Goku and Chi-Chi. Shounen and superheroes. Avocado and soy sauce. Peanut butter and chocolate.
Some things are great alone, but when they team up with the right partner, they rise to a whole new level. For Valentine’s Day, we decided to take anime — something we all know and love — and pair it with something that’s got a long history of serving as a faithful companion: wine.
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While we won’t cover every anime or selection of wine, this should get you started on experimenting with your own combinations! So read on, try the pairings below, and let us know what you think of your Valentine’s Day anime experience!
Everyone needs to decompress at times. When you want to relax and need something to lift your spirits, chances are you’re going to reach for heartwarming anime like Fruits Basket, Smile Down The Runway, or If My Favorite Pop Idol Made It To The Budokan, I Would Die.
These types of shows leave you feeling more optimistic with themes of friendship and self discovery, as they focus more on interpersonal dynamics over flashy acrobatics.
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When you’re enjoying more uplifting fare like this, you may want to try pairing it with a light-bodied white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio — or go for a slightly sweeter taste with a Riesling. If you’re feeling extra fancy, you could enjoy it with chicken or pork, or soft cheeses like Gruyere.
Some anime series really pick up momentum the more you dive into them. Think of darker shows full of complex characters and mature themes like ID: INVADED, The Promised Neverland, or Death Parade. They tend to start slower and build up to a bigger narrative payoff in the end, and they reward you the more you pay attention to little details along the way!
These rich tales deserve an equally-rich accompaniment, so you might want to try a red wine. Perhaps a light-bodied type like Pinot Noir — or for something full-bodied — Cabernet Sauvignon. As a bonus, these types of wines also pair well with richer foods like lasagna or steak.
For many of us, shounen is still the bread and butter of our anime diet, so what wine should we pair with it? When you watch a show with intensity — the kind that keeps you glued to the screen and excited for what’s next — it’s best to go with something that’s neither too heavy and dark, nor too light and sweet. This includes shows like My Hero Academia, One Piece, and Dragon Ball Super, among others.
Enter our trusty friend: the full-bodied white wine. It strikes a great balance with its richer taste and a smooth, creamy texture. Chardonnay is the usual go-to, but if you’re just not feeling it, you may instead try a dry Rosé. Both types of wine go well with chicken or pork, or soft cheese like Brie.
As you can see from the above, finding the right combination of anime and wine (and food, if you’re adding that to the mix) takes a good understanding of the qualities of each.
While combining the two isn’t for everyone, if you’re willing to give them a shot together and experiment to find your favorite pairings, you might just find your new favorite anime team-up! You might even discover your inner oenophile. (That basically means “wine expert” in fancy wine speak.)
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