Sip and Savour: Unusual wine and food pairings

Wine / Wednesday, November 1st, 2023

I recently stumbled across this article in which the author tries to pair wine with all sorts of bacon-laden dishes.

There are her suggested combinations…

  • Breakfast Bacon & Champagne
  • Bacon Butty (I didn’t know what it was either! Think White bread, butter and bacon) & Chenin Blanc or Sparkling Red
  • Bacon and Egg Pie (gosh, I haven’t had one of those since I was a kid!) & Sauvignon Blanc
  • Creamy Bacon Pasta & Chardonnay or Pinot (or both!)
  • Bacon Burgers & red wine
  • Sweet Bacon & Moscato

I’m not sure if any of them work, but I’m willing to find out (for research purposes, of course!).


Now, we’ve spoken about some out of the ordinary food and wine combinations in this post where I asked each Somerled staff member to share their favourite.

But the bacon article got me thinking about what other unusual pairings are considered winners.

Let’s take a look at what I found…


1. Sushi and Champagne

Traditionally, sushi is paired with sake, but have you ever considered the effervescent embrace of a glass of champagne with your sashimi? The crisp acidity of champagne complements the clean, delicate flavours of raw fish, and the bubbles provide a delightful contrast to the soft textures.


2. Blue Cheese and Sauternes

Blue cheese is known for its strong, pungent flavour, and it might seem like an odd match for any wine. However, the sweetness and complexity of Sauternes, a dessert wine from the Bordeaux region of France, make it the ideal partner for blue cheese. The contrasting flavours create an unforgettable taste experience, with the sweet wine mellowing the cheese’s intensity.


3. Spicy Thai Cuisine and Riesling

When it comes to spicy dishes like Thai or Indian cuisine, you might think you need a robust red wine to stand up to the heat. However, a better choice could be a crisp, slightly sweet Riesling. The sweetness of the wine counterbalances the spiciness, and its acidity provides a refreshing contrast. 



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4. Popcorn and Chardonnay

Popcorn is often associated with movie nights and buttery indulgence, but have you ever tried pairing it with a glass of Chardonnay? The buttery notes in Chardonnay harmonize beautifully with the rich, buttered popcorn, creating a savoury and luxurious combination. Go for a for a lightly oaked Chardonnay to maximize the buttery experience.


5. BBQ Ribs and Zinfandel

Barbecue ribs are a quintessential American comfort food. To elevate this dish, try pairing it with a bold and robust Zinfandel. The smoky, spicy, and fruity notes in Zinfandel complement the flavours of grilled meat and the tangy barbecue sauce. The wine’s high alcohol content can help cut through the richness of the ribs, making for a mouth watering partnership.


6. Dark Chocolate and Cabernet Sauvignon

Dark chocolate and Cabernet Sauvignon may not seem like an unusual pairing, but it’s worth noting due to the nuances involved. The deep, velvety nature of dark chocolate pairs remarkably well with the rich, full-bodied character of Cabernet Sauvignon. This combination showcases the interplay of dark fruit flavours in the wine with the bitter-sweet notes of the chocolate, creating a decadent dessert experience.


What do you think? Would any of these hit the spot for you?

I guess what we should keep in mind is that there are no strict rules when it comes to pairing food and wine – it’s all about your personal preferences and the pleasure it brings to your palate. 

Do you have any unusual pairings you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below.

Right, I’m off to cook some bacon…

2 Replies to “Sip and Savour: Unusual wine and food pairings”

  1. Fresh cooked prawns and Somerled Sparkling Shiraz
    Warm buttered croissant and Somerled Chardonnay
    Any Indian food with Somerled Sauvignon Blanc
    Any BBQ with Somerled Picnic Races Tempranillo
    Any red roast meat with Somerled Shiraz (with at least 8 years bottle age)
    Roast Pork and Somerled Sparkling Pinot Noir
    Hot salty French Fries with Somerled Sparkling
    Just a few of my favourite things

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