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Difficult Wine Pairings - What Are the Best Options for Spicy Foods?

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An experienced physician and researcher, Dr. Erol Onel serves as vice president of Heron Therapeutics, through which he is researching a long-acting, non-opioid drug for treating pain. Recreationally, Dr. Erol Onel enjoys cooking and has a passion for pairing foods with wine. He especially likes finding great pairings for difficult foods, such as spicy dishes.

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Difficult Wine Pairings - What Are the Best Options for Spicy Foods?

  1. 1. Difficult Wine Pairings - What Are the Best Options for Spicy Foods? Erol Onel
  2. 2. Introduction • An experienced physician and researcher, Dr. Erol Onel serves as vice president of Heron Therapeutics, through which he is researching a long- acting, non-opioid drug for treating pain. Recreationally, Dr. Erol Onel enjoys cooking and has a passion for pairing foods with wine. He especially likes finding great pairings for difficult foods, such as spicy dishes. As a general rule, fruity and off-dry whites pair best with spicy foods, since the sweetness can provide balance to the heat. Also, residual sugars can help highlight the complexity of a spicy dish. Oaked white wines tend to overpower, so they are generally not the best choice. Red wines can also pair well with spicy foods, provided they do not have a lot of tannins, which can overpower spice and make a dish taste bitter. Fruitier reds and those that have a bit of spice or acidity tend to be the best options. Finally, alcohol has a tendency to negatively accentuate heat, so individuals should generally avoid high-alcohol wines with spicy foods.

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