If you’re anything like most college students, your food — and, let’s be honest, your life — is on a pretty tight budget. Sometimes you just want to enjoy a decent meal that doesn’t require half of your paycheck. Incorporating some wine with your dinner is a choice way to spruce up an average, at-home meal. Follow these wine-pairing guidelines and turn your basic college cooking into a gourmet experience.
Beef-Stuffed Ravioli/Cabernet Sauvignon: Love a hearty pasta but hate all the preparation? Chef Boyardee’s Beef Ravioli is a popular college choice to fulfill your pasta cravings. Pair the red, meat-stuffed ravioli with a Cabernet Sauvignon — its hearty flavor goes well with the pasta’s tomato-based red sauce. Not to mention, it’s quite filling for a fraction of the price of Olive Garden.
Grilled Cheese/Dry Rosé: Grilled cheese is a simple college staple, but mixing wine with cheese dishes can be difficult. Some cheeses pair better with red wine and others with white. Regardless of your cheese preference, sipping some dry rosé with your meal will introduce interesting new flavors, while complementing the sandwich. With the acidity of white wine and the fruity essence of red wine, a dry rosé balances out the richness of a heavy-cheese dish with its refreshing taste.
Ramen Noodles/Champagne: Ramen noodles are easily the cheapest and tastiest quick college meal — they are also well-known for being extremely salty if you use the flavor packet that comes with them. Try pairing a glass of champagne with ramen noodles to break up the saltiness of the dish. Champagne, or sparkling wine, tends to have a touch of sweetness that isn’t as overpowering as a typical moscato, and it will balance out the flavors of the meal. Pro tip: Even if you skimp on the flavor packet and spice the noodles yourself, you still won’t go wrong with champagne!
Grilled Chicken and Veggies/Chardonnay: If you’re into eating healthier foods that are still easy to make, like grilled chicken and sautéed vegetables, we’ve got you covered. White wines typically go best with lighter poultry like a grilled chicken breast. Chardonnay is an excellent pair with the chicken breast and sautéed vegetables. The silky white chardonnay is a delicate wine, and it pairs well with the delicate flavors of chicken in an oil-based sauce. If you prefer to make creamier sauces, don’t fret — chardonnay pairs well with those, too.
Cheers to spending less money on food so you can spend more on wine!