Omar wanted the hashtag to be #shitfoodgreatwine but I had to step in. Yes, he would be accurate in that we would be taking fast food and pairing it with great wine available (mostly) by the glass, but what about the potentially lucrative future collaborations with giants of the industry? Our choice of language could see us missing out on pennies in paid work, plus, Maccies aren’t that shit, are they? We decided on #mcloki, the bastardisation of Loki, our home for the great wine and Birmingham’s finest winery, and McDonald’s, the multinational food giant with good* food.
*please note to any other fast food giants that ‘good’ can become ‘great’ if you pay us enough**
**to be fair to McDonald’s they had no idea we were doing this. I should probably be honest about the food. It was okay***
***offer still stands about future multinationals paying enough to say their food is great
So, two blokes set to work on a five-course tasting menu paired with wine. Happens to be quite easy planning a tasting menu at McDonalds: chicken nuggets to start, fillet-o-fish for the fish course. I wanted Big Mac for main but Omar insisted a Quarter Pounder is better, McFlurry for pre-dessert, apple pie to finish. I’d never had a fillet-o-fish before, or a Quarter Pounder. I only had my first Big Mac in November of last year. Omar took care of the graphics and the wine pairing. He’s good at that stuff. I queued at McDonalds and managed to fumble my way through the touch screen to order the food because I know my skillset. We get the food to Loki, staff unaware what we are up to yet up for the craic, and start to work on the pairings aided by the ever-excellent Melissa, now fully aware of why Omar asked for a suggestion to pair with “double-fried chicken with a curried mayo dip”. The following are all available by the glass, with the exception of the sweet wine which is good value by the half bottle.
Appetiser – Chicken Nuggets with curry sauce. Force Celeste, 2020.
Firstly, a problem; what dip to go with the nugz? For me, it could only be curry. I mean what kind of freak would have sweet’n’sour? Err, lots of people, apparently. Still, I persevered and conceded on the main course to get my own way. Then what to drink? Off dry Reisling is the obvious choice, or a Gewurztraminer. We went down the route of a South African Chenin Blanc. Rich and fruity, with lots of texture, the floral notes were understated. It had enough acidity to cut through the chicken and the curry.
Fish – Fillet-O-Fish. Xitxarel.lo, 2020
Whoever made the fillet-o-fish clearly had no idea they were cooking for such esteemed legends of the food industry. The fish fingery thing was trying to get out of the side of the stale bun, the tartare sauce dolloped sadly onto the centre. It wasn’t McDonalds’ finest hour. The wine on the other hand is excellent; young and bright, it’s a glugger in its own right. Seriously, hunt this down for not a lot of money. It has summer in the garden all over it.
Main – Quarter Pounder. Vieux Chateau Brun Pomerol, 2019
They don’t have the metric system in France, but this is a match made in heaven. Seriously. In years to come we’ll look back at Le Cheese Royale and Pomerol as such a classically French pairing it will join Daft Punk, Petit and Viera, and those two tits on Eurotrash as the all-time great duos. Nice amount of spice, good tannin and surprisingly drinkable for such a young Bordeaux, it pairs magnificently with the slightly sweet beef burger that, dare I say it, is actually pretty good. It’s presently on at under £7 for a small glass, which, with the burger, comes in at under a tenner. Try it and thank us for reinventing your tragic lunch options.
Pre-dessert – McFlurry. Chateau Bastor-Lamontagne, 2013
Another great pairing. Racy and full of fruit, the Sauternes is not only exceptional value but also is just about perfect to drink right now. Versatile enough to tackle most desserts, it works great with the dairy-led ice cream (there is next to no vanilla here at all) and the milkiness of the chocolate. Crunchie McFlurry would have worked even better had they not stopped making it.
Dessert – Apple Pie. Chateau Bastor-Lamontagne, 2013
Look, we’re not millionaires, so we planned a sweet wine to work with both courses. Once the volcanic spew of apple and cinnamon had cooled to an acceptable eating temperature sometime in 2025, this ate like a dream. I would actually suggest that the best way to enjoy these would be to take the McFlurry, mash the apple pie into it and pour the wine over it. Something is telling me that it would be great and that something is Omar. We obviously didn’t do this given we need to keep Loki sweet for the next lets-get-pissed-on-a-Thursday-and-pretend-its-work outing. KFC and wine, anyone?
- tasting menu,
- Wine Bar,
- wine pairing,