Video: Which Minnesota wines you should pair with State Fair foods

And this is coming from a sommelier – she knows what she's talking about.

Wine pairs really well with foods from the Minnesota State Fair. 

We were a little skeptical too, so Leslee Miller – a certified sommelier who owns the wine consulting firm Amusée, and Minnesota Wine Country at the Fair – gave us suggestions on wines to pair with State Fair foods.

And we were very impressed (watch the video above). Miller said the key to pairing food and wine is to get a bite of the food in your mouth when you sip the wine to get the full effect.

Here's what Miller recommends: 

Cheese on a stick from Cheese on a Stick

Cheese and apples are BFFs, Miller said, so she had us try the cheese on a stick with Sparkling Apple from St. Croix Vineyard (it's on tap at Minnesota Wine Country). 

The sparkling aspect of the wine helps to lift a lot of the fatty cheese off of your palette, Miller notes. 

Deep-fried avocado from O'Gara's at the Fair

Miller paired the deep-fried avocados with Sogn Blanc from Cannon River Winery in Cannon Falls. 

The wine is 100 percent edelweiss grapes (grown in Minnesota), with Miller noting the wine has a "little baby touch of sweetness to it" that goes well with the "greenness of the avocado."

Chicken in a waffle from Blue Barn

The gravy and fried chicken paired great with Snowy White from Falconer Vineyards in Red Wing. 

The Snowy White is made with La Crescent grapes, which have a little touch of sweetness and citrus notes. That helps with the heaviness of the dish. 

Maple Bacon Irish Apple Tipsy Pie from Sara's Tipsy Pies

Frontenac Sparkling Rose from Falconer Vineyards "should be really good friends with the bacon," Miller said. 

The wine adds a third element – a red berry flavor – to the apple and bacon in the pie, creating a delicious combination.

Candied bacon donut sliders from Minnesota Wine Country

Miller said bacon pairs well with pretty much everything, but said this dessert has a touch of sweetness to it. So she'd recommend a dry red, like the Barn Quilt Red from Parley Lake Winery.

And it was delicious – we'd eat it every day. 

Miller said the Frontenac Sparkling Rose would also pair well with the sliders. 

Deep-fried Oreo from Deep Fried Candy Bars

Miller paired the Oreos with Raspberry by Winehaven Winery, a wine made only with Raspberries, no grapes. The idea is that the chocolate from the Oreos would go well with the raspberries in the wine. 

Spoiler: it did.

If you're looking for more pairings with other Minnesota State Fair foods (cheese curds, cotton candy, pronto pups and alligator), check out the tasting we did with Miller last year

Next Up

coronavirus, masks, covid-19

Wisconsin Republicans aim to end governor's mask mandate

They've introduced a resolution to remove the governor's emergency powers.

Ted Schweich

Community group hopes to install billboard to get neighbor a kidney

A group called "Team Ted" aims to raise $5,000 to find their friend a kidney donor.

Andrew Palmer

Charges: Coach raped teenage girl on Minnesota basketball team

The 33-year-old head coach has been charged in connection to the alleged crimes.

radio station, microphone

WCCO Radio's program director leaves the company

It's not clear why John Hanson and the station parted ways.

Minneapolis skyline

Minneapolis a step closer to banning facial recognition technology

There are concerns about it leading to a surveillance state, and that it could harm disadvantaged communities.

covid-19, coronavirus, PPE

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Friday, January 22

Nearly 50,000 Minnesotans have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

police lights

Police recover more than 14 pounds of meth, 4,000 pills during drug bust

Three people have been arrested and charged in connection to the drugs.

Gopher hockey

Gophers respond to drop in rankings with 10-goal outburst

It had been 17 years since the Gophers last scored 10 goals in a game.


Winter storm watch issued where snow could exceed 6 inches in MN

Snow will spread from west to east starting Saturday morning in western Minnesota.


the donut family

Where to find State Fair foods in Minnesota this summer

The Great Minnesota Get-Together is canceled, but that doesn't mean you can't still chow down.

5 underrated Minnesota State Fair foods

Here's a handful of gems you might have forgotten or never tried.

There are now 2 kosher food stands at the Minnesota State Fair

It started last year with Sweet Martha's Cookie Jar.

We get it – you like Minnesota State Fair food

Here are your picks for the best foods at the Great Minnesota Get-Together.

MSF Food Parade 1 - edit

Minnesota State Fair's second Food Parade sells out

Tickets for the event were sold via lottery.

Video: How to walk off what you eat at the Minnesota State Fair

You eat a lot and you walk a lot – but is it enough to burn off what you eat?