Dare to pair

Hey, Mac, want something to drink with that? Consider the following when chowing down on oodles of cheesy noodles.

Domaine Lafrance Sparkling Cider 

Rating: NNNN

Why Cheese and apples occupy the upper echelon of simple snacks, so mac and cider seems like a no-brainer. This pretty Quebecois sparkler is fruity, floral and off-dry with the zestiness required to refresh your palate while getting down on rich and creamy cheese-bathed noodles.

Price 750 ml/$16.95

Availability Vintages 400705


Waterloo Smoked Applewood Roggenbier

Rating: NNNN

Why Waterloo’s seasonal take on a smoked Roggenbier (a traditional rye-heavy German brew style) has a maple-dipped-bonfired-bacon thing going on that makes it a legit match for smoky meat-heaped macs like Carbon Bar’s BBQ rib version or anything studded with cured porky goodness. Best in moderate quantities.

Price 437 ml/$2.75

Availability LCBO 439810


Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

Rating: NNNN

Why Sierra Nevada’s legendary APA is perfect for crushing alone or with casual comfort food – cheeseburgers, grilled steak and, yep, mac ’n’ cheese. It’s clean and bright with the right amount of juicy hops to cut through the richness of gooey cheese and it will whisper words of devotion to a mac speckled with

lobster or seasoned

with lemon zest.

Price 6 x 355 ml/$ 15.50 

Availability LCBO 409854


Auchentoshan Three Wood Lowland Single Malt

Rating: NNNN

Why Full disclosure: I’m not enamoured with the concept (or general execution) of pairing spirits and stirred cocktails with dinner. They’re usually too powerful, lacking the subtlety and refreshment of lower-alcohol beer, wine and cider. But in the spirit of Robbie Burns Day on Monday (January 25), sip some Auchentoshan Three Wood (aged in bourbon, PX and oloroso sherry casks) with your mac – especially if it’s of the salty, smoky variety. Might as well try it with a Manhattan-esque Bobby Burns cocktail, too: 2 oz Scotch, ¾ oz sweet vermouth, ¼ oz Benedictine, stirred and served up with a lemon twist.

Price 750 ml/$79.85

Availability LCBO 720532


Bertolani Rosé

Rating: NNN

Why Try this Lambrusco, a lesser-known but entirely worthwhile sparkler from Emilia-Romagna, with an Italian-style mac laden with prosciutto, Parmigiana and cracked black pepper, like a bastardized carbonara al forno. Nothing like tiny

bubbles to correct Mac and cheese fatigue so you can put your head down and keep shovelling it in, soldier. 

Price 750 ml/$15.95

Availability Vintages 422865

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