Underground Wine Pairings

Photo by Erincooperphotography.com

It has been over a year since we last explored the untraditional world of “underground” wine pairings. From junk food to fast food, which usually equates to comfort food, we are happy to present some tasty new pairing options discovered by some of our favorite winos in the industry. The goal is to keep these pairings as fun and relatable as possible. Wine truly can be enjoyed anytime, anyplace and with just about anything. 

Jenna Cushman

Nevada State Manager

Ferrari-Carano Vineyards & Winery

“Underground” Food Choice: CRUMBL COOKIES - or any Chocolate Chip Cookie

Wine Pairing: Ferrari-Carano Merlot

Why does this pairing work so well? 

Good Merlot can have a nice caramel finish on it, and that makes it pair perfectly with a chocolate chip cookie. Oftentimes, the tannins in the wine will help cut the large amounts of butter in the dough. I think the pairing is delicious and genius!

How did you discover it?  

We have been entertaining a lot in the new house, so I always like to have a dessert to offer to our guests. Usually we are still drinking in the evening, so we had the Merlot open from dinner. Crumbl Cookies are so fantastic because they arrive WARM! We also make our own cookies, and always add sea salt. The pairing was not planned but worked out great.

Kate McGuire

Southwest Regional Manager

Dreyfus Ashby & Company

“Underground” Food Choice:  Homemade White Cheddar Popcorn with Italian seasoning

Wine Pairing:  Dusted Valley Olsen Chardonnay or Joseph Drouhin St Veran (if you need a screw cap for taking it into the theatre)

Why does this pairing work so well?  

The popcorn is cooked in coconut oil which plays off the vanilla oak in the wine. Then it’s heavily seasoned with white cheddar salted sprinkles. This pairs well with the buttery aspects of the malolactic in the Chardonnay.

How did you discover it?  

I LOVE popcorn and have experimented with all different kinds of seasonings. I drink mostly Chardonnay and this one, I believe, pairs best with it.

Randi Sakihara


“Underground” Food Choice:  Skittles

Wine Pairing:  Sauvignon Blanc from Marlboro, New Zealand

Why does this pairing work so well?  

The sweet and sour of the Skittles pairs well with the citrus, zesty flavors of Sauvignon Blanc. The wine doesn’t overpower the candy, it just enhances the sweetness and decreases the sour flavor. It’s pretty awesome! 

How did you discover it?  

I love to snack on Skittles during work and I always share with my co-workers. It’s a nice pick-me-up when your energy is down. One hot Las Vegas summer afternoon, after a round of golf, I opened a Sauvignon Blanc from Marlboro, New Zealand. I wanted something refreshing to cool me off. I found some Skittles on my kitchen counter and forgot I was drinking wine. After a handful of Skittles later, I started laughing and thought, “hey, this is pretty good!”  To my surprise, Skittles and Sauvignon Blanc are a great pair. 

Mitch Preston

Mountain States Region Manager 

Davis Bynum Winery – Rodney Strong Vineyards – Rowen Wine Company  

“Underground” Food Choice: Chicken fingers with Ranch dressing on the side

Wine Pairing: Davis Bynum, River West Vineyard, Russian River Valley Chardonnay

Why does this pairing work so well? 

The baked apple flavors of the Chardonnay didn’t conflict with the ranch dressing and the crisp acidity on the finish cut through the deep-fried coating of the chicken fingers.   

How did you discover it?  

I was staying with a buddy and his family during Spring Training baseball in Scottsdale. After a long day at the ballpark and late night running around Old Town Scottsdale, we arrived back at his house to find leftovers from his children’s dinner earlier that night! 

Stop & Smell the Rosé Booth at UNLVino Grand Tasting 

Saturday, April 13 marked UNLVino’s 45th annual Grand Tasting event. Amongst eighty-six beverage suppliers and twenty-nine restaurants at The Mirage Events Center was a social secret garden of Rosé hosted by yours truly! Our Stop & Smell the Rosé concept stemmed from a garden-themed tasting that would showcase many different styles of Rosé while providing a fun, social experience for our guests. 

Thanks to our friends at Constellation Brands, we turned our rose-colored dreams into reality. The Rosés showcased that evening were: Saved, Band of Roses by Charles Smith Wines, Crafters Union canned wine, Dreaming Tree, Kim Crawford, Meiomi, Ruffino Sparkling, Simi and Woodbridge which was featured in a custom Frosé cocktail. Our secluded garden space was brought to life by Style
Event Design.

Each Twinkle Toast event concept is custom-tailored to our hosting venue and guests. We always encourage themed attire as guest participation adds to the ambiance of each tasting. For more information and upcoming event notifications, check out our website: www.twinkletoast.com.