Chips and Wine? Sí, sí!

December 10, 2010

A few years ago, an American friend was telling me about his trip to Spain. He said he loved the sights, but was surprised to see POTATO CHIPS served up with a glass of wine!

I was surprised by his surprise.  You mean potato chips and wine aren’t normal? I had never really paid attention but when I thought about it, Spain is the only place I have been served chips with wine.  (As I have mentioned previously, the Spanish are very, very smart!)

If you haven’t tried this combination, the salty crunch of a good potato chip goes PERFECTLY with the fruit and tannins of most red wines.  And with a glass of sangría, chips are just heaven.  (When I say “good” potato chip I mean the ingredients on the bag should say: “potato, salt, oil”.  Reconstituted Pringles and artificially flavored chips don’t count.)  Kettle Chips makes a delicious organic variety that you can find in most grocery stores on both sides of the Atlantic.

Although most tapas in Spain are no longer free, you are still usually given a few olives or chips if you order a drink.  At this bar in the center of Madrid, the bowl of chips stays on the counter and the bartender grabs a handful and puts them on a saucer next to your wine glass.

Chips served with wine

And at this restaurant, the chips were sprinkled on top of our tapa assortment.

spanish tapas with potato chips

But you can’t see them because I picked the off and ate them!

So the next time you serve wine, don’t think you have to get fancy.  Just open some good chips and enjoy your vino just like the Spanish do.


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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Luc December 10, 2010 at 5:27 am

je pense que sur la deuxième photo je préférerai manger les angulas plutôt que des chips !!!!!!!


Ana December 10, 2010 at 7:34 am

Moi, je veux les deux!


Alicia December 10, 2010 at 7:25 am

What is pictured on the bread? Olives, shrimp, cheese, anchovies and ….


Ana December 10, 2010 at 7:33 am

You don’t wanna know :) ok they are called “angulas” which are baby eels sauteed in garlic. Technically, these are “gulas” which are fake since the real thing is rare and too expensive. The fake gulas are made from reconstituted fish…like the fake crab we have in the US. The funny thing is, the French comment from Luc below says, “I’d rather eat angulas than chips!!!!” They’re really tasty. And now you know.


Daniele Hawkins December 10, 2010 at 7:33 am

I normally serve wine or apéritif with peanuts or cashews, but chips are fine, and so are olives. One can ez


Ana December 10, 2010 at 7:37 am

In the US we serve nuts or olives, too. But I think more people should try chips…pour changer un peu. :)


Diane December 10, 2010 at 7:33 am


Si, Si. Angulas para todos!


Ana December 10, 2010 at 7:35 am

I’ll do a post on angulas one of these days. The real thing has become like the unicorn. Did they ever really exist?


Helene December 10, 2010 at 9:30 am

Ana, I love your blog. It always brings a smile if not laughter. Thank you. Oh and Yes I will try GOOD chips with my next glass of red wine.


Ana December 10, 2010 at 10:07 am

Thanks for the comment. So glad my little blog makes you smile!


Isabel December 11, 2010 at 4:06 am

Qué gracia!!! Para mí es tan tan normal lo de las chips en cualquier bar y con cualquier bebida (vino, cerveza, coca-cola….) Nunca me he parado a pensar que era algo típico español!!! Pero, sí, es una muy buena cosa.


Ana December 11, 2010 at 7:48 am

En Los US, tengo la sensación de que vino es algo “chic” y las chips, no. Por eso creo que la combinación no se hace tanto. Una pena. :)


Daniele Hawkins December 12, 2010 at 11:09 am

Can someone explain what angulas are?

Merci !!


Ana December 12, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Angulas are baby eels, very popular in Spain…and served sauteed in olive oil and garlic. Miam!


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