboard boats, so don’t expect any first growths here.

For our wine lineup we chose the following wines:

2010 Avalon Sauvignon Blanc from California – A fairly typical fresh, easy style of white wine.

2009 Spice Route Chenin Blanc from South Africa – A noticeable oaky style of wine that’s based on fruity and fresh Chenin Blanc so it has less weight than most Chardionnays.

NV Voveti Prosecco from Italy – A typical, dry style of sparkling wine. 

2010 Atazuri Garnacha Rose from Spain – A nice middle of the road rosé with good fruit and nice fresh balance.

2009 Bertani Valpolicella from Italy – A lighter style of red with modest tannins and refreshing acidity.

2010 Trapiche Malbec from Argentina – A gently oaked mid-bodied wine that offers a nice balance of fruit and oak.

2008 Red Rock Merlot Reserve
from California – A bigger scaled fruity red, though this one combines fruit and a nice savory element with noticeable oak.

And what did we order from McDonald's you ask? Well how about a Filet-O-Fish, Chicken McNuggets, Grilled Chicken Ranch BLT sandwich, a Big Mac, an Angus Deluxe and the remarkable array of nine, yes nine, dipping sauces for the McNuggets and of course fries, lots of fries.

As you can see, we had our hands full with this task, and to tell you the truth, some of the results even surprised me! I skipped trying to pair the wines with each of the dipping sauces (most are simply too sweet to pair well with dry wines anyway), though the Creamy Ranch Sauce is the best bet for a wine pairing since it lacks the sugar of most and the acid of the Buffalo Sauce.

Check out how the pairings went and what were the clear winners for each menu item!

Mentioned in this article


  • Snooth User: asheets1
    728624 22

    This is perhaps the most ridiculous article I have read regarding wine. I have lost respect for Snooth for even writing this garbage. When I think Wine, I think quality and refinement, striving for perfection. This sounds like a terrible joke, but now I see that this was for real. Thanks for making wine look as trashy as the unhealthy, over-processed, genetically modified, Diabetes contributing food you've paired it with.

    Jun 08, 2011 at 12:59 PM

  • Snooth User: Mark Angelillo
    Founding Member Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    2 5,324

    Very nicely done, Greg! Thanks for a laugh and for not taking the world so seriously!

    Jun 08, 2011 at 1:07 PM

  • Snooth User: Chris Carpita
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    33093 5,546

    Kudos to Greg for pointing out, if somewhat tongue-in-cheek, that there aren't any classes of food that are out of reach for enjoyment with wine. It's nice to see some inclusion for those families or individuals who may eat McDonald's several times a month, because it puts food on the table for not a lot of scratch, and a $6 bottle of wine would not break the bank, but still enhance the enjoyment of their meals significantly.

    Jun 08, 2011 at 1:17 PM

  • I concur. Wine can capture the essence of a variety of different foods and McDonald's is no exception. Good article, Greg!

    Jun 08, 2011 at 1:25 PM

  • Snooth User: mickey1960
    844802 52

    I agree this story is just for fun and not to be taken too seriously for any wine lover, so given that it's okay. I did though find a new wine to try and for that I'm grateful, the Trapiche Malbec is gonna get a day in court...Cheers Mike

    Jun 08, 2011 at 1:53 PM

  • Snooth User: heathbodell
    Hand of Snooth
    461225 696

    I love this! I rarely allow myself to indulge in the deliciousness of Mcds fast food. Now I can justify my fast food indulgences with a nice pairing of Chenin Blanc ;)

    Jun 08, 2011 at 2:01 PM

  • asheets1 sounds like the perfect wine snob

    Jun 08, 2011 at 2:57 PM

  • Snooth User: debicorbin
    851614 13

    asheets1, You need to have a glass of wine an relax.
    "Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance". - Benjamin Franklin

    Jun 08, 2011 at 3:16 PM

  • Were you able to find wines with genetically modified grapes to match the genetically modified food like substances that McDonald's serves? Would the wine not have to be some type of sludge that is a "just add water" solution and has a half-life of 50,000 years? Can you add cholesterol/trans fats to the wine sludge to enhance the pairing? I guess I shouldn't give McDonald's ideas... Perhaps they may have to grow the grapes in China and chain children to the mashing barrels and provide them with Nike runners... Don't take me too seriously... I just love to bash McDonald's when I have the chance and Nike if at all possible...

    Jun 08, 2011 at 3:31 PM

  • Snooth User: vks
    98377 158

    All jokes aside, great article. We've had a debate with younger popoulation in my country if they would try a wine if it's paired with McDs and around 55% said yes.

    I recommend a strange and obscure wine from Slovenia called CVIČEK, a rose type wine with 8.5% alc. An interesting combo with Big Mac and Royal cheese (euro verison made popular by Pulp Fiction). ;)

    Jun 08, 2011 at 3:50 PM

  • As I recall, the best scene from Sideways was near the end where Paul Giamatti was drinking his 1961 Château Cheval Blanc with a burger and onion rings in a fast food restaurant. Wine is good with whatever we think it is good with...nothing less, nothing more. Also, you should google an article called The Grapes of Cash by Jamie Hartford. It chronicles how wine is working its way into the "faster" food industry in a big way. It also recommends wine pairings for potato chips (heavens no!). So lets all chill, enjoy that this article was a little bit of fun, and learn to live with the fact that wine is being consumed by more than thte "upper crust" in the US these days. Thank you Gregory dal Piaz for this interesting article.

    Jun 08, 2011 at 3:53 PM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,748

    VeggieFella I was shaking my head, but then, respect. I hear you, respect what you're saying, and agree with you more than you might think. By the way, while those grapes may not be genetically modified, most wines are pretty manipulated these days.

    It's unfortunate that we all can't buy organic and enjoy food and wine in a simpler state, but that's not the world we live in. It may be the world we are headed in but we're not there yet.

    And you know, I'm not an authority on it, but I'm guessing a bit of wine with your fastfood might just be beneficial, helping the body move some of the nasty stuff out of one's system. And on an extremely optimistic note, if we convince people to enjoy a bit of wine with their fastfood hamburger, they might think it would be even better with a homemade hamburger, or a homemade veggie burger for that matter.

    Special shoutouts to Warmspirited and Mickey1960 for sharing their feelings here and enjoying the article for what it is!

    Jun 08, 2011 at 3:55 PM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,748

    And anew thanks, while I was writing my response! for VKS and Timothy!

    Jun 08, 2011 at 3:58 PM

  • What a piece of crap this article is. I don't eat McDonalds (or any fast food like that), and this is not what I joined Snooth for. This article alone is reason enough to unsubscribe.

    Jun 08, 2011 at 4:03 PM

  • Snooth User: wine whore
    170274 12

    I'm so disappointed in Snooth for writing publishing this article. McDonalds, really? I would think that you're wise enough to know all the reasons why this is SO wrong! I'm all for drinking wine with whatever food I feel like drinking it with, but we need to be talking about what is right with food and drink in this country, and McDonalds is the epitome of everything that is wrong with it.

    Jun 08, 2011 at 4:34 PM

  • Snooth User: atonalprime
    Hand of Snooth
    157790 1,416

    Kudos to GDP on this article -- so many people have curiosity about wine but feel there are too many pretentious snobs out there to make it enjoyable for them. If there is any way to get people into drinking more wine and subtly infiltrating their diets and thought processes, then by all means go for it. One step at a time!
    For those who took their precious moments of life to complain about how this article is decimating their Snooth experience, I hope that you took a moment to read the rest of the website. You'd be a fool to denounce it entirely based on one article you don't agree with.

    Jun 08, 2011 at 4:54 PM

  • Snooth User: Dan Zahra
    856026 1

    To all the nay Sayers. Keep in mind, the wine you drink does not get its nose & flavors from your pretentious presumptions of how wine should be paired, savored or decanted etc. It is to each person a different experience to be shared with friends old and new so get a grip.

    I myself do not like McDonalds especially since the heart attack but I do enjoy a good read and love to listen to the opinion of others for this is how I learn.
    Good job on the article. Way to excite the readers! ;)

    Jun 08, 2011 at 6:03 PM

  • Wine is such a broad church that there there is little or nothing wrong in attempting a fast-food pairing and this article is well-researched. After all who but a very, very few of us would say that they've never gone the burger & fries route, whether McD's. BK or a host of others. Possibly the only thing slightly wrong was in trying to be too 'nouveau', as with basic food, stick too basic wines!

    Jun 08, 2011 at 6:35 PM

  • Snooth User: wine whore
    170274 12

    This is not about presumptions or pretentiousness. Rather it's about fast food. The first line of the article asks "What could be better than a Big Mac?", a lot. My beef with this article (pun intended) has nothing to do with wine, but rather with food. A hamburger is one of my favorite things to eat with a big zin, but a genetically altered corn fed beef full of fillers and antibiotics hamburger from MCD? No thank you. They have been part of what is altering our farmland across the US for 50 years. I don't care if you drink Coors Light or Seghesio Zin with the damn thing, just don't eat it. A freshly ground Niman Ranch grass fed beef burger with a lovely Point Reyes blue cheese on the other that is what is better than a Big Mac.

    Jun 08, 2011 at 6:41 PM

  • Well said wine whore. It was that first line that set me off too.

    Jun 08, 2011 at 6:45 PM

  • Snooth minus the h is....

    Jun 08, 2011 at 6:46 PM

  • Gregory, I just couldn't resist commenting about McDonald's and I try to buy organic wines as much as possible. I found a couple out of Chile that I like as well as out of the States. I know we are seeing more organic wines and I think the trend will continue... hopefully.

    I know the concept of Terroir, is not the standard of most wines produced through the world. It is a concept that I half believe in because I understand the economics of selling a product. So enhancing the crop with natural products and watering is something I accept, but the unrestricted use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers (and other unnatural additives) is something I do not.

    In any case we are what we eat and drink... literally... (aside from what we breathe)

    Jun 08, 2011 at 7:03 PM

  • Some of you are just taking yourselves a bit too seriously. :-)
    As much as I love food and write about it everyday - and as much as I appreciate a great glass (or bottle, haha) of wine - there's nothing wrong with attempting to enhance a cheap burger filled with "meat". It can make for a quick picnic lunch at the park or an impromptu dinner at home.

    While I enjoy high-end dining as much as anyone - I can totally appreciate a big, fat bucket of KFC and find it pairs wonderfully with some whites and some great beers. So what if it's chicken of suspect origin?

    Thanks for the article! I found it to be entertaining, if not illuminating to a degree!
    -Grace at

    Jun 08, 2011 at 7:14 PM

  • Snooth User: wriskit
    160011 77

    A good fun article. I can't resist joining in. Is it the fiber content of veggie food that makes those who consume them solely somewhat stuffy? As for concern over genetic manipulation altering some pristine genetic combination, Mother Nature is recombining genes all the time. A good thing. It adds a bit of variety to life.

    In 1963, I had a marveloud dinner for a $5splurge in Chez Michel, a Michelin 2-star Paris bistro and ordered a bottle of Tavel rose for $1 because I'd read rose wine goes with everything. I unfortunately skipped ordering a bottle of Lafite Rothschild because it was $10. Wine marketing has come a long long way since then.

    Jun 08, 2011 at 7:15 PM

  • Snooth User: rhw168
    635553 144

    Wriskit, NO kidding, $10 bottle of Lafite Rothschild?!

    Jun 08, 2011 at 7:44 PM

  • Snooth User: Huaino
    811541 105

    How about a jug of Gallo to pair those fiine choices from that Irish Restaurant, McD's?. At least, if its a commercial burger, make it an In-n-Out, (although there are many local places that blow even those away).
    But given a choice, the perfect urban street foods to pair with wine are carne asada n pork adobada tacos, preferably a Malbec to breakdown nicely the greasy fats.
    Salud y buen provecho!!.

    Jun 08, 2011 at 8:39 PM

  • Snooth User: Sam Pye
    168472 3

    OMG are you serious. McDonalds isn't even a real food group. ASHEETS1and WINEWHORE said it best. I'm not a food snob or wine snob but I question your taste in anything.

    Jun 08, 2011 at 9:03 PM

  • Might I recommend doing wine pairings with the new McDonald's Japan burger lineup. Apparently they are a little more gourmet on the other side of the Pacific, so maybe some of our more picky friends would find these more to their liking. There is the Idaho burger (713 calories), Manhattan Burger (542), Miami Burger (557), and Texas 2 (645). They probably sell Sake at the McD's there as well so maybe someone could do a pairing with some of that brew. The article also makes fun of these burgers with some additions created by their readers. Link below.

    Jun 09, 2011 at 8:12 AM

  • Oh, and if McDonald's isn't a food group (and it's not), is California Pizza Kitchen or Ray's Hell Burger a food group? Or maybe they are all just restaurants...some better, some worse. Let's all just have a little fun with this.

    Jun 09, 2011 at 8:15 AM

  • All pretentiousness aside, because I definitely applaud the idea of trying to bring the joys of wine and food pairing to the North American populous I still think that McDonalds and Wine do not belong in the same sentence.

    "Seriously, what’s wrong with pairing wine with some Mickey Ds, especially in the summer when grabbing a snack to go sit in the park or at the beach is just so damn convenient?"

    Well frankly there are all kinds of things wrong here. First off in order to practice wine and food pairing you require food to be part of the equation. I would hesitate to qualify MacDonalds as food considering that it is totally devoid of any nutrients and is essentially solid matter with fat and salt seasoning.

    As much as I agree this article is very much written in a "tongue and cheek" manner I am inclined to speak out against anything advocating the use of McDonalds which in my opinion is part of a very drastic health problem lurking under the guise of a cultural norm. Joking about it doesn’t really move us closer to helping people realize that fast food is not ok just because it is convenient. I am by no means a vegetarian, or organic only consumer. I am also guilty of falling prey to the convenience of fast food (never McDonalds) but I do believe that we need to avoid endorsing the idea that convenient, unhealthy choices are ok.

    I feel for those who spoke out more vehemently about this thread as many people can be very passionate about their love of wine (and would understandably view this as severe blasphemy). However it is very important to dissuade people of the idea that wine is for “snobs” as wine has fantastic stylistic diversity even at the entry level and should be an integral part of everyone’s dining/eating rituals.

    Then again maybe I am just guilty of taking all of this too seriously!

    Jun 09, 2011 at 1:54 PM

  • I think wine is a thing for people who are sensitive in tasting and not for people who consider the meal a simple and quickly moment.
    People... Open your eyes and drink some great wine. If you want I start making you an example: BAROLO, Piedmont, Italy.

    p.s. Is not important what you drink, the most important things is what it represent for you.


    Jun 09, 2011 at 6:31 PM

  • I am sure these winemakers appreciated being paired up with that type of food.

    Jun 10, 2011 at 7:23 AM

  • Snooth User: DDennis
    852185 28

    I agree with many of the comments regarding this 'offensive' concept. Some things aren't meant to be eaten with wine! McDonald's food is one of those things.

    Jun 12, 2011 at 1:51 PM

  • Snooth User: kyllyan
    798241 44

    Come on now. Wine are supposed to be fun, to be enjoyed. My sensibility towards it is not lessened because I enjoy the occasional McD, and the fact that I do, does not tell anything about my capacity for enjoying wine. Chill, people, we should make a better example for newbies. Wine is not to be taken so seriously that it makes us snobs. Nobody objects to matching wine with chocolate or foie gras, and those are unhealthy and immoral enough. Is it just that the image of those fits the wine-lover-image better ?
    Is this all about moral vanity ?
    If I'll eat it, I'll try and find a wine-match to it. Well done Gregory. Tongue in cheek and all.

    Jun 14, 2011 at 7:14 PM

  • Snooth User: ail5901
    922549 0

    asheets1, winewhore, and LarryMarte-ll59 are exactly why the craft beer guys have so much fun making fun of wine. keep setting examples for the rest of us to strive away from, thanks.

    Aug 26, 2011 at 4:04 PM

  • Snooth User: pete1
    1155046 9

    HA! Great article. To me there will forever be only one wine that should be served with a Micky-Dee's Quarter Pounder.

    Nov 01, 2012 at 4:06 PM

  • great

    Aug 20, 2013 at 4:40 AM

  • Snooth User: EmmaJansen
    1339600 34

    that's nice one

    Sep 07, 2013 at 1:03 AM

  • excellent

    Sep 08, 2013 at 4:20 PM

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