Frito pie, impossible wine pairing?!?

chili frito pie

Above: The other night an excellent Frito Pie prompted me and my dining companions to contemplate the moisture retention quotient of the humble Frito, which, I learn via the Wiki, originated in San Antonio, Texas (where else?).

I think I might have Dr. V stumped. Chips and salsa may be tough, but Frito Pie?

If you’ve never had Frito Pie, it’s essentially a heap of Fritos drowning in Texas chili and then topped with cheese and sour cream.

I had never had Frito Pie before moving to the south. Since my life Texana began nearly 3 years ago, I eat Frito Pie — a true Texan delicacy — whenever afforded the opportunity.

The other day outside of Houston, Cousin Marty and I had what we both agreed was the BEST FRITO PIE EVER.

What did our sommelier pair with it?

As BrooklynGuy occasionally asks of his readers, you be the sommelier!

Please add your recommendations in the comment thread and I’ll provide the answer (it was brilliant, btw) on Friday along with a story about the amazing place where we were served the pie above…

22 thoughts on “Frito pie, impossible wine pairing?!?

  1. Ah, a subject near and dear to my heart. And I’ll qualify my answer with the fact that I avoid the casserole-style Frito pie. In that case it gets mushy and gloppy like a bad version of chilaquiles. No, I prefer it served right in the small bag. It’s a portion that fits in your hand and is just enough to enjoy all the separate elements before they meld together.

    So with that being said, my answer is ice-cold Vinho Verde. I’ve recently tasted a few with spicy food (including Tex Mex) and was happy with the results. The next time I have a bottle, I’m making myself a Frito pie in the bag to test it out.

  2. Well, if your pairing was brilliant 2B, it must’ve been Produttori. Just kidding.

    The first thing that came to mind, would be something red like a Montepulciano d’Abruzzo on the young-ish side. Something that could stand up to the chili (on the spicier side I’m guessing). The other idea I had was to go with an opposite. What about a Moscato d’Asti? Vajra perhaps. I don’t know, might be way off base, but if it was a bit bigger (not too light) with some RS to deal with the spiciness? You’d get sweet, salty, savory. Maybe?

  3. benito–just the way that they serve it at high school football games!

    2B–i would do a lambrusco. sweet(ish) and salty would be perfect! either that or a bourbon and coke. ;)

  4. My gut reaction (sorry about the pun) is beer – something bitter and bracing, pilsner maybe. but i swear i would think about champagne too, something rich but with plenty of acidity. a Billiot Brut, Gatinois, or something similarly pinot noir-heavy. actually, maybe a meunier based champagne! that’s it – Francoise Bedel, any wine from here. slightly oxidative and rich, beautiful acidity. it could work…

  5. Okay my first thought, and I cannot believe I am saying this, was domestic Chardonnay. Something about the corn like flavors I find in them made me think it might work but after my WTF?! moment I gotta go with Beaujolais.

  6. It was Chili Rice, not Frito Pie, but my favorite wine pairing with chili was a young half-bottle of Viader Petit Verdot some half-decade ago. The wine was all deep bass and piercing treble, crazy with tannins, and it managed to outflank and complement the powerful lows and highs of the dark, spicy chili, which would have overwhelmed a more reasonable wine. I can’t say for sure, but if memory serves the fritos would have fit like a glove.

  7. First off, I’m going to have to try and make this sometime for research purposes only. As for what to pair with it, as a physician, my first choice would be lipitor. If I’m choosing an alcoholic beverage other than beer, I think I might pull out a txakolina. Then again, I just really like saying “txakolina”.

  8. Lambrusco!!
    It certainly would wash all that fat and spices away, helping your palate survive such a sacrifice with his acid bubbles…I’d go for that!
    A dry Salamino di Santa Croce properly chilled would be my choice in this case.

  9. The truth sometimes hurts, but booze and frito pie is a do not pass go and go directly to the vomitorium combo. Frito pie in its purest form (meaning no silly sour cream) is a pile of fritos, cheap chili, and lots of grated yellow government cheese. In our house this was served with either very cold and very tannic iced tea, or with Coke or Dr. Pepper. I just cannot imagine drinking something other than that with this classic bible belt-busting gut bomb. Now, please do not think I am a hater of the FP, I just do not see it with wine, and beer just makes you feel way too full way too fast. The frito pie is an immediate trip back to EJHS and wondering when I would finally get to touch a girl for the first time and I do not want to mess up that memory with whatever the flavor of the month wine pairing is these days, or assume some stance that a Belgian trippel would bring out the depth of the meat. I want to crunch fritos, drink sugary drinks, and think about how terribly far I was from fulfilling my lusty junior high dreams. Great debate point Jar!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s