What wine pairs best with the McDonald's Big Mac?: originally appeared on Quora: The best answer to any question. Ask a question, get a great answer. Learn from experts and access insider knowledge. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.
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Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions -- all on a sesame seed bun -- create some challenges, due to the vinegar in the pickle and sauce, the fats in the patties and cheese and the high sodium content.
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Barbera, Sangiovese and Tempranillo are well suited to acid/fatty foods such as the Big Mac.
Barbera d'Alba is the prestige origin, but the grape is present in a variety of other wines, including many of the Central Valley of California jug wines.
Sangiovese is the foundation of the Chiantis and Brunello di Montalcino and is present in many Super Tuscans. Any of the straw jug Chiantis would pair equally well with a Big Mac meal as with a liver and fava bean casserole.
Tempranillo is a Spanish grape that produces wines with less acidity, which could be more to the taste of some Big Mac diners with less wine experience. Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Navarra are some of the regions in Spain in which this is the principal varietal. California produces the grape in vineyards in cooler settings on higher slopes. It is also found prominently in blends and in jug wines, although it may be difficult to determine which ones.
My recommendation for a simple Big Mac picnic would be a generic supermarket straw jug Chianti. For a cocktail reception, consider serving quarter Big Macs with flights of Super Tuscans, such as Vigorello, Tignanello and La Pergole Torte. Be sure to include Dan Zhang's Charles Shaw suggestion as a ringer to expose any wine snobs.
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