Acidic and fruity red wines like Beaujolais, Pinot Noir, Chianti Classico and Zinfandel pair best with a Bacon, Lettuce & Tomato Sandwich (BLT). Meanwhile, flavourful whites like Chardonnay, Riesling, and Grüner Veltliner are just as delicious with a BLT.
Avoid heavier reds like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Shiraz, which are heavier in tannin. Tannin and tomato clash, making the wine taste like tin. And who wants to consume tin, accept for a cartoon billygoat?
A BLT sandwich is a classic American sandwich that consists of four main ingredients: bacon, lettuce, tomato and toast loaded with mayonnaise. The flavours of a BLT sandwich are relatively mild, with the bacon providing a savoury and slightly salty taste, the lettuce adding some freshness and crunch, and the tomato adding a bit of acidity.
While Grüner Veltliner is delicious when paired with a BLT sandwich, this steely green, white wine is not popular. Grüner Veltliner is a medium-bodied white wine that has notes of stone fruit, melon, green vegetables and spicy white pepper. The melon and green vegetable notes (such as cucumber, dill, lentils and peas) complement the lettuce in your BLT, while the white pepper flavours blend right in with the sandwich.
Grüner Veltliner also has a minerality to it that many people describe as wet stone or liquid glass. The mineral flavours complement the earthiness of the bacon while the refreshing acidity of Grüner Veltliner keeps your mouth alive and not overburdened by the mayo, butter and bacon grease flavours that can drown everything out.
I’d suggest trying Grüner Veltliner at home with a homemade or takeout BLT. Finding a Grüner Veltliner in a restaurant can be difficult as this isn’t a much sought after wine. If you do find Grüner Veltliner in a restaurant that also serves BLTs, you’ll more than likely have to buy the whole bottle (with a huge markup) making it an expensive risk to purchase, especially when you’re not even sure if you like Grüner Veltliner.
After working in the restaurant business for decades, I am convinced that a BLT sandwich is America’s favourite sandwich. So why not pair it with one of America’s favourite wines? Zinfandel is a juicy red wine bursting with notes of blackberry, black cherry, raspberry and jam, making it a refreshing red wine with your BLT.
Acidic in nature, Zinfandel will have no issue holding up to the tomato flavours while washing the mayo’s taste-bud clogging powers away. Meanwhile, with its smoky finish and black pepper bite, Zinfandel complements the bacon flavours in this savoury sandwich.
One of the biggest draws to a BLT sandwich is the pile of crispy French Fries that accompany it. Zinfandel, being bright and fruity, is the perfect foil to the salty, greasy and carbohydrate flavours of a plate of fries. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that Zinfandel acts as a substitute for ketchup in that the wine brings out the delicious flavours of your French Fries while providing refreshment.
Riesling & BLT Sandwich Pairing
Riesling is an acidic and refreshing white wine containing notes of peach, pear, green apple and citrus. Ranging from bone-dry to sweet, an off-dry Riesling is my preferred glass of white wine with a BLT Sandwich. Off-Dry means that there is a small kiss of sugar in the wine, giving the wine a little pep.
When paired with Riesling, the acidity and fruitiness of the wine complement the acidity of the tomato and cut through the richness of the bacon, while the subtle sweetness of the wine balances out the saltiness of the bacon. The wine’s crisp and refreshing finish also works well with the fresh greens of the lettuce.
Beaujolais & BLT Sandwich Pairing
Beaujolais Villages is a light-bodied red wine made from the Gamay grape, with fruity and floral aromas of cherry, raspberry and strawberry. It can be a great pairing with a BLT sandwich, as the wine’s freshness and acidity contrast the saltiness and fattiness of the bacon and the creaminess of the mayonnaise. Low in alcohol, Beaujolais won’t make you feel too tired or weigh you down, which is great if you are enjoying your BLT at lunch.
When pairing Beaujolais Villages with a BLT, consider the following tips:
Choose a younger vintage: Beaujolais Villages is a wine that is best enjoyed young within a few years of its vintage. Look for a recent vintage, ideally from the past two years, to ensure that the wine’s fruitiness and freshness are at their peak.
Chill the wine slightly: Beaujolais Villages is a red wine that can benefit from a slight chill, which can help bring out its freshness and acidity. Try chilling the wine in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes before serving, but be careful not to overchill it.
Keep the sandwich simple: A classic BLT sandwich is a great pairing with Beaujolais Villages, as the wine’s fruitiness and acidity can balance out the saltiness and fattiness of the bacon. Avoid adding too many additional ingredients, such as spicy sauces or strong cheeses, that could overpower the wine.
Rosé & BLT Sandwich Pairing
With its crisp and refreshing citrus, raspberry and strawberry notes, A dry Rosé is the perfect lunchtime wine to accompany a toasted BLT sandwich during patio season. While pink in colour, Rosé is often not sweet but refreshingly acidic and cool.
Refreshing is something you’ll want in wine when consuming a BLT, as the mayo, butter, bacon, and toast can weigh you down. With one quick sip of Rosé, your mouth comes alive again, and your BLT sandwich will taste as delicious as that first bite!