What Made Burger King's Whopper Wine Unique

In 2015, Burger King realized that it had been operating in Spain for 40 years. Obviously, it had to commemorate the occasion. But how? Why, with wine, of course! As Dieline reported at the time, Burger King initially offered wine to appeal to its Spanish consumer base. Playing on that history, it created 40 bottles of Whopper Wine. Trend Hunter writes that what made the wine special was that it was aged in barrels that fire grills had treated to complement the taste of a Burger King burger. However, only 40 contest winners would ever own a bottle of Whopper Wine. So, in a more expansive sign of celebration, Burger King also decided to open 50 more locations in the country and hire 1,000 more people. 

Creating a locally made vintage wine wasn't that strange of a move for Burger King, especially since the chain opened Whopper Bars just five years prior. Burger King opened these restaurants in high tourist traffic areas as a special beer-drinking destination (via New York Daily News). For one reason or another, though, Burger King has never felt the need to expand its alcohol and burger concept into the wider world.

Burger King missed out on a trend

The strange thing about the Whopper Wine scenario is not that it existed but that Burger King felt so unambitious about it. As noted, the company had previously played the booze and burger angle before creating a bottle of wine to capture the ever-elusive adult audience. What's weirder, though, is 2015 was also the year fast-food wine pairings were hitting headlines. As Bustle reported at the time, everyone suddenly agreed that wine and junk food was a decadent treat. So, you could have chardonnay and potato chips, white zinfandel and french fries, or pinot noir and Krispy Kreme. In other words, it was a market ripe for a cheap wine and burger combo.

However, the market is also still clearly open for such an idea. In August, Food & Wine announced that Duke's Mayonnaise was teaming up with Virginia's Champion Brewery Company to develop a beer that would complement mayo. Now, mayonnaise is a divisive ingredient. But if a mayo maker deems now a good time to play with beer and mayonnaise, surely now is also a good time for a good wine and fast food burger pairing.