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In this Aug. 20, 2009 file photo, a can of Spam is shown on a counter in North Andover, Mass. (Elise Amendola/AP)
In this Aug. 20, 2009 file photo, a can of Spam is shown on a counter in North Andover, Mass. (Elise Amendola/AP)

What wine do you pair with Spam? Add to ...

THE QUESTION: Yes, this is a serious question. I will be attending a retirement function and would like to offer a humorous gift of Spam to the retiree. The question will inevitably be, "What can I drink with this?"

THE ANSWER: "Humorous?" You're talking about a delectable luncheon meat. It merits a proper beverage.

Let's not delve into the specific ingredients found in Spam, the iconic pork product sold in a can by Hormel Foods of Minnesota. Some things are best left unsaid. Suffice it to say you're dealing with one fatty, salty, anemically pink hunk of mealtime bliss. Keep the beverage fruity and crisp. The French may turn up their noses (if not wage transatlantic war) at this suggestion, but I'd go with simple Beaujolais. Its high acidity will cut through the ample fat, and the happy, berry-like essence should rise above the sodium. It also happens to be affordable (roughly $10 to $16), often a priority in households where Spam gets pride of the pantry.

I also suspect conveniently pre-cooked meats in boxy cans tend to be popular in regions where white zinfandel, the slightly sweet, fruity pink wine, holds appeal. That would be a good, affordable alternative. Coincidentally, it matches the meat's colour.

If you prefer white, stick to a light, relatively neutral style, such as pinot grigio. Canadian riesling would work well, too. I am tempted to suggest a bolder Alsatian riesling, but that's a French powder keg waiting for ignition.



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