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20 Feb 2020
Posted by Wade


Which wines and food really clash…

The so-called rules on wine and food pairing have gotten a lot more flexible these days. Even on the most serious of wine lover’s tables, it’s totally possible to find a juicy steak alongside a serious white blend, and a Pinot Noir can make the right kind of fish dish truly fly.

Whatever your thoughts on wine and food pairings, there are a few definite wine and food pairing no-no’s. So to save you from lip puckering mismatch palate clashes, here are a few pairings that should never be:

Toothpaste & chewing gum

While you really should brush those pearly whites after a glass or two of red wine, freshly brushed teeth and wine go together as well as toothpaste and orange juice. The same goes for minty chewing gums. So if you’re really wanting to enjoy the taste of your wine, ditch the very fresh breathe beforehand!

Very spicy dishes

It should come as no surprise that spices that seriously singe the palate do no favours to any delicate wines they’re drunk alongside. If you’re really wanting to enjoy a glass with your next spicy dish, avoid anything semi-sweet. Rather opt for an off-dry Riesling or Rosé, a dry MCC or a ripe Pinot Noir.

Very sweet desserts

Generally speaking, sugary desserts don’t go well with the tannins in wine. Of course, dessert wines are the exception.  And whilst there has been an increasing trend toward pairing wine and chocolate, keep in mind that chocolate adds a few sensations to your palate (including textured chocolate tannin, fattiness, sweetness and an earthy flavour). When you finish this taste with a dry red wine, the wine scrapes the fattiness and sweetness from your palate leaving harsh tannins in their place.


Essentially, vinegar is spoiled wine, so it makes sense that you shouldn’t pair too much of it with a good wine. If the taste of vinegar dominates a dish, it can make even a delicious wine taste terrible. A dash of vinegar to a dish however (provided its flavour doesn’t dominate) isn’t a problem for the wine it’s paired with.

Whatever your views on food and wine pairings, it’s always a good idea to follow some basic rules when it comes to the wine you pair with your next meal. Light wines tend to go better with lighter foods and more complex wines, with richer meals. Consider the richness of both the food and the wine. The wine and the dish should be equal partners, with neither overwhelming the other.

If you want to make certain a wine and dish go well together – simply taste them together. Taste the wine, then take a bite of the food. Then taste the wine again (it’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it). If the flavours in the wine haven’t changed, it’s a good match.