Like mushrooms and roast chicken, mac and cheese is a promiscuous food: It can happily pair with lots of different wines. Here are three to try.
Off-dry Riesling. Think you can’t deal with sweetness in your wine? Try it again with mac and cheese. The salty cheese balances the sweeter wine, plus Riesling’s acidity refreshes your palate…making it so you can eat more mac and cheese. The zesty, lightly sweet 2012 Später-Veit Riesling Feinherb is a good pick.
Lambrusco. Usually red, Lambrusco is an Italian sparkler that’s a fun, unexpected choice for baked cheesy noodles. The cheese softens the wine’s tannins and the wine’s bubbles keep your mouth feeling squeaky clean. Try the NV Venturini-Baldini Lambrusco.
Spanish Grenache. In Spain’s dry heat, Grenache-based wines become ripe and juicy, making them great with cheesy dishes. (Think fruit-and-cheese plate.) The easy-drinking 2012 Bodegas Borsao Campo de Borja works well.
Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and author of the forthcoming The Modern Potluck (Clarkson Potter, 2016). She is also the cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.