Foods That Are Difficult to Pair with Wine

Sushi pic


A graduate of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Dr. Erol Onel serves as the vice president of Heron Therapeutics in La Jolla, California. In his free time, Dr. Erol Onel maintains a passion for finding the perfect food and wine pairings. While there are several common food and wine pairings, there are some foods that have very few, if any, good wine pairings. Some of these challenging foods include:

Chocolate. Chocolate is a complicated food to pair with wine because it features a bitter and acidic flavor, along with strong natural tannins. Further, the wide variety of chocolates and the ways in which they are used make for a confusing mix of options. In most cases, port is the best wine to pair with chocolate because it compliments chocolate’s sweetness and texture.

Asparagus. Featuring a grassy and vegetable flavor, asparagus is notoriously difficult to pair. Steaming the asparagus makes pairing the food a bit easier because it removes the harsh vegetable flavor that complicates most pairings. However, not every dish calls for steamed asparagus. Regardless of how the vegetable is prepared, white wines such as Sauvignon Blanc are best.

Sushi. Due to the combined flavors of raw fish and seaweed, sushi does not work well with most common wines. Red wine doesn’t work with sushi because the combination of oil from the fish and iron in the wine creates a metallic aftertaste. White wines, particularly those that are extremely dry, pair best with sushi.

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