I was recently asked an interesting question: Most of us are familiar with great food and wine pairings but is there a list to steer clear of?
Remember, the ideal pairing is when food and wine put together create something even better. But there certainly are food and wine matches that should never show up at the table together.
Dry Champagne and sweet wedding cake: Many assume Champagne fits any wedding celebration. And for simply toasting, it does. But most wedding cakes are very sweet and tend to overpower dry sparkling wine. For enjoying with the cake, the best fit is bubbly with sweetness.
Raw fish and tannic red wines: Possibly one of the most significant mis-matches is a dry tannic red wine with caviar, sushi, oysters, sashimi or even tuna salad. It starts with a texture interaction giving the fish a sandy feel (regardless of the actual texture),which is followed by a clash of flavors. But it gets worse; often this pairing finishes with a metallic or tin can taste that lingers on your tongue. When serving raw fish and caviar, your best bets are white or sparkling wines.
Deer steak with moscato: An equally bad pairing is a robust, strong meat and a light, frothy wine. This type of match doesn’t have a chance to harmonize because of the power of the meat. The best fit would be using the default rule of red meat with red wine.
Heavy high-alcohol wine with extremely spicy food: Another at the top of the misfit list is heavily oaked, high-alcohol red wine with extremely spicy food. In this case the wine and food amplify each other. The high alcohol burns. The spices burn. And together this intensifies and can be almost unbearable, resulting in the flavors of the food getting washed out.
Red wine and vinegar: This pairing can occur unexpectedly and innocently with just a simple splash of vinegar in a sauce to “brighten” the flavor. But the most common culprit is a salad dressed with vinaigrette. When tasting and accessing wine, the smell or taste of vinegar is usually detected as a fault, so putting the two side by side offers some pairing confusion.