Coffee and Wine: An Unlikely Pair?

24th September 2019


Some might think that coffee and wine are an unlikely pairing but “it just ain’t so.” Wine cognoscenti once considered a shot of espresso to start a wine tasting akin to an act of heresy. Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator Editor-at-Large, and renowned wine critic says otherwise.

Steinman trashed the myth that coffee ruins wine. He participated in a special tasting at an upscale restaurant and coffee roastery, Daylight Mind, ensconced in Hawaii’s Kona region. He tasted coffees and wines side-by-side.

First, they tasted wine. They discussed winemaking, grape variety, and site. Next, they tasted what they thought would be “a parallel style of coffee” and discussed the roast, origin, and technique.

As the tasting continued, it became evident that neither detracted from the other. This is contrary to traditional wine taster thinking. Much like gum or raw onions, wine tasters treat coffee as something that has a corrupting effect on one’s taste buds.

Steinman believes that coffee might have some impact on wine tasting, but it is “a positive one. He noted that in all of the pairings, the “delicate bitterness” of the coffee “brought out the wine’s more charming aspects.”

A Twist

One staple of entertaining is to match a wine to a meal and offer coffee later. However, one can add an innovative twist that can take a typical social gathering to a new level. Consider pairing coffee to your food as well.

Whether you’re a culinary aficionado or a novice foodie, the following information utilizes wine tasting’s basic premise, but may well open both your mind and your taste buds to not only pairing wine with dinner but coffee as well.


If you understand the similarities in the flavor profiles between wine and coffee, you’ll more easily appreciate and identify coffee and wine pairings with food.

1. Similar to wine, the growth, harvest, and processing methods have a distinct impact on the resulting flavors. Thus, coffee profiles can be as complex as those of the very best wines.

2. A person’s perception of the flavor of anything is connected to his/her sense of smell. Acknowledging the aroma is essential to experiencing the taste of both coffee and wine.

3. When tasting coffee or wine, note the acidity of each. Coffee or wine with high acidity is considered bright, crisp, and tangy. Those with low acidity have a smooth feel.

4. In fact, the feel of a coffee or wine on one’s tongue is referred to as the body. The body of both coffee and wine can be full, medium, or light. Similar to wines, some coffees can have more body than others.

Thus, pairing coffee, wine and food can provide a memorable and even unique entertaining experience for your guests are bound to appreciate. Want to know more about special coffees you could pair with your favorite wines? You can consult one of the businesses that sell boutique coffee roasters Sydney sometimes boasts of on social media. Just remember, coffee and wine are really not an unlikely pair.

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