Wine & Food

Snooth User: napagirl68

NON wine-friendly foods.....quirky examples?

Posted by napagirl68, Feb 10, 2011.

As wine lovers, I believe we all desire to pair our wines with a great meal..  Wine is meant to complement food.  Yet, many people choose to sip wines sans food, to just enjoy a glass or two, without making a big pairing deal over it.  I, personally, call those wines "sippers".   But even a GREAT glass of wine can be ruined by consuming a "non wine friendly food".

I'm sure we all are familiar with the classic "non" wine pairing foods... salads with vinegar/lemon juice comes to mind as a major one for me.  But I am curious to see if anyone has experienced a tasting aberration after eating a certain food.  Obviously, chewing gum (uugghh), certain acidic fruits...

But I, just tonite, found an true aberration that I had not known....  fresh carrots!!   I had snacked on a few raw carrots before having my evening glass of pinot (in this case).  It is a wine I am VERY familiar with, btw.  The result was strange.... the FINISH tasted corked!  But I knew it couldn't be because... it was a SCREWCAP from Willamette.  I kept drinking and tasting, and I swear the wine tasted corked, although I knew that was not typical.  I soon put the carrot factor together (not typical for me before this particular wine).  After I cleared my palate, and ate some neutral foods, the taste went away. 

I am curious to hear if others have found a food to produce a strange tasting with wine?

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Replies

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Reply by Stephen Harvey, Feb 10, 2011.

Cream Cheese and Champagne - and maybe chardonnay need to check that one out

Really hot curry eg Vindaloos

MacDonalds Big Macs

I think salad in genreal is wine unfriendly but the issue is minimised when salad is a minor accompaniment

I suspect your raw carrot experience maybe similar with other raw vegetables, you should test the carrot theory with another varietal - riesling might be interesting - I might have a crack at that the weekend

Coffee is a known enemy of wine [as is toothpaste] which leads onto any strongly mint flavoured foods

Green peas ruin wine  - but then again I hate green peas

Breakfast cereal - possibly a good thing really

Fresh Citrus fruit - acid being the issue, sticky can work but usually desserts have stone fruits which are sweeter and less obvious acid on the palate

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Reply by JonDerry, Feb 10, 2011.

I remember having some red grapes paired with a decent CDR.  The wine tasted alright before having the grapes, but afterwards...it was pretty much undrinkable.  Acid overload.

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Reply by Girl Drink Drunk, Feb 10, 2011.

Asparagus

Chocolate, except with fortified

Many cheeses, especially with red table wine

 

NG, Stelvins can still allow "cork" taint, which the carrots might have enhanced.

JD, I'm sure the sugar from the grapes was a major factor in the wine tasting poorly.  If one is eating something sweet, the wine needs to be at least as sweet as said item.

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Reply by JonDerry, Feb 10, 2011.

Thanks for the tip GDD.  I had served green grapes with an entire flight of whites and reds previously and it worked so well...was pretty shocking.

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Reply by Girl Drink Drunk, Feb 10, 2011.

Interesting.  Palates definitely differ, since drinking dry wine while/after eating something sweet is pretty exclusively known to sour the flavor of the wine.

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Reply by Nige33, Feb 10, 2011.

I find a glass of Chateuneuf du pape with with my KFC family bucket is absolutely and quintessentially divine wot wot

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Reply by dmcker, Feb 10, 2011.

Asparagus and artichokes are the veggies, when cooked, I've had the most trouble matching with wine over time. A number of raw veggies (and of course raw fruits) make unpleasant matches. As GDD mentions high sugar levels, and as NG mentions vinegar, of course, are also potential problem areas. In the way of types of food presentations, soups generally are more difficult to match than just about any other....

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Reply by Stephen Harvey, Feb 10, 2011.

I think that the traditional western home dinner of meat and cooked vegetables or meat vegetables and salad makes wine matching a nightmare.

To concur with dmcker I quite like asparagus but it tends to be a bit wine offensive.

I think that the French predisposition to wine and food is why they favour degustation style because you have a narrrower range of foods on each dish making matches easier.

GDD - I am curious about your stelvin cork taint comment, I presume you are referring to a wine fault caused by other than TCA and if so I am interested in which fault you think caused the carrot problem [Bugs Bunny must have been a single malt drinker]

Having said what I said about citrus, A couple of years ago we were on holidays and based on a magazine article I read, we tried a bottle of sauterne with a big platter of fruit [melons, citrus, stone fruits + pineapple, bananas etc] and it was absolutely delightful.  We went for a walk  along the beach at about 9am and had the platter at about 11am.  A quick snooze and the day started perfectly!

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Reply by dmcker, Feb 10, 2011.

Forgot to also agree with GDD that combinations of wine and chocolate are almost invariably a disaster. Leaving aside the fortified (as she also noted), that is, and even then it's good to be picky.

I did note an interesting neutral effect last Monday when, as commented on in another thread, someone forced a nasty bottle of Aussie shiraz on us from the lower end of the market. When everyone was a bit snozzled at the end of the night and we were running out of bottles to drink from, I went back to my glass of the stuff that had been sitting untouched, other than my intial couple of sips. Had some chocolate with almonds, then that, and they both seemed to almost perfectly cancel each other out....

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Reply by Stephen Harvey, Feb 10, 2011.

The chocolate one is interesting as sometimes an Aussie shiraz will go OK with chocolate, particularly dark chocolate.  The mix is often good with a bottle leftover from the previous night.

But generally I agree chocolate and wine - nuh!

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Reply by dmcker, Feb 11, 2011.

So far nothing really new to serious imbibers has shown up here.

Perhaps, NG, you might ask instead about quirky examples that actually *do* work well? Like, for example, peanut butter, bananas and sauvignon blanc for me? This usually ends up being how I kill a bottle of NZ SB that someone's gifted me....

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Reply by Stephen Harvey, Feb 11, 2011.

Vegemite, I love vegemite but it kills wine dead

Fresh crusty bread thick real butter and vegemite washed down with Chocolate milk - Oh what a joy BUT never shall a glass of wine interfere with this jouney back to my pre-alcohol youth!!

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Reply by napagirl68, Feb 11, 2011.

No cat litter to add texture to that peanut butter, Dmcker?  LOL! ;-)

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Reply by penguinoid, Feb 11, 2011.

Stephen -- it's technically possible to get "cork taint" (TCA and related compounds) without corks, but it's very rare and I think normally spotted in the winery before the wine is bottled.

One possible source is additives (such as potassium metabisulfite or tartaric acid) that have been stored on wooden palates that are tainted. Apparently, TCA has been found in barrels from time to time too.

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Reply by gregt, Feb 11, 2011.

In the fresh state, I don't think most fruit really works - strawberries, currants, peaches, melons of all types.

Chile peppers don't work.

And many processed foods don't work - fermented beans and soy sauce, for example, or pickles.

Meats and grains seem OK and most root vegetables seem OK.

Chocolate of course does not work with wine.

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Reply by Girl Drink Drunk, Feb 11, 2011.

Penguin: thanks for getting to SH's question.  I actually slept through the night (rare for me) and didn't log on until now.

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Feb 11, 2011.

Not a ton of new things that don't go with wine here, but it is interesting how many mention chocolate as NOT going with wine.  I agree (prefer Elijah Craig 12 yr old bourbon with my 70% cacao), but there are many posts, events, articles that seem to want to bring people into the wine world by pairing the two. No accounting for taste, as proven by the popularity of the nasty Aussie Shiraz dcmker has alluded to above, and a lot of other popular wines as well. 

Asparagus and artichokes classically don't go well with wine, but I always manage to soldier through those dinners somehow.  Usually if it's 'chokes, I eat it before starting on anything else, then clear the palate and drink on.  Sometimes the asparagus won't offend too much--I think the most success I have had has been with SB, but I can't recall the last time I had asparagus or what I drank at the time. Again, it's also a matter of proportion--salads are not highly problematic IMO because they are a sidelight, and I often eat them separately--usually at the end of the main course.

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Reply by dmcker, Feb 11, 2011.

Since Greg is so systematically and correctly spreading the net, I'll also throw in that sushi doesn't go with wine. Wasabi's a questionmark, though the least of the worries. Soy sauce is a definite no-go, and the vinegar in the sushi-meshi is an absolute killer.

Heavy use of miso (fermented soybean paste) doesn't help in matching wine to several other Japanese dishes, and we can exptrapolate from these clashes to those with a whole slew of Chinese dishes.

I'm with Foxall in wonder at all those people who want to push square pegs into round holes. Whether it's chocolate with wine or sushi with wine. I like harmonic synergies in the flavors and sensations of my meal experiences. Not clashes and cancelling-outs....

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Reply by napagirl68, Feb 11, 2011.

Yeah... what is up with all the chocolate and wine events?  It is downright epidemic out here in California, in ALL the wine regions here!  Especially this time of year... there is Valentine's tastings, but the big one that is almost it's own event is Presidents' Day weekend wine and chocolate.  And believe m

e, they will push chocolate with ALL their wines!!  And don't you hate it when you are out tasting and they shove chocolate (or anything else, for that matter) in your face?  I want to taste the WINE.  I suspect the pushy food pushers are trying to cover up bad wine.

As far as asparagus, I eat it a lot in the spring.  It can be difficult, but I can get by with a Napa or Sonoma sauv blanc.  I don't think I could do the cat pee NZSB with asparagus... that'd just push me over the edge!

Artichoke is a veg I usually add to something else.  I like to make this quick dinner that consists of chicken breasts, plum tomatoes, black olives, sliced potatoes, frozen artichoke hearts, garlic, herbs tossed all together with chicken on top, pour on half bottle of dry white wine, cover with foil and bake for 45min or so.  It is a quick worknite thing, and my daughter will eat it :-)  I can pop it in and go exercise, then it is done.  In this dish, the artichoke does not bother me at all with wine.  I usually will have the white I put in, or a lighter red, like a pinot.  I haven't noticed anything amiss with this combination.  That said, I have never had a glass of wine with an artichoke by itself.  

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Feb 11, 2011.

Maybe sake caught on because it goes with the local cuisine.  And maybe wine caught on because the food where vitis vinifera grew went with that... I think that food and drink reflected what was available locally for so long that they evolved together.  After all, it was not so long ago that few folks of European descent had any idea what sushi was.  Even now, what passes for Asian food in the US can be quite different from what you find in the countries and regions of countries they supposedly represent, in spite of our seemingly cosmopolitan gastronomy. 

NG, I though you liked a winery in Napa (Carneros area maybe?) that had pairings in the tasting room.  Name escapes me now.  Also, J in Healdsburg makes this part of the tasting experience, pretty successfully.  That said, it's not good if the winery is putting inappropriate food in front of you or they just don't execute well.  Or even if you are not expecting it.

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