Unusual Food and Wine Pairings You Need to Try

Pair Your Favorite Foods in Ways You Never Thought Possible


ine is the perfect way to complete a delicious meal. A cold glass of Chardonnay pairs wonderfully with a light salad as you cool off on a hot day. Pinot Noir, on the other hand, will enhance the flavors of your angel hair marinara when you finally get the chance to sit down for dinner. And, of course, you cannot forget to end your night with a dessert wine and some form of dark chocolate. It’s almost healthy and never fails to satisfy. There are all these rules for wines and the foods they are meant to be consumed with, and for the most part, the Italians got it right. Red wine tastes great with steak and pasta, and you can’t go wrong with white wine, cheese and vegetables.

So what happens if you decide to ‘get a little crazy,’ and break the rules? Will the world turn to chaos? Will you be banned from Italy? Okay, I’m exaggerating, I know, but the outcome is actually positive. So, we did it. We took the plunge and stepped outside of the box. Wines were combined with atypical dinner and snack options. Flavors of certain wines bring out specific flavors in these pairings in a unique, yet unforgettable way. While the combinations below seem a bit strange, do not judge a book by its cover, as your taste buds will be watering with every bite (and sip)!

Pescadou Bistro

3325 Newport Blvd | Newport Beach, CA 92663 | 949.675.6990 | www.pescadoubistro.com

The Pairing: Duck Foie Gras Terrine with Chateauneuf-du-Pape

Tasting Notes: The tannins of the rich spicy red cut through the fat of the foie leaving a delicious silky texture in your mouth.

The first stop on your new “unusual wine and food pairings” bucket list; Pescadou Bistro is an intimate Parisian style restaurant located in the heart of Newport Beach. It offers all of the wonderful French cuisines, such as escargot and mussels, but those can be ordered on a separate occasion. You must try Duck Foie Gras Terrine with Chateauneuf-du-Pape. It comes with pear and brioche toast so that the wine will bring about a multitude of flavors.

Creme de la Crepe

400 E 1st Street  Long Beach, CA 90802 | 562.437.2222 | www.cremedelacrepe.com

The Pairing: Brie cheese and Champagne

Tasting Notes: Champagne buts through the richness of the cheese, while the nutty and floral notes of the cheese reflect the ones in the wine.

The next combination is Brie cheese and Champagne. Creme de la Crepe in Long Beach is known for their Brie cheese. Why not have the best Brie around as you try out this pairing? You can make your own crepe with Brie as the main ingredient, or you can simply get a cheese platter to share with friends. As long as you have your glass of champagne, the form in which you eat the cheese does not matter. You will be surprised by how delicious the two taste together.

Bayside Restaurant

900 Bayside Dr | Newport Beach, CA 92660 | 949.721.1222 | www.baysiderestaurant.com

The Pairing: Grilled Loin of Venison with a Riesling

Tasting Notes: Prevalent in Germany – just one of those serendipitous pairings.

Located in Newport Beach, this American-style restaurant provides an elegant atmosphere for a perfect three-course meal. They even host a rotating modern art exhibit, so if that catches your eye, be sure to plan your dinner around it. Here, we encourage you to pair the Grilled Loin of Venison with a Riesling as the second course of your night. The venison comes with pan-roasted potato gnocchi, red anjou pear, baby bok choy, ginger cranberry coulis and a spiced red wine reduction sauce. For your riesling, you will be sipping on a Chateau St. Michelle from Columbia Valley in 2011. Absolutely delicious!

We Olive & Wine Bar

3313 Hyland Ave | Costa Mesa, CA 92626 | 949.284.0609 | weolive.com

The Pairing: Chardonnay & Popcorn

Tasting Notes: A creamy and buttery Chardonnay will perfectly marry the toasty flavors of the corn.

This combination may surprise you a bit. Popcorn and wine? Specifically, Chardonnay? We Olive & Wine Bar gets it, and they even add an olive oil glaze onto the popcorn they serve to you as you try out the wines. How amazing does that sound? They are best known for their Chardonnay, which makes it the perfect location to enjoy this pairing. Besides the food and wine, it has a great atmosphere to relax with friends and enjoy summer. Stop by here sooner rather than later.


2801 Harbor Blvd | Costa Mesa, CA 92626 | 714.444.2988 | frostbites.net

The Pairing: Spanish Fino Sherry & Green Apple Sorbet

Tasting Notes: Spanish Fino Sherry is acidic enough to compete with the green apple’s zing while balancing out the sweetness of the sorbet.

It’s time to change things up a bit. While a night out is always fun, sometimes, staying in can be just as exciting. Whether you are with the girls or family, you must be prepared with some snacks and beverages, specifically wine. For this occasion and pairing, you need a Spanish Fino Sherry. Head to Frostbites in Costa Mesa and pick up the Green Apple Sorbet before you binge-watch Friends as you lazily relax on the couch.

Old Vine Cafe

2937 Bristol St | Costa Mesa, CA 92626 | 714.545.1411 | www.oldvinecafe.com

The Pairing: Indian Curry and Vinho Verde

Tasting Notes: You’ll find the light, slightly fruity, and gently sweet wine to satisfy thirst and temper heat with a spicy curry.

The menu at Old Vine Cafe offers an Indonesian Curry Shrimp. The dish features large shrimp sautéed in Soju with a lemon grass curry sauce on top, spread over flash fried glass noodles. Yum! Order it with the Vino Verde of course. It is from Portugal, a 2011 Dócil to be exact. This pairing will leave you craving more as soon as you finish your plate and glass!

Petra Calling Photography

The Ranch Restaurant

1025 E Ball Rd | Anaheim, CA 92805 | 714.817.4200 | www.theranch.com

The Pairing: California Zinfandel & Garlic Snails

Tasting Notes: Zin has all the aromatic intensity and herbal character to match the richness given to the mollusks by the garlic-butter!

Okay, I know it sounds weird, but you have to trust me on this. To begin with, “garlic snails” does not sound too appetizing, so to make you feel better, The Ranch Restaurant calls it Escargot with garlic in the description on their menu. It is a wild burgundy escargot with hazelnut spätzle and hen of the woods mushrooms. There is a parsley and green garlic foam on top which makes the garlic flavor really stand out. Pair it with a California Zinfandel. There is a rich 2015 bottle from Turley Wine Cellars in California that you must get with your meal.


3321 Hyland Ave | Costa Mesa, CA 92626 | 714.265.2253 | susiecakes.com

The Pairing: Australian Shiraz and Red Velvet Cupcakes

Tasting Notes: Pairing this all-red, smooth, and delicious combination has become very trendy.

Remember when you had the option to have a fun night in with the green apple sorbet? Well, if green apple isn’t your thing, your chocolate choice is coming right up. SusieCakes in Costa Mesa is known for their cupcakes, especially their Red Velvet. Pick up a bottle of Australian Shiraz, a dozen of their mini red velvets, and have your own date night at home. Eating rich and decadent cupcakes while sipping on this delicious wine can be pretty romantic if you think about it, considering they are both reds.

The Winery Restaurant

3131 W. Pacific Coast Highway | Newport Beach, CA 92663 | 949.999.6622 | www.thewineryrestaurant.net

The Pairing: Sushi and Sparkling Rosé

Tasting Notes: Sparkling Rosé brings an element of fruitiness that reflects the aromas of the aromatic rice.

This one gets a little tricky. Sushi and sparkling Rosé? Typically, you won’t find those two items on the same menu, as the best sushi places are pretty traditional and tend to stick with sake instead of Rosé. Luckily, The Winery Restaurant offers both. They have a delicious seared rare yellow fin ahi tuna dressed in a cilantro-orange vinaigrette, seated on top of avocado, and mango a cucumber tower by its side. Does that make you crave sushi or what? The bubbles of your Rosé will make it so much better.

Taqueria El Zamorano

925 W Warner Ave | Santa Ana, CA 92707 | 714.884.4073 | taqueria-el-zamorano.cafe-inspector.com

The Pairing: Beaujolais Gamay with chips and guacamole

Tasting Notes: Beaujolais Gamay with a Mexican-inspired bowl of chips with guacamole proves to be a perfect fiesta friend.

Having a party at your house and want some of the best guacamole in Orange County? Head to Taqueria El Zamorano, and pick up a few containers and bags of chips. They are rated number one on Yelp! Make sure you have a bottle of Beaujolais Gamay at home to surprise your guest with a chips, guacamole and wine combination. Put the tequila away because this wine will make all the difference with the snacking flavors. Your guests won’t be able to stop munching.

Houston’s Restaurant

2991 Michelson Dr | Irvine, CA 92612 | 949.833.0977 | www.houstons.com

The Pairing: Merlot & French fries

Tasting Notes: The fruitiness and slight sweetness of Merlot simply work wonders with French Fries.

Typically, when a person thinks about eating French fries, burgers and Cokes tend to be right by its side. If he or she wants to be adulting, then maybe a beer will be paired. Something as sophisticated as a Merlot is hardly ever consumed with French Fries. It turns out we have been missing out on something great this whole time. Houston’s Restaurant in Irvine has amazing fries to go with their dishes and a yummy Shafer Merlot from 2014 in Napa Valley. Order the two together, and ignore the strange looks you may be receiving because some people simply do not understand.

There you have it! Some of the most bizarre wine and food combinations, yet the most delicious. Your days of strictly consuming pasta with red wine and veggies with white are officially over. Also, now you have even more excuses to drink wine, so get out there and try it all. With chips, guacamole, french fries and sushi, you are virtually limitless. You can have some fancy nights out or pajama nights in and experiment with the unusual pairings listed above. There is something to satisfy everyone’s taste buds, so what are you waiting for? Pick your favorite wine or food on this list, and head over to the restaurant provided! You are hours from potentially discovering your next favorite meal. Tacos, curry, and escargot will never be the same after this, as you will want the wine to enhance the hidden flavors.

Tasting notes provided by Julien Miquel from the Best New Wine Blog of 2015, Social Vignerons. Check out Julien’s rad infographic on the 15 Most Unusual Wine & Food Pairings.

Related Posts