Friday, January 21, 2011 at 6:17 a.m.
There are the people that strictly eat it for breakfast, those that rely on it for snacking during the 3 p.m. slump, those that use it to lose weight, and those that eat it all day.
Charlie likes to pair it with wine.
Say what? No, it's not a slang word for crack; it's the same old breakfast staple you eat with milk out of a Spiderman bowl. Cereal.
But cereal with wine? You're probably thinking: how is this going to work? It even sounds disgusting. Cringe worthy.
Well, remember when it was a crazy thought to pair wine with chocolate? So dust off that old bottle you keep in the back of the cabinet and impress someone with your newly learned chops.
Luckily for you, most varietals mentioned here can easily be found for a modest price at your local wine shop or grocery store.
But before you set out on this adventure, you're going to need the help of Gary Vaynerchuk. Ever heard of him? He's like the Steve (from Blue's Clues) of the wine world. Highly energetic and ADD, his daily web show, Wine Library TV
, is an exciting Wine for Dummies.
Riesling + Cap'n Crunch
Why it works: Pick a Riesling that's not overly sweet. Riesling generally has pear and apple undertones that are fresh and vibrant which pair perfectly with the slightly sweet corn taste of Cap'n Crunch.
Chardonnay + Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Why it works: The intense cinnamon flavors of the Cinnamon Toast Crunch pick up and bring out the Chardonnay's slightly buttery and apple undertones. Consider it the new apple pie a la mode.
Pinot Grigio + Frosted Mini-Wheats
Why it works: The Frosted Mini-Wheats are just sweet enough to not overpower the citrus undertones of the Pinot Grigio. The wine is light bodied and mixes well with the heavy texture of the cereal.
But what about the red wine?
A budding wine aficionado friend of mine (who prefers to remain nameless) also pairs cereal and wine on a regular basis and goes through bottles and boxes as quickly as you go through toilet paper. A sucker for bold red wines, his top picks are full of flavor.
Rioja + Frosted Flakes
Why it works: Rioja, which is a big full-bodied red wine, can stand up to the high levels of sugar present in Frosted Flakes. Plus, the wine's fruity character blends well with the sweetness of the cereal without overpowering or competing with it.
Bordeaux + Honey Nut Cheerios
Why it works: If you're looking for a sophisticated choice, this is your pick. Both red Bordeaux and Honey Nut Cheerios are considered classics in their respective realms. The wine's minerality adds an extra oomph to the subtleness of the natural and earthy cereal.
Wines to avoid: Forget about softer wines like Pinot Noir and Barolo, as the milk will overwhelm the wine. Also stay away from Champagne. The strong sparkling components do not pair well with the smoothness of the cereal and milk.
Note: Don't forgo the milk in the bowl and/or substitute the wine for the milk, as the cereal will turn into THE MUSH. You've been warned!
Go ahead, I now dare you to pull out the Cheez Wiz and Spam and work your magic with some vino.
Follow Clean Plate Charlie on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB.