There are so many graphs and technical diagrams of wine pairings with food that it almost seems all food have their perfect wine soul mate, doesn’t it? That’s simply not true, however; there are quite a few foods/flavors that actually don’t mesh at all with wine. It’s important to know what doesn’t work in order to make the best choices for your side dishes, flavors, and your before and after dinner treats.
Why do some foods pair well with certain wines, and others do not? It all has to do with taste. In it’s simplest form, you wouldn’t pair strawberry ice cream with a tomato topping, would you? The combination would be rather disgusting. The same goes for wine pairings. Some pairings bring out the best of both flavors; the creamy mouth-feel of the Philip Carter Chardonnay draws out the buttery flavor of a Monkfish; the Monkfish brings forward the apple and lemon nose of the Chardonnay. A pairing made in heaven!
Foods in the cruciferous vegetable family bring the worst out of a wine, literally. The organic compounds contain sulfur and bring out the worst flavors in a wine, naturally. These foods would be broccoli, garlic, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts and asparagus. To tamper these foods, choose a Muscadet or Veltliner. These wines are bold enough to silence the effects of those foods and make them quite enjoyable.
Although wine and cheese seem to be the perfect couple, some cheeses are its worst enemy. Blue cheese for example is so strong (and smelly), that the aroma coats your mouth, making it difficult to taste the wine’s subtle notes. Try a Port Wine, or a Zinfandel. The sweeter tones in these wines will mellow out the aroma and transform the flavor to a creamer, milder taste.
Sushi is a tough one to pair. It seems natural however to have a glass of wine with your fish, so it shouldn’t be too much of a stretch to pair with sushi, right? Raw fish, seaweed and sesame are quite the combination without the addition of a wine. The iron in red wine actually sticks to the fish oils and causes a fishy metallic aftertaste. Try a Veltliner, Pino Blanc, or our favorite, a Brut Champagne. The light tones in these wines are passive enough to keep your taste buds happy.
We take great care in pairing the wines with foods that will give you the best experience during your wine tour. If there are health or allergy issues, please share those with us so that we can make the modifications as needed. We know what tastes great (and what doesn’t!) with wine. Plan your next trip with the security of knowing your taste buds will have just as much fun as you will!