Pacific Rim
August 17, 2021 | Pacific Rim

7 Surprising & Unusual Food & Wine Pairings

There is a myth of gigantic proportions circulating in the world of wine drinkers that only certain foods can be consumed with wine. Where and when this belief started is hard to know, and for the longest time, wine drinkers only consumed their favorite beverage with certain foods.  There is always food that goes with wine and wine that goes with the food.  Most wine drinkers only paired foods that wine experts recommended for fear of feeling embarrassed or being ridiculed.

three people toasting red wine at a Mexican restaurant

But experts in the wine industry all agree that this is a foolish belief; you can enjoy your wine with any food that you like. No rule steadfastly says that wines can only be enjoyed with a lamb steak or certain cheese and crackers. Over the past few years, wine connoisseurs have tried various combinations of food pairings with wine, and here are some weird pairings that might not end up being so weird after all.

1. Burgers and Red Wines: 

Whether you are eating a veggie burger, chicken burger, or lamb burger, you may want to consume some red wine at the same time. If the burger is spicy and flavorful, try a light-bodied red wine, like Gamay, Negroamaro, Lambrusco, or Pinot Noir. Still, if it is the classic cheeseburger, then a blend of Syrah, Zinfandel, and Petite Sirah may enhance the palate.

2. Macaroni and Cheese:

Most people would never dream of consuming wine with Mac & cheese. But with the right sparkling wine, the dish will taste absolutely great in your mouth. Some great sparkling wines that go with this all-American dish include Brut, Moscato, Chardonnay, and Ayala Brut. The creaminess and salt pair excellent with sparkling wines.

3. Chocolate Ice Cream:

If you have been waiting to indulge in chocolate ice cream, then try pairing it with a light red wine like Pinot noir. Each scoop of chocolate ice cream with a sip of the Pinot Noir will be a delightful experience. The rich milk chocolate flavor, plus the soft fruit aroma of the wine, make a great combination.

4. Pizza and Red Wines:

Regardless of the topping, experts agree that pizza plus red wine is a great pairing. Some of the red wines that can handle a mega-dose of pepperoni and mushrooms include Zinfandel, Shiraz, Merlot, or Cabernet Sauvignon. The high tannin content and acidity of the red wine combine well with the meaty and salty taste of the pizza. The key is to select a light-bodied wine so as not to overpower the flavor of the pizza.

5. Sausage or Bacon and Most Wines:

Both bacon and sausage go great with a sweet wine like Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Canyon Oaks Zinfandel, Sweet Lucy Red, or Sweet Moscato. The spicy meat taste will blend well with the sweetness of the wine. However, the key is to sip the wine, as it will exude the pepper flavor of the sausage/bacon.

6. Tacos and Wine:

Tacos can be salty, spicy, sweet, and hot, and to calm the palate, the best wines are the fruity, medium-full-bodied red wines, specifically Pinot Noir and Zinfandel. Or, if you prefer white wine, go with a Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling. The aromatic fruits will balance out the spice and the heat. Plus, the mild acidity of a Riesling will help melt the guacamole in your mouth.

7. Hot Dogs and Wine:

A hot dog with relish, a thick layer of mustard, a scoop of spicy baked beans, and jalapenos served on a traditional soft white bun with fried onion toppings are best paired with Alsatian Pinot Blanc, Riesling, or a lighter, fruity red like Pinot Noir. These wines will reduce the spiciness, richness, and smoke, yet also bring out the flavors of the hot dog. If the jalapenos are spicy, then you need to cool the palate down with sparkling wine; choose either a Chardonnay, Chilean Merlot, or a Riesling.

Figure Out the Weird Wine Pairings for Your Next Party Today!

At the end of the day, there is no firm rule on wine pairings and food. It is all based on your personal preference. Try any weird pairings you would like to!  Find the food that goes with wine that you like. 

The important thing is not to stick to old wine rituals; try a different red or white wine with different types of food. Soon, you will realize that wine and food pairings can also depend on the mood, occasion, setting, and beverage availability. To ensure you don’t run out of wine, visit Pacific Rim and Company, where the selection will give you a variety of wines to try.



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