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There is nothing more exciting than discovering surprising yet delectable food and wine pairings. Here are some unusual food and wine pairings.

Breaking the Rules: Weird Food and Wine Pairings That Actually Work

When it comes to consuming wine with a dish, we already know that a full-bodied red goes well with dark meat, a crisp white goes with fish, and a bubbly rosé goes with cheese. The majority of these pairings are usually a harmony and similarity of flavors rather than contrast and difference.

While these classic food and wine pairing may work, there are just countless wine varieties around the world and with numerous flavors, aroma, and notes you can discover. And unlike any other beverage, wine can amplify a dish’s texture and flavor. Thus, it makes the most sense to understand these rules truly, and you may have to break them!

There is nothing more exciting than discovering surprising yet delectable food and wine pairings. After all, there is plenty of room for experimentation when it comes to our favorite wine. Here are unusual food and wine pairings that you have to try!

Champagne and Fried Dishes

A simple fried dish and a luxurious bottle of Champagne is a match made in heaven. Champagne’s bubbles and crisp acidity cut the fatty richness and saltiness of typical fried dishes, making for a magnificent and luxurious combination. Champagne can also perfectly cleanse and remove any oily residue in the mouth, thus making the dish more delightful to eat.

Some of the fried dishes that go well with Champagne that I’ve tried are fried chicken, fries, nuggets, pork chop, and fish n’ chips. A pro-tip is finding a Champagne that is clean and acidic but has a biting nature. Avoid Cava and Prosecco as they are more on the fruity side.  

Pinot Noir and Chocolate Ice Cream

Wine and chocolate are classic and romantic pairs, but pairing wine with the best wine ratings with ice cream is a whole new level to discover. A light red Pinot Noir makes a delightful dessert experience when paired with a creamy chocolate ice cream. The soft, ripe, and red fruits and silky tannins of this wine will work well with the smooth character and cocoa butter in a chocolate ice cream.

To level up the experience, choose a bottle with currant, cherry, raspberry flavors that finish with your favorite scent. These flavors will complement chocolate perfectly. And why not make your dessert experience more decadent by adding dark chocolate chips, cuts of brownies, or chocolate covered nuts and top everything with whipped cream.

Wine and Mexican Food

We typically enjoy Mexican dishes with Tequila or beer, but wine can be a great pair too! It may be unusual for some, but it works!

Tacos and guacamole are perfect with flavorsome and medium-bodied red wines like Grenache.  Grenache is also a fantastic partner for beef or pork, rice burritos, and loaded nachos because of its juiciness and roundness that works with the savory flavors of rice, beans, cheese, meat, and avocado. It won’t overwhelm and would simply make drinking easier.

If you want to enjoy a robust chili con carne dish with spicy peppers and fresh tomatoes, pair it with a Merlot or Shiraz as these wines have lovely berry flavors that complement a big and bold Mexican dish.

Sparkling wines, such as Cava or Crémant, are perfect for spicy meat like chorizo or Mexican sandwiches like torta and pambazo. At the same time, the aromatic fruit balances from Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, or Albariño will do great and complement the heat, spice, and complex flavors of Mexican dishes with plenty of lime, cilantro, jalapeño, or tomatillos. The aromatic fruit balances out the heat and spice.

So on your next Taco Tuesday, pop a bottle of wine instead! 

Marry Sushi with Sherry

As sushi becomes a more world-friendly dish, people have already paired it with wine. However, these pairings usually focus on the delicate aspect of the fish. Remember that sushi is consumed with soy sauce, ginger, wasabi, and seaweed while salmon and tuna have a mineral tang. These flavors are pretty robust and can overpower the palate.

I’ve discovered that the bold flavors of the sushi with all its sauces are best with Manzanilla Sherry. Sherry has layers of flavor and loads of floral characteristics that suit Japanese cuisine, while the saltiness of Manzanilla works beautifully with the raw fish and pickled rice. You surely won’t regret this combination if you give it a try!


Remember that numerous counter-intuitive combinations become a staple worldwide – ice cream and fries, chocolate and chips, or peanut butter and jam. Rules are just guidelines, and the real essence of wine is to take you to an incredible voyage that celebrates the bizarre flavor combinations that work. Don’t hesitate to discover new pairings, host a dinner party and surprise your guests with a couple of your discoveries!

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