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When a trend goes viral on TikTok, it’s difficult to ignore. The most recent food-centric trend to hit the social media platform caught me by surprise at first: pairing various flavors of potato chips with different kinds of wine. The more I thought about it, however, the more sense it made. In fact, it started to sound wonderfully delicious, so I decided I had to give it a try.
How Did the Potato Chips and Wine Trend Get Started?
The now-viral potato chips and wine Tiktok trend quickly picked up momentum after Wine Enthusiast posted a graphic to Instagram showcasing six potato chip and wine pairings recommended by seasoned experts. TikTokers began testing out the suggested pairings, and many took it a step further by inventing their own. It wasn’t long until the trend was showing up all across the social media platform.
Trying the Potato Chips and Wine Trend
My first stop was the store, where I picked up plenty of chips to pair with the wines in my arsenal: Mathew Bruno’s 2020 Blanc de Blancs Sparkling, Mathew Bruno’s 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Small Vines 2019 TBH Vineyard Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, and Small Vines 2019 TBH Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir.
1. Mathew Bruno’s 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon and Kettle Brand Jalapeno chips: Mathew Bruno recommended this particular combo, suggesting “the wine’s dark fruit undertones harmonize with the fiery jalapeño flavor for a memorable combination.” I took a sip of the slightly sweet, lightly spicy, full-bodied wine, and lo and behold, Mathew Bruno was right. Was I shocked? A little. Never in a million years would I have imagined I’d be enjoying this peculiar combo, but alas, I was.
2. Small Vines’ 2019 TBH Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir and Lay’s Barbecue chips: The smoky flavor of the chips complemented the wine, which is medium-bodied and tastes bright with fruity and earthy accents. At this point, I was simply confused. How could such high-quality, luxurious wine be the perfect counterpart to regular potato chips? I still didn’t quite get it, so I kept sipping and chewing.
3. Small Vines 2019 TBH Vineyard Sonoma Coast Chardonnay and Kettle Brand Salt & Vinegar chips: Paul Sloan of Small Vines says, ‘The acidity in our Chardonnay is very present and that is great for pairing with food – and it is great for the longevity of the wine.” The oaky notes in the wine harmonize beautifully with the zesty flavor of the chips. This pairing wasn’t necessarily my favorite, but I think that’s probably because I typically prefer wines that are sweeter; the combination is perfectly suited to those who prefer a drier taste.
4. Mathew Bruno’s 2020 Blanc de Blancs Sparkling and Kettle Brand Sea Salt & Vinegar chips: Mathew Bruno recommended the pairing, as “the crisp acidity of the wine beautifully balances the tangy zing of these chips.” I truly could not agree more. Even though it’s a drier wine, I didn’t mind as much because of its bubbly nature, and the combination of the wine with the salt and vinegar flavor might actually be my favorite, much to my own surprise.
As I finished my fourth and final glass (well, half-glass) of wine, it occurred to me that this combination of wine and chips was destined to be delicious. After all, what lies beneath all of these unique flavors and varieties of wine is the tried and true combination of salty and sweet. Wine is, after all, mostly sugar. I’m not sure if it’s all of the wine I’ve had during this tasting talking, but this surprising viral trend makes perfect sense.