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Pairings

Pairings

The best wine - and other drinks - to match with macaroni cheese

The best wine - and other drinks - to match with macaroni cheese

The best wine to pair with macaroni cheese, or macaroni and cheese as our friends across the pond have it, depends how fancy - and how cheesy - your mac and cheese is.

With a homely old-fashioned recipe you might just want a simple glass of white (in general I prefer white to red) whereas with one made with a fine strong artisan cheddar or with lashings of cream and lobster you might go for something more extravagant.

Here are my top seven picks.

Chardonnay
Probably the safest bet whichever recipe you’re looking at. A light unoaked chardonnay for a simple creamy macaroni cheese, a posh white burgundy if you’re eating a more extravagant one with lobster. Smooth dry Chenin Blanc works on a similar basis.

Dry riesling
Counter-intuitive but good - like crunching into a refreshing apple with your cheese. Here's why.


St Emilion or one of the St Emilion satellites
Merlot works surprisingly well with macaroni cheese, I’ve found, especially if it contains bacon. It needn’t be Bordeaux, obviously but a young(ish) St Emilion does work well

Dry cider
Particularly good with macaroni cheese and leeks

Beer
A classic English ale like Timothy Taylor Landlord or an American-style brown ale is perfect with a very cheesy macaroni cheese.

Champagne
Really? Yes, especially if there’s truffle involved. (I tried it the other day with Heston Blumenthal’s cauliflower and macaroni cheese with truffle and it was spot on.)

Sancerre or a similar Loire Sauvignon Blanc

Not my usual go-to but great with this crab macaroni cheese from my friend Fiona Sims Boat cookbook.

Macaroni cheese is also often served as a side in a steakhouse but I'd still match the steak rather than the mac'n'cheese

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