The Drync.com Wine Blog

Pickles & Provence: 10 Surprising Wine Pairings

January 9, 2015



Good food and wine pairings can make even flawed cooking sing like Diana Ross. But a bad wine pairing can make your most perfect dish resemble a sour, salty song of sorrows.

food and wine pairings

The reality is that there are a lot of popular delights that are difficult to pair with wine, risking a disastrous culinary mash-up that could turn even the most dedicated oenophiles away from the juice to (gasp!) beer or cocktails. To help, here are 10 popular yet polarizing foods and their best-kept wine secrets.

1. Guacamole & Sauvignon Blanc

Guacamole, with all of its richness and spice, traditionally finds its friends with a margarita or beer. But have no fear, pairing guacamole with a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc’s naturally refreshing acidity cuts through guacamole’s heft and complements its spice. One of our favorites is the organic Seresin Sauvignon Blanc. Average retail price: $25.

2. Asparagus & White Burgundy

Pairing wine with asparagus may be one of wine world’s biggest pairing challenges. The vegetal nature of asparagus, with all of its compounds to give it that bright, green color, makes many wines taste metallic. Oaky whites and tannic reds won’t do the job, but the un-oaked freshness and richness of a Chablis will. The William Fevre Champs Royaux is a classically steely, fresh example of Chablis. Average retail price: $28.

3. Potato Chips & Champagne

This wine pairing is the ultimate in “shabby-chic.” The salt and fat of the potato chip (and French fries for that matter) pair beautifully with the toasty zest of Champagne. And, it combines two of our favorites mouthfeels—bubbles and crunch! Given the latest restaurant trends, don’t be too surprised if you see house-made potato chips on your favorite bistro menu. We love grower Champagnes like the Pascal Doquet Blanc de Blancs. Average retail price: $65.

4. Kimchi & Beaujolais

Pairing a fermented food with a fermented beverage always seems to get a little tricky. A light, fruity, simple red like a Gamay from Beaujolais cuts through the tangy spice of kimchi and won’t mask its complexity. Marcel Lapiere is a small scale producer from the cru town of Morgon – they take their Beaujolais so seriously they do not even make a nouveau! Marcel Lapiere Morgon. Average retail price: $30.

5. Pho & Verdicchio

The wrong wine pairing can easily squash Pho, the Vietnamese favorite with all of its gorgeous aromatics. A crisp Verdicchio with good minerality brings all of the flavors to life in Pho. The basil especially shines through with this pairing. Check out the Garofoli Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore Macrina. Average retail price: $15.

6. Deviled Eggs & Prosecco

Deviled eggs and all of their tangy zip can become zippy in all the wrong ways with a bad wine pairing. Prosecco, with its high acidity, cuts right through the mustard in deviled eggs with a nice, refreshing mouthfeel to go with it. Our go-to is the Nino Franco Rustico Prosecco. Average Retail price: $18.

7. Pickles & Provençal Rosé

Peter Piper picked his pickles and brought a lot of acidity with it. Pickles need a light, crisp yet slightly fruity wine to dance with all of that acidic zing. A rosé from Provence, with all of its fresh, fruity yet bone-dry qualities does just the trick. The JCB Provence Rosé No. 5 proves that rosé is not just for summer.

8. Masala & Riesling

Masala—quite possibly the most magical of all spice combinations. Found in our favorite Indian foods, all of that flavor and spice can clash with wrong wine in a big way. Pair it with a dry Riesling, on the other hand, and you’ll wonder why you ever choose to eat and drink anything besides this. The Domaine Ostertag Riesling Vignoble d’E is a classic. Average retail price $28.

9. Ice Cream & PX Sherry

If you want to mess up your wine palette, have a little ice cream. It really can make a good dinner wine taste like chalk. One of the toughest pairings finally finds some solace, though, with the sweet sherry made from the raisinated Pedro Ximenez (PX) grape. It goes especially well with vanilla and salted caramel ice creams. The Barbadillo PX is perfectly rich and luscious. Average retail price: $33.

10. Peanut butter & Tawny Port

Peanut butter, invented to mesmerize mouths and ruin diets for eternity, has a lot of complex flavor and texture going on. It finds it match with a Tawny Port. The soft, caramel-like texture of the peanut butter pairs great with the richness and caramel-like nuances of the Port. Drizzle the peanut butter with some chocolate for added pizazz. Ferreira Quinta do Porto 10 Year Old Tawny Port would be killer. Average retail price: $25.

Next time you find yourself under pairing pressure, remember these tricks to help your toughest foods shine and promise a Grammy-worthy pairing every time. Looking for some rules to create pairing magic of your own, check out our Wine and Food Pairing Guide.

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Lauren Barnard Kampala Wines Lauren Barnard is the owner of Kampala Wines, a natural wine company online selling only sustainable, organic, and Biodynamic wines. Because your wine should be natural, too.

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