16 Wine And Potato Chip Pairings To Serve At Your Next Party

Americans love potato chips, whether enjoying them as a side to a lunchtime club sandwich, devouring an entire bag of them on movie night, or snacking on them while watching a big game. A 2023 Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery report cites data from Circana OmniMarket stating that potato chip sales in America were up over 15% from the previous year, reaching a threshold of over $10 billion in sales.

Enjoying a bag of potato chips with a glass of wine offers the ultimate high-low flavor combination. Though the combination may sound unique and unexpected, the growing number of flavored potato chip offerings provides a plethora of wine-pairing opportunities. Just as you would pair wine with cheese, fish, meat, or vegetables, the flavors of wine can enhance the taste of chips, making the combination more flavorful. 

As a certified wine specialist and sommelier, I have spent the past 20 years tasting, pairing, and writing about the ideal wines to complement every type of cuisine, including the tasty delights in a bag of potato chips. Considering my personal experience, numerous taste tests, and research of trusted reviews, we have rounded up some of our favorite wine-and-chip options for your next gathering.

Classic chips with fino sherry

The classic unflavored potato chip delivers everything you could want in a snack. The fried chip is savory, salty, and slightly nutty, with the satisfying crunch we hunger for. The usual pairing for the classic chip flavor is Champagne, though we will save that pairing for another type of chip. Instead, with classic chips, we prefer a nutty fino sherry, like Tio Pepe

The production of fino sherry begins with a mineral-rich, low-acid, dry white wine made from the palomino grape variety hailing from the Jerez region, in the sun-drenched southern part of Spain. The sherry ages biologically under a yeast veil known as flor. The flor prevents the fortified wine from oxidizing while it ages. After two years of aging in American oak barrels, the resulting drink is rich in nutty almonds, yeasty bread dough, wild herbs, and lemon peel flavors, with a briny saline note that melds with the chips' saltiness and earthy potato flavor. 

Truffle chips with Champagne

For a luxurious combination, pair truffle-flavored potato chips with Champagne or any sparkling wine crafted in the traditional method, like a dry, brut-style Champagne from Veuve Clicquot or Moët & Chandon, or a Domaine Carneros sparkling wine from Napa. The wine should have a good amount of fruitiness, which the noted selections have, layering fresh lemon, ripe apple, golden pear, and melon. The wine's production — utilizing a secondary fermentation from adding yeast to the individual bottles to create the bubbles — also creates a nutty note of marzipan and hazelnut, with sweet cream and freshly baked brioche. It is best to avoid extra-brut styles of wine with an ultra-dry style for this pairing, as there should be some residual sugar to play off the richness of the chips. 

This brut and chip combination melds thanks to the chip's saltiness, which lifts the rich, yeasty flavor of the sparkling wine. At the same time, the wine's fruitiness will balance the chip's earthy, fatty, umami flavors, and cut through the unctuous truffle oil and fried potatoes. The Champagne's lively bubbles help cleanse the palate, allowing for enjoyment of every handful of the full-flavored chips. We suggest going the thoroughly indulgent route by adding a hearty dollop of crème fraîche and a spoonful of salty caviar; you may never eat plain chips again.

Salt and vinegar chips with Provençal rosé

Salt and vinegar chips are one of our favorite varieties. The satisfying saltiness and the tang of the vinegar create a crave-worthy chip combination that results in the inability to eat just one. To find the optimal wine for these acidic chips, you must keep the pronounced vinegar flavor in mind, as it is dominant and can be challenging to pair. We suggest a balanced, slightly herbaceous, orchard- and stone-fruit-filled rosé wine from the Provence region of France, like Miraval or Mirabeau. 

The wine typically blends grape varieties that grow in France's Rhône region — like spicy syrah, fruity grenache, and fresh cinsault — from vineyards dotted throughout the southern terroir near the Mediterranean Sea. The sea's influence lends a mineral-forward brininess to the dry, salmon-pink-colored wine, enhancing the wine's red apple, apricot, peach, and woody flavors. Though the wine is fruity, the earthy, savory characteristics will balance the zingy acidity the vinegar gives to the chips. 

Dill pickle chips and tempranillo

Dill-pickle-flavored anything continues to be a popular trend in 2024. Today, you can find pickle butter, pickle nuts, pickle popsicles, and dill-pickle-flavored potato chips. Finding the wine to match the pungent taste of pickle can pose a challenge, similar to the pairing with salt and vinegar chips, as salty-and-sour chips can accentuate the acid in a wine. However, we suggest a medium- to full-bodied tempranillo wine from Rioja, Spain, which will match the chip's bold flavors. 

Characteristically, Rioja red wine often has herbaceous notes of fresh dill, thyme, and anise that meld with layers of plum, cherry, tobacco, and pepper. The natural dill flavors in the wine will combine perfectly with the punchy pickle chips. In contrast, the wine's savory and fruity qualities will balance the chip's piquant character. We suggest enjoying the chips with a younger Crianza or Reserva style of Rioja. The well-aged Gran Reserva style will have more tertiary notes of aged fruit, leather, and tobacco instead of the fresh herbaceous notes the pickle-chip pairing needs.

Bacon flavored chips with syrah

There is something about the flavor of bacon that makes it so irresistible. The intoxicatingly smoky, meaty, delectable fattiness of bacon causes the breakfast meat to find its way into dishes throughout the day, not just with our morning meal, including savory, salty potato chips. The perfect wine pairing for these umami-rich chips needs to have a strong enough flavor profile to handle the richness of the chips. Hailing from France's Rhône Valley, the syrah grape variety often has a natural smoky, meaty, bacon-fat quality. These savory characteristics meld with the grape's flavors of white and black pepper, blue and black fruit, toasted spice, and wild herbs, perfect for enhancing the distinct taste of bacon-flavored chips. 

While the grape's home is France, New World options from California, Washington, Argentina, or Australia (where it is known as shiraz) tend to have more assertive tannins and a concentrated fruit-forward note when compared to the more earthy, Old World options from France, often due to the higher temperatures of New World regions creating juicy, well-ripened grapes. Still, no matter where the fruit is grown, the wine's savory qualities will shine through, integrating with the delectable bacon flavor.

Sour cream and onion chips with chardonnay

Sour cream and onion flavoring gives earthy potatoes a creamy, tangy, herbaceous taste. The combination is a classic, whether to enhance the flavor of a baked spud, whipped into a French onion dip, or dusted over fried potato chips to create one of the country's leading chip flavors — particularly in a bag of Ruffles Sour Cream & Onion, with its ridges locking in all of the seasonings' flavorful goodness. 

Pairing the chips with a fruity, oak-aged chardonnay wine — with flavors of lemon custard, orchard fruit, and tropical fruit, and bearing a luscious, buttery texture — will boost the creaminess that the sour cream lends to the chips. At the same time, the white wine's natural acidity will sharpen the onion flavoring's subtly savory taste. We recommend a bottle from Napa Valley or Sonoma, California, like one of David Ramey's delicious selections, where sunshine-filled days are standard to ensure that the grapes achieve optimal ripeness. 

Cheddar and sour cream with Côtes du Rhône

In contrast to sour cream and onion chips — which have a welcome herbal, vegetal quality to play off the richness of the sour cream — the combination of cheddar and sour cream brings bold, fatty flavors together on top of a chip. For this variety, the wine pairing must be fruity and fresh while also offering herbaceous, savory flavors to offset the seasoning's richness, like a Côtes du Rhône blend. 

The wine's fresh acidity and tannin content will balance the intense cheddar and sour cream flavors. Hailing from vineyards surrounding the Rhône River in southeastern France, the dry red wine blends Rhône varieties including sun-loving mourvèdre, syrah, and fruity grenache. These approachable (and typically relatively inexpensive) wines offer fruity notes of red raspberries, stewed plum, blackberry, thyme, and sagebrush. The wild herbs in the wine bring earthy, herbaceous qualities to the wine and chip pairing. Additionally, the ripe fruit flavors and fleshy acidity will balance the creamy seasonings.

Sriracha chips with riesling

The multi-layered taste of sriracha chips delivers everything we love about the fiery red sauce into a chip form. The chips layer fiery chili pepper flavors with tangy vinegar, salt, earthy potatoes, and an underlying sweetness to balance the heat. Though the spice level isn't overly extreme, they still pack a punch that needs a slightly sweet wine to tame the intensity, like an off-dry to sweet riesling wine. 

This white wine variety has a naturally high level of acidity that will balance the fatty richness of the fried chips. In contrast, varying sugar levels in the wine will cut through the heat and spiciness. The riesling wines of Germany are some of the finest options to try. Wines labeled as Halbtrocken, Lieblich, Süss, Spätlese, and Auslese indicate the wine includes varying levels of residual or natural sugar, lending sweetness while taming the fruit's natural acidity. For this pairing, it is best to avoid the dry Trocken or Kabinett styles that, while fruity, won't have the sweetness these fiery chips need. 

Barbecue chips with Merlot

Barbecue-flavored chips rank high on the list of favorite flavor varieties. This type of chip's seasoning combination dances across your taste buds, delivering sweet, spicy, savory, vinegary, peppery, salty, and umami flavors. We have already discovered the tastiest beer pairing for barbecue potato chips, but what if we prefer to enjoy them with wine? The complexity of the BBQ flavors requires a subtle wine with good fruit, balanced acidity, chewy tannin, and easy approachability, like a Merlot.

This red grape variety produces fruity, smooth selections that match almost anything. It is like the Labrador of wine, as finding a food category that Merlot does not love is challenging. The wine's flavors are typically juicy and fruit-forward, layering red berries, cherries, and plums with soft herbs and dark chocolate, depending on the wine's aging profile. Merlot's easygoing, fruity style will soften the zesty punch of the well-seasoned chips, creating a palatable balance.

Sweet Maui onion chips with albarino

Opening a bag of sweet Maui onion potato chips will transport any Hawaii lover back to the islands. This allium variety grows under the gaze of the dormant Haleakalā volcano, providing red, iron-rich soils that create one of the world's mildest, sweetest, juiciest tasting onions. When transformed into a seasoning, Maui onions deliver a similar taste sensation onto a potato chip. The wine pairing should have a zesty freshness and a well-rounded texture to heighten the sweet, salty flavors, like a Spanish albarino from the Rias Baixas region within Galicia. 

The Iberian Peninsula's northwestern area is known as Green Spain, as it receives ample rainfall. Located alongside the Atlantic coast, Rias Baixas enjoys a cool maritime climate with blustery winds that bring sea-salt-filled air through its vineyards daily, locking in freshness. This is balanced by sunshine-filled days, ripening the fruit and creating highly aromatic white wines with energy. The dry white wine's lemony citrus, floral honeysuckle, and herbal flavors complement the sweetness that Maui onion flavoring brings. In contrast, the granitic minerality from the soil and briny saline notes from constant sea breezes will enhance the saltiness of the chip.

Sweet potato chips with pinot noir

Pinot noir is the red wine pairing for any sweet potato dish, whether you enjoy the root vegetable in a roasted or sautéed preparation, made into a sweet potato casserole, or sliced thin and fried into crispy, salty, sweet potato chips. This terroir-driven, medium-bodied wine has fleshy flavors of red berry, ripe red cherry, and pomegranate, with bright acidity and crunchy tannin. 

We recommend an option from Oregon's Willamette Valley, like Résonance, or a selection from Louis Jadot of Burgundy, France. Both brands offer elegant, well-structured, high-quality pinot noir wines that showcase the regional characteristics and qualities of the vineyards where the grapes are grown. Its wines reveal a natural forest-floor quality, with herbaceous earthiness and fruit-forward flavors that accentuate the complexity of rustic sweet potato chips, enhancing the savory qualities while balancing the slightly caramelized flavor brought by frying the chips.

Salt and pepper chips with Zinfandel

The enjoyment of salt and pepper chips goes beyond snacking on handfuls straight out of the bag. The two seasoning components are relied upon for almost every savory dish prepared in restaurant and home kitchens, flavoring everything from steaks, fish, and chicken breasts to pasta, salad, vegetables, and more. We use crumbled salt and pepper chips to crust a piece of halibut, sprinkle over grilled asparagus, or top a yellow squash casserole, adding an extra note of fried-chip umami. 

We recommend pairing the chips with a red Zinfandel wine to tame the spicy notes in the chips, like an old vine selection from Sonoma's Hartford Family Winery. The winery's zinfandel vines produce highly concentrated, well-structured wines with fleshy, full-bodied flavors layering ripe blackberry, boysenberry, and plum with black licorice, and toasted warm spices like cinnamon and allspice. Pairing the fruit-forward wine with the piquant, peppery chips creates a balanced flavor profile, with the wine's jammy, juicy, mouth-coating qualities cutting through the spicy, peppery flavors. 

Oven-baked potato chips with assyrtiko

Oven-baked potato chips are ideal for those looking for a crunchy snack with less fat and calories than traditional potato chips. However, baking the chips instead of deep frying them can leave the flavor relatively flat, with the oven-baked chips lacking the zesty zing that frying gives the chips. Pair these chips with a high-acid wine, like an assyrtiko from the Greek island of Santorini, to add that punch of energetic zest to the combination of flavors. 

Assyrtiko grows in high-elevation vineyards in volcanic soils where winds constantly blow through the vines off the Aegean Sea, creating an aromatic wine with flavors of lemon-lime, wild herbs, and crushed-stone minerality that lingers throughout. The tongue-tingling wine's naturally fresh acidity will enhance the chip's earthiness, elevating the overall flavor. As the assyrtiko variety thrives on an arid island, it pairs beautifully with every style of shellfish and seafood, as do many potato chips. We suggest topping the chips with fresh tuna tartare and enjoying a glass.

Pizza flavored chips with Chianti

Pizza-seasoned potato chips offer the best of all junk-food worlds, delivering the taste of a cheesy, marinara-sauced, pepperoni-topped pizza in the form of a chip, while lending that extra indulgent note of fried potato flavor. The wine pairing for such a full-flavored, complex chip variety should have enough tannin to cut through the cheesy, meaty taste while having enough acid to harmonize with the seasoning's zesty tomato flavor, like a Chianti Classico. 

Just as this Italian red wine is ideal with spaghetti and meatballs or lasagna Bolognese, the sangiovese-dominant option shines with the pizza flavors. The tannins in the wine have a drying effect on your mouth, which is why Chianti pairs well with foods with fatty qualities. At the same time, the freshness helps cleanse the palate, and the subtle floral and herbaceous flavors highlight the hint of dried Italian seasoning in the chips. We suggest a selection from Banfi, Frescobaldi, or Tenuta di Arceno, all delivering high-quality wines with authenticity. 

Garlic Parmesan with Pinot Grigio

Fresh and lively, Pinot Grigio is one of the world's most approachable, easy-to-drink wines. The grape's origin is Burgundy in France, where it's known as Pinot Gris, with fully-matured grapes having a slightly gray color that can give a subtle rosy tint to the wine. Today, we typically think of this go-to option as being from the northwestern part of Italy, where the grape is known as Pinot Grigio. The fruit produces bright, clean, juicy wines with light acidity and succulent flavors of lemon-lime, pineapple, mango, apples, pear, and stone fruit. 

The wine's fruity, full-flavored, refreshing palate will perfectly complement the taste of garlic Parmesan chips. The drink's qualities will heighten the slightly caramelized, roasted garlic flavor in the chips while mellowing the Parmesan cheese's sharp, salty taste, enriching the chip's overall savoriness. We suggest a selection from the region of Alto Adige in Italy, like from Alois Lageder. The biodynamically farmed winery's vineyards grow at high elevations in the foothills of the Dolomites, where cool evening temperatures and constant breezes ensure the grapes have optimal freshness, enhancing their liveliness.

Everything bagel potato chips with Prosecco

Everything bagel seasoning finds its way onto many of our favorite dishes, topping anything from deviled eggs and avocado toast to enhancing the taste of popcorn, pasta, ramen noodles, and potatoes — whether they be baked, mashed, or in the form of a chip. The flavor blend combines white and black sesame seeds, poppyseeds, minced dried onion and garlic, and crunchy, flaky sea salt. The resulting seasoning delivers an assertive flavor and a satisfying crunch that needs a fresh, fruity, and fizzy wine to balance its complexity while equalizing the chip's fattiness. We suggest a sparkling Prosecco wine from Italy, like a Prosecco Superiore from Adami. 

The difference between Champagne and Prosecco is that the Italian bubbly wine's production utilizes the Charmat method, where a winemaker utilizes a pressurized tank to create the bubbles. The resulting wine is intentionally fruitier and fresher than the traditional method, making it lighter on the palate and with a refreshing, fruit-forward, easygoing style. Adami's Prosecco Superiore selections come from the rocky hillsides of Conegliano Valdobbiadene, where mineral-rich soils lend an earthy, wet-stone note to the peach, apricot, and nectarine flavors in the lively wine with a lovely, clean palate.