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The Unexpected Wine Pairings That Will Delight Your Tastebuds

Unexpectedly Perfect: Red Wine Pairings That Will Surprise Your Tastebuds

When it comes to wine, red wine is often the go-to choice. But if you want to make your next meal truly memorable, you should consider an unexpected pairing of red wine that will surprise and delight your tastebuds. Whether you’re looking for a casual dinner with friends or a formal dinner party, this buying guide blog will help you pick the perfect red wine for your dish. So pour yourself a glass, and let’s explore some unexpected yet delicious red wine pairings!

Merlot + Chocolate

When it comes to pairing wine with chocolate, red wine is the go-to choice for many. And while there are many red wine varieties to choose from, we recommend Merlot. The fruit-forward and smooth taste of Merlot pairs well with the sweetness of chocolate, creating a surprisingly delicious flavor combination. 

When choosing a chocolate to pair with Merlot, it’s important to consider the chocolate’s intensity. Dark chocolate with a higher cocoa percentage pairs well with a bold Merlot, while milk chocolate or white chocolate pairs better with a lighter-bodied Merlot. One great Merlot and chocolate pairing to try is a rich dark chocolate truffle with a glass of Merlot. The chocolate’s bitterness enhances the fruitiness of the Merlot, resulting in a complex and delicious pairing. If you’re looking for a fun way to enjoy Merlot and chocolate, try making a wine and chocolate pairing board. Simply pair different types of chocolate with your favorite Merlot, and enjoy the varying flavors and textures. It’s a great way to impress your guests and explore new flavor combinations. Overall, Merlot and chocolate may seem like an unconventional pairing, but trust us, it’s worth a try. So next time you’re craving something sweet, reach for a bottle of Merlot and a chocolate bar, and get ready for a delicious surprise.

Zinfandel + BBQ

When you think of pairing wine with BBQ, your mind may immediately jump to a hearty red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec. However, don't overlook the unexpected pairing of Zinfandel and BBQ.

Zinfandel, a bold and fruit-forward red wine, is known for its high tannin content and notes of blackberry, raspberry, and spice. These characteristics make it the perfect complement to the bold and smoky flavors of BBQ. Whether you're grilling up some ribs, brisket, or chicken, reach for a bottle of Zinfandel to enhance the flavors of your BBQ. The wine's tannins and acidity help to cut through the richness of the meat and balance out the flavors of the BBQ sauce. If you're feeling adventurous, try pairing Zinfandel with BBQ pulled pork tacos or even a BBQ pizza. You'll be surprised at how well the wine enhances the flavors of these dishes.

Some great Zinfandel options to try include Ridge Vineyards "Lytton Springs," Seghesio Family Vineyards "Old Vine," and Ravenswood Winery "Vintner's Blend." Next time you're firing up the grill, don't forget to grab a bottle of Zinfandel to pair with your BBQ. Your tastebuds will thank you for this unexpectedly perfect pairing.

Syrah + Roasted Meats

Syrah is a full-bodied red wine that boasts dark fruit flavors and a distinct peppery taste. When paired with roasted meats, this wine's bold flavors complement the smoky flavors of the meat, creating a well-rounded dining experience.

For those who prefer a hearty meal, Syrah and roasted meats is the perfect combination. The robust flavor profile of the wine pairs well with beef, lamb, and game meats. When serving a roasted meat dish, opt for a Syrah with a bit of aging. The aging process adds complexity and a smoother finish, making it a great pairing for the rich and savory flavors of the meat. If you're looking for a specific dish to pair with Syrah, try roasted duck or venison. The richness of the meat perfectly balances the peppery flavors of the wine, creating a harmonious flavor combination. For vegetarians, roasted vegetables like eggplant, squash, and peppers are an excellent choice. The charred flavor of the vegetables pairs well with the bold flavors of Syrah.

Sangiovese + Tomato Sauce

When you think of Italian cuisine, chances are you immediately think of tomato sauce. And when it comes to pairing red wine with tomato sauce, Sangiovese is a perfect match. Sangiovese is the most widely planted grape in Italy and is the primary grape used in Chianti. It has high acidity and medium body, which pairs well with the acidity of tomato sauce.

When it comes to choosing a Sangiovese to pair with your tomato-based dishes, look for wines with bright red fruit flavors, such as cherry and cranberry, and a touch of spice. These flavors complement the flavors in the tomato sauce and make for a delicious pairing.

Try pairing a Sangiovese with classic Italian dishes such as spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna, or eggplant Parmesan. You'll be pleasantly surprised at how the flavors of the wine and the tomato sauce work together to create a delicious and memorable meal. So next time you're making a tomato-based dish, reach for a bottle of Sangiovese and prepare to be amazed at how well the two flavors complement each other.

Pinot Noir + Salmon

When it comes to seafood, many of us immediately think of white wine pairings. However, Pinot Noir and salmon actually complement each other surprisingly well. The light to medium-bodied nature of Pinot Noir works to highlight the delicate flavor of the fish, while its earthy notes balance out the natural oils in the salmon.

For the perfect pairing, try a lightly grilled or baked salmon with a glass of Pinot Noir from California's Sonoma County. The rich flavors of this region's Pinot Noir varieties bring out the subtle nuances in the fish, making for an indulgent meal that you'll savor until the very last bite. If you're feeling adventurous, try adding a berry-based sauce to your salmon for an even more elevated flavor experience. This will add a fruity and tangy element to your meal that will make your taste buds sing. A bottle of Pinot Noir with fruity notes, such as cherry or strawberry, will be the perfect complement to this dish.

So, the next time you're thinking of serving up salmon for dinner, don't be afraid to think outside the box and reach for a bottle of Pinot Noir. Trust us, your taste buds will thank you!

chilli and shiraz 

If you're looking for a bold and flavorful pairing that packs a punch, look no further than chilli and shiraz. The spicy and robust flavors of chilli can complement the full-bodied nature of shiraz, creating a truly unique experience for your tastebuds. When selecting a shiraz for your chilli pairing, opt for a bottle with medium tannins and high acidity. These characteristics can help to balance out the heat of the chilli while enhancing the fruity and earthy undertones of the wine. If you're not sure where to start, try a shiraz from Australia's Barossa Valley. The warm climate and rich soils of this region produce shiraz wines that are known for their bold and spicy flavors, making them an ideal choice for pairing with chilli.

To truly elevate the pairing, consider adding a touch of dark chocolate to your chilli dish. The sweetness of the chocolate can help to temper the heat of the chilli while enhancing the fruitiness of the shiraz. So the next time you're enjoying a spicy bowl of chilli, reach for a bottle of shiraz and discover the unexpectedly perfect pairing that will leave your taste buds craving more.

sushi and sparkling rose 

If you're a sushi lover, you might not have thought to pair it with a glass of sparkling rose. But trust us, this unexpected combination will make your taste buds dance!  The light and bubbly nature of a sparkling rose complements the delicate flavors of sushi, particularly raw fish. It helps cleanse the palate in between bites and balances out the saltiness of soy sauce.  For a truly delicious pairing, opt for a Brut or Extra Brut sparkling rose, which have a dry and crisp finish that won't overpower the sushi. And if you're feeling fancy, try a Rose Champagne for a touch of elegance. So the next time you're enjoying a plate of sushi, consider opening a bottle of sparkling rose. You might just discover a new favorite pairing!

Pumpkin Pie and Tawny Port

When it comes to Thanksgiving desserts, pumpkin pie is an all-time favorite. This delicious pie is rich and creamy, with notes of cinnamon and nutmeg. But what wine pairs well with pumpkin pie? You might be surprised to learn that Tawny Port is a great choice! Tawny Port is a fortified wine from Portugal that has been aged in oak barrels for several years. It has a nutty, caramel flavor with hints of dried fruit and a smooth finish. When paired with pumpkin pie, the flavors complement each other perfectly. The sweetness of the pie is balanced by the nutty flavors of the wine, while the spiciness of the pie is enhanced by the dried fruit notes in the wine. To fully enjoy this pairing, make sure to serve the Tawny Port slightly chilled. This will help to enhance its flavors and make it a refreshing complement to the rich and creamy pumpkin pie. So, the next time you serve pumpkin pie for dessert, don't forget to pair it with a delicious Tawny Port. Your guests will be pleasantly surprised by the unexpected pairing, and your taste buds will thank you!