We’re often told what wines go well with certain food items, but we rarely discuss which wines and foods don’t mix well. Here's a few "don'ts"
- Though a Chardonnay pairs well with chicken, salmon, and creamy sauces, it fails to delight when sipped with hot, spicy foods!
- Even a good bottle of Pinot Noir can become offensive when served with hot and spicy foods, and vice versa.
- If you’re having a semi-spicy dish filled with tomatoes, it’s best to avoid serving Pinot Grigio--the wine often mistakenly believed to “go with everything”.
- Dry Rieslings do not mix well with sweet foods and sugary dessert items.
- Neither will Sancerre or a Merlot (though many people often try the latter and are surprised by the unpleasant result!)
- When serving fish dishes, avoid serving a Shiraz. And even a decent Cabernet may be too much for select fish dishes--it depends on the fish, and your taste!
Remember: it’s all about balance. You don’t want a strong wine to overpower a light food item, or a hearty dish to overpower a lighter wine. Have fun with your wine pairing adventures, and refer to the advice above to avoid any (unpleasant) surprises!