How to Pair Frozen Dinners with Wine
Set the scene: You live alone or else your significant other is away or out for the evening. You’ve had a long day and you’re hungry. You slide open the freezer and grab your favorite frozen dinner. You pop it in the microwave, hit cook. While you’re waiting, you think to yourself, "Self, I’d like some wine with my frozen dinner. Is that crazy?"
It’s not. It’s beyond sane in fact. Frozen dinners deserve good wine picks, too. So we did some legwork for you, tasting meals and bowls and wine and dinners and wine. We focused on three popular frozen brands (Amy's Kitchen, Kashi, and Lean Cuisine) all calorically in check, and some organic. And if you’re eating a frozen dinner for its built-in portion control, remember a glass of wine is 150 calories. Here’s where we landed:
Barone Fini Valdadige Pinot Grigio 2011 (Trentino-Alto Adige) Italy) $12
Amy’s Pesto bowl is full of basil flavor. We tried it with both red and white and found this pinot grigio was flavorful, yet mild enough to complement this bowl. Lean Cuisine’s Spa Collection’s Szechuan Stir Fry pairs well with this white, too, as did the same label’s Salmon with Basil.
De Martino 347 Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 (Central Valley, Chile) $14
Since a lot of the frozen section has organic offerings, we thought you should drink organic carbon neutral sometimes, too, which this cabernet is. Broccoli & Cheddar is an Amy’s Bowl of big cheesy goodness and it warrants a big, bold cab like this one. Kashi’s Thin Crust Four Cheese pizza holds up with this cabernet as well.
Torre del Falasco Valpolicella Ripasso 2010 (Veneto, Italy) $15
The Amy’s Stuffed Pasta Shells are smothered in red sauce and so it made sense to stay in Italy for this pairing. Same with Lean Cuisine’s Tuscan-Style Vegetable Lasagna and Kashi’s Chicken Pasta Pomodoro.
The Hedonist Shiraz 2010 (McLaren Vale, Australia) $20
Kashi makes a Mayan Harvest Bake with kale and beans. Anything with kale should be countered with a wine labeled Hedonist. If you’re eating the Amy’s Vegetable Parmesan Bowl, you’re probably doing enough good for your body, so also a good match.
Ruta 22 Malbec 2011 (Patagonia, Argentina) $13
Lean Cuisine’s simple beef pot roast or Amy’s Mexican Casserole are flavorful, but not overwhelmingly spicy or rich. Both go well with the little bit of smoke found in our malbec pick.