Bacchus & the BLT: What to drink with America’s Favorite Sandwich

Iced tea in a Mason jar, hand-squeezed lemonade, a cold beer, a Coke: These are the most popular drinks with a BLT. As you might guess, I have other suggestions.

Freshly made BLT Sandwich

“What if you want to dress things up, enjoy a nice wine or try something different?” I wrote in The BLT Cookbook in 2002.
My advice then was “Red wine with meat, Burgundy with bacon: If you need rules, this one isn’t bad. The smoke and fat of bacon call out for a red and the salt requires a good bit of acid, hence Burgundy, the geographic term for Pinot Noir.”


A great choice with a BLT

Coppola Votre Santé Pinot Noir, A great choice with a BLT

It’s still good advice but selections of both Pinot Noir and other wines have expanded deliciously since I wrote it. If you want to enjoy a red wine with your BLT, I recommend an inexpensive Pinot Noir from California, made in a light, delicate style. Coppola Votre Santé Pinot Noir ($14) is a perfect choice.

A dry rosé makes a great match, too, and there are now dozens available. Baker Lane Vineyards Rosé ($20) is like a trip to Provence in a glass, with alcohol at an appealing 11.9 percent, making it drinkable on a hot afternoon.  Lasseter Family Winery’s Enjoué ($28) has an exuberance that matches the exuberance of the sandwich. Martin Ray Winery’s 2015 Rosé of Pinot Noir ($28) is another favorite but you’ll have to wait for the next vintage, as the ’15 is sold out.

Should you prefer bigger, bolder red wines with everything, including a BLT, go with a Zinfindel or Syrah. There’s no need to ponder over the pairing for too long; just choose your favorite.

If you find yourself needing a BLT late some night, your sexiest companion might be a single malt scotch, such as my favorite, Laphroaig, from Islay, an island in the Inner Hebrides. On my first sip, at the distillery, I found myself thinking of bacon, evoked by threads of smoke, salt, and fat that filled my mouth. As I savored the Scotch, our guide explained that it was “not a lady’s wine, women don’t like it.” Ha! I thought. What does he know? It remains my favorite nearly twenty years after that first visit.

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