Pot Luck

Odd Pair: Jalapeño Chips

We're not Riesling fans. The super sweet white wine tastes more like liquid candy than an alcoholic beverage. So, when Sally Swiss at Whole Foods recommended the Rudolph Miller German Riesling to pair with our sacred Zapp's jalapeño chips, we cringed in fear. How could we eat something so delicious with something, well, not so delicious? We had no choice.

"Jalapeño is tough because of its sharp flavor," Swiss said. "I usually pair Rieslings with Asian food because the sweetness compliments the spice, but it will probably work with jalapeño, too." Even Swiss had her doubts. But, her best guess turned out to be great. In fact, we may be Riesling converts (maybe).

Although they claim to be "hotter n' not" jalapeño chips, Zapp's are not the spiciest chips on the market. The crunchy, kettle-cooked chips do taste like fresh jalapeños, but they won't make your lips tingle or your mouth burn. This is probably why the Riesling paired well with them. The apple and honey flavors of the wine didn't overpower the spiciness or saltiness of the chips. In fact, the smooth, crisp wine cut through the greasiness of the chips, making it a savory, light snack. One look at the calorie count will remind you it isn't really a light snack, but it sure tastes like one.

We had a glass of the Riesling on its own after the bag of chips was empty. The wine was good. We aren't true Riesling converts yet, but we will choose Riesling over beer with our potato chips.

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Jane Catherine Collins