Forget Cheese Boards, These Wine Chips Are All You Need to Pair with Vino
Charcuterie boards have long been viewed as the only way to snack while you sip through a wine night. After all, the bite-sized eats taste decent and will delay the buzz of your glass of pinot grigio, and an IG photo of it will land you dozens of heart-eye emoji comments. But, let's face it: figuring out how to pair each cheese with a particular wine, stocking up on pricey crackers and cheddars, and then painstakingly arranging it all on a board can be more of a hassle than it’s worth.
So what quick-fix, equally-cheesy wine snack do you offer your guests instead? Wine Chips, crunchy potato chips designed to be eaten exclusively alongside a glass (or three) of wine. Produced by the eponymous company in Napa Valley, California, Wine Chips offers four unique varieties of small-batch, lattice-cut chips, all of which are dusted in a rich, salty cheese powder. (No, they're not wine-flavored, while that would also taste delicious.) Though they look like your standard chips, expect your taste buds to be met with bold cheese flavors that pair with your vino as well as peanut butter goes with jelly.
Plus, there’s a chip fit for every type of bottle on your wine rack. If you’re a red wine gal, pair your glass of cabernet sauvignon with the Smoked Gouda chips, which boast a blend of smokiness, sweetness, and saltiness that balances an acidic, full-bodied cab. Pinot grigio fans will want to munch on the Asiago version, whose nutty, mild flavor adds some depth to the bright and light white wine. Those who sip on rosé ~all day~ should opt for the Manchego variety, which has notes of strawberries, watermelon, and citrus that accentuate the pink drink's fruitiness. And while the Blue Cheese flavor admittedly sounds a little off-putting, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, and port drinkers will find that the chips’ sharpness and tang nicely cut through those wines' sweetness. (Related: The Definitive *Truth* About Red Wine Health Benefits)
To make the wine snacks as aesthetically pleasing as their predecessor — the OG cheese platter, of course — pour the Wine Chips into eye-catching snack bowls (Buy It, $18, amazon.com), place them on a rustic serving platter (Buy It, $15, amazon.com), and surround the bowls with your favorite cured meats, nuts, and dried fruits. Or skip the proteins entirely and add another bowl filled with Wine Chips’ Spicy Calabrese flavor, a cheese-less, meat-less wine snack that has the same spicy, umami flavor as Calabrese salami. Beware, these will definitely become your new fave drunchies.
While nutrition probably isn't top of mind when you're a few glasses in, it's still worth mentioning. Naturally gluten-free, a one-ounce serving of Wine Chips (~13 crisps) contains 7 grams of fat, 2 to 3 grams of protein, and 130 to 150 calories, depending on the flavor. If you wanted to get real nitty-gritty, the Asiago chips, for example, have roughly the same amount of fat, 27 percent more sodium, and 30 more calories than a hunk of Asiago cheese of the same weight, approximately a 1-cube, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. And the cheese, unsurprisingly, has more than double the amount of protein as the chips. All that's to say, Wine Chips aren't the epitome of health (but honestly, they're not supposed to be — and that's ok!), so if you do want to amp up the protein content of your wine snack, pair it with the same cashews you'd use on your charcuterie board.
You can score a Starter Kit, which includes a three-ounce metal tube of chips (containing roughly 39 chips) and two refill bags of your favorite flavor for just $20. If you want a fully stocked chip selection for your next at-home (post-coronavirus, please) wine tasting or GNI, opt for the Wine Chips Cheese Collection, which features Starter Kits of all four cheesy flavors, for $80.
Whichever tasty package makes its way into your shopping cart, know that you’ll be spending less time learning the basics of wine pairings, buying groceries, and curating your board, and, most importantly, more time unwinding with friends.