We've done some pretty fun wine pairing posts in the past (Girl Scout Cookies, chocolate, etc.) and the upcoming Easter holiday got me thinking about jelly beans. Our Easter Bunny lines every basket with jelly beans plus fills up the egg hunt eggs with them, so we end up with a lot of jelly beans in our house. Is it possible that jelly beans can pair with wine? A lot depends on the type of jelly beans you have (they make about 1000 kinds now!) and the type of wine that you like.
Wine and Jelly Bean Pairings
Rather than gain 10 pounds trying out the combinations myself, I decided to round up what the wine and jelly bean experts of the Internet have to say. Here's a compilation of a WIDE variety of pairing suggests.
- The LA Times suggests one of my favorites, Pinot Grigio. That's a nice crowd-pleaser that most white wine drinkers will enjoy.
- If you are looking for a more exotic white wine, KCTV in Kansas City suggests Gewurztraminer, specifically a dry varietal. Meredith May, publisher and editorial director of “The Somm Journal” and “Tasting Panel Magazine” agrees.
- If Starburst jelly beans in particular are your favorite (and they are one of mine), Vinepair suggests Riesling as a white that isn't too heavy or too dry. Keep in mind that Rieslings can really vary and you could end up with a dry Riesling if you choose wrong. Stick with the “sweet nature” ones.
- Good Morning America also suggests a Riesling and even goes so far as to pick a specific wine: the 2011 Ehlen Erdener Treppchen Kabinett Riesling (say that 5 times fast).
- The Black Label by Wine Awesomeness suggests Riesling but specifically a dry Riesling to take advantage of its “pleasant tartness.” They also say to skip the black jelly beans, which I agree with 100%.
- If you actually like black jelly beans (I'm talking to you, Mom), the Florida Times-Union suggests a late bottled port. Wine Oh suggests Cabernet Franc for the anise-flavored candies.
- Plum Deluxe suggests Moscato or a sparkling wine, which can be made fruitier by the flavors of the jelly beans.
- Feeling festive? Boxy specifically recommends Champagne and explains that the combination of pure sugar and effervescent bubbles “is what the excitement of spring and sandals and sunshine tastes like.”
Jelly Beans that Taste Like Wine
If you want the taste of wine but don't want to actually start drinking before church on Sunday, you can use Jelly Belly beans in different combinations to simulate wine tastings. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Pinot Noir: Very Cherry (2), Raspberry, Strawberry, Plum, Pink Grapefruit, Cappuccino
- Pinot Grigio: Lemon Lime, Lemon Drop, Pink Grapefruit, Tangerine, Peach, Juicy Pear
- Malbec: Blueberry, Plum, Raspberry (2), Very Cherry, French Vanilla
The bottom line when pairing wine and jelly beans is pretty much like the advice that we give to anyone choosing a wine for any occasion– drink what you like!