This isn’t Dunkin’ Donuts, or Krispy Kreme, or even your favorite local purveyor of that fried wonderfulness known as the doughnut.
No, this is different. This is the Doughnut Vault, a recently opened shop in Chicago’s trendy River North neighborhood.
The shop itself is miniscule, yet it consistently attracts lines of people stretching around the corner—people who gladly pay $2 or $3 per doughnut. Once a given day’s production is sold out, that’s it; better luck (and get there earlier) next time.
If you can wrap your mind around a $3 doughnut, you might also be open to the idea that it is possible to enjoy a glass of wine with it. After all, both doughnuts and wine are made using yeast, right?
On the day of my visit, the Vault offered five kinds of doughnuts. Are all candidates for a wine partner?
- Buttermilk Old-Fashioned ($2)—Its crunchy outside is complemented by a fresh coat of sweet glaze. I’d try it with Asti Spumante or a similar semi-sparkling, semi-sweet wine.
- Chestnut ($3)—Its nutty flavor makes it a perfect companion to a cup of coffee, but it also should go nicely with either Port or Cream Sherry.
- Vanilla ($3)—Closest of the five to a Krispy Kreme glazed, which means it’s much too sweet for any wine.
- Chocolate ($3)—The fudge-like frosting flavor dominates this cupcake-like creation that also is glazed. Another too-sweet-for-wine concoction—but mighty good.
- Gingerbread Stack ($3)—This cake doughnut has a soft cookie-like texture, and its gingerbread flavor isn’t overpowering. It’s the most wine-friendly of all the offerings at the Doughnut Vault. Its perfect vinous partner? An off-dry Gewurztraminer.
Have you ever had wine with a doughnut? If so, I’d love to hear about it. What kind of doughnut? What kind of wine? How did it happen?
The comment box below awaits your tale.