A friend writes:
I hadn’t been to a Burger King for months if not a year. So I was flabbergasted today when I saw that they actually now have little soda pop recommendations posted at their soft drink dispensers, as though it were a fine restaurant recommending the perfect wine to accompany your entree (i.e. fish, chicken or beef). Has anyone else noticed this? According to BK, Diet Coke goes perfect with the Veggie Burger (which was not even on the menu board), as well as their salads. Sprite is the choice if you have ordered the Chicken Fries. And if you order a Whopper, then of course Coke is the one. But Dr. Pepper is what you should drink if you are having the BBQ burger thing (whatever they call it, it has onion rings on top too). WTF? Aren’t their creepy TV ads bad enough? Some advertisement agency actually thought this up.
My friend continued:
So I didn’t get the Sprite with my chicken sandwich, I got a Coke. Did I do myself a disservice? Did I compromise my enjoyment of their “cuisine” by not following their soft drink recommendation?
Oh, dear. Oh dear oh dear oh dear. No only did my friend do himself a disservice, he completely compromised then entire dining experience. Shame on you, old friend. Shame!
I mean, would you drink a young white wine with Coq au Vin? Unthinkable! Or a fine old Cabernet with tacos? No!
I recently visited an online forum for professional chefs, and the topic of food pairings came up. “Instead of pouring a glass of Pinot Noir with grilled salmon,” one chef wrote, “pour a glass of Saison Dupont. People will see fireworks! If the salmon has a crack of black pepper on it, it will be an even better match because it will pick up on the pepper of the beer.”
I have never seen or even heard of Saison Dupont, but maybe it would be worth it for the fireworks.
Another said, “In the top 1 or 2 percent of perfect pairings for me would be a classic like Bresse chicken with mushroom sauce and truffles, paired with Burgundy. One taste of that, and you immediately think, ‘This wine was made for this dish!'” Some day I hope to taste a truffle, but I don’t think I’ll be serving one anytime soon.
A third said, “With biryani, I’d want Pinot Noir—particularly a fruity one with more oak to it, like a Russian River style.” OK, I don’t even know what biryani is, or where a Russsian River-style Pinot might be found in Florida, so I’m completely sunk.
Burger King is clearly more my speed. And as I told my correspondent, people put years of study into food-and-drink pairings, and if they say you should drink a Dr. Pepper with a BK Rodeo Cheeseburger, by god, you had better drink a Dr. Pepper, or there will be hell to pay!