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Wine and Coffee: An Underrated and Sustainable Pairing

According to, coffee and wine are the second and seventh most popular beverages in the world respectively (excluding water). As a result, their consumption is bound to overlap—and this can prove to be a good thing. Wine and coffee can complement each other as long as the right blends are chosen. Best of all, both blends can be sustainable.

Single-Origin Coffee and Natural Wine

Firstly, wine and coffee are both made from fruit, and these can be farmed under similar conditions and similar principles. For instance, both Amy Atwood Selections (Cleanskins Wine based in California), and Stumptown Coffee Roasters, a coffee roaster and retailer based in Oregon, run their businesses with sustainability in mind. Amy Atwood’s wines are natural, meaning organic ingredients and sustainable farming, and Stumptown’s coffee is bought directly from farms where sustainability is practiced.

The businesses’ mutual ethics is what brought them to the 2018 Raw Wine festival, wherein wine and coffee formed a long-awaited partnership. Some of the sustainable pairings suggested by Amy Atwood are Indonesia Bies Penantan with Donkey & Goat Bear Red Blend, selected for the “lovely earthy notes to match chocolatey-ness of the coffee”; and 2Naterkinder Silvaner, which has “juicy tropical notes,” with Guatemala El Injerto Pacamara, which sports a “lime and mango vibe.”

Wine and Espresso Shot

If such elegant blends aren’t readily available, a person can start their wine/coffee adventure by pairing a simple glass of Shiraz with a shot of espresso. A rule of thumb, according to Cellars Wine Club, is that darker beans require more robust wines. Conversely, medium-roast beans will go better with lighter wine. For those who have never been gifted an espresso maker, dark roast coffee is a solid substitute in a robust wine pairing. In this scenario, Cellars Wine Club suggests using a drip brewer with red wine and an immersion-brewer with white wine. 

Wine, Coffee, and Food

Since food can be a complement to both wine and coffee, it can complement wine with coffee as well. The Herald-Standard recommends several foods that can go well with a cup of Joe and glass of wine. Gouda cheese is one. This tender, mild cheese can be paired with a sweet and equally-mild Riesling and a rich and multi-regional Starbucks Caffè Verona. Chocolate tiramisu is another. Dark chocolate is traditionally paired with robust wines, so the Herald-Standard recommends a strong yet fruity Cabernet Sauvignon.

As for coffee, Starbucks Italian Roast, a dark and sweet blend, can complement the dark and sweet tiramisu and the strong and sweet Cab Sauv. Keep the dark-dark pairing in mind to discover more foods to include in your wine and coffee break.  

Contrary to popular belief, wine and coffee can be a delicious combination. Combination, in this case, does not mean a mixture but successive consumption. So the next time you have dark-roast coffee, why not introduce a full-body wine to your palate? Or, if you prefer natural wine, why not add fair-trade coffee produced according to the same farming principles? For an even richer experience, make sure to invite some cheese or chocolate to your wine/coffee party.

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