What NOT to Do When Pairing Food & Wine

dont pair

Here at Verve, we are huge proponents of drinking what you love with whatever you decide to eat; however, knowing some basic no-no’s will assure your food and wine elevate one another, rather than drag each other down. Now that we’ve covered five basic tips for successful food and wine pairing, it’s time to check out some of pairing’s biggest don’ts. Follow these basic tips to ensure you make the most of your food & wine experience!

High Tannins Spice Aren’t Friends

When paired with the proper foods, tannins in wine can actually be quite pleasurable; however, when served alongside spicy food, tannins become a food and wine pairing nightmare. These dry, austere components within the wine become accentuated with spice, making dishes appear hotter than they really are-- as well as rendering the wine nearly impossible to drink. Heavy oak and high alcohol will also have this effect with spicy foods. Stick to something with a little RS (residual sugar) to counterbalance the heat.

Neither are Tannins and Oil/Salt

Just like tannins aren’t friendly with spice, they also don’t play well with oily fish and overly salty dishes. Oily fish and tannic wines can leave a rather unpleasant metallic feeling on the palate, while tannins and high salt will leave your mouth feeling extra hot. Stick with crisp, refreshing whites, loaded with refreshing acidity and saline characteristics.  

No Room for Dominance

Think of food and wine pairing as a happy marriage; when both components remain in check, both parties are happy. Making sure the weight and body of both dish and wine are in balance assures that neither one will dominate over the other; and in a great food and wine pairing, each component will actually bring out the best characteristics that the other one’s got.

What not to do when pairing food and wine | Verve Wine 
Do make sure that the weight and body of both food and wine are in balance.

Dry & Dessert are Always a Huge No

There’s really no way around this one. When it comes to serving dessert, it’s essential to make sure that the wine being served is always as sweet or sweeter than the dish in question. Serving a wine drier than the dessert will cause the dish to taste unbalanced and bitter. Make sure the wine you choose has a touch more sweetness to it, even if just a smidge-- because there’s nothing worse than a ruined dessert course.

DON’T always play by the rules

And as always, don’t be afraid to switch it up a little! Drinking a light-bodied, low tannin red with a fatty fish dish may seem unconventional, but sometimes, will actually pair better than a more stereotypical white. Champagne with salty potato chips? Pure heaven. Break the rules a little-- you never know what you may find.