Dog food: an impossible food-wine pairing?

pate_dogfoodAccording to a study, it’s hard to distinguish pâté from dog food when served blind.

Robin Goldstein, author of The Wine Trials and chef/owner of a fake, Wine Spectator award-winning restaurant, is the lead author on the working paper from the American Association of Wine Economists.

The researchers served pureed Newman’s Own dog food alongside duck-liver mousse, pork-liver pâté, puréed liverwurst, and Spam. Of the 18 volunteers (who are these people?), only three could correctly identify the dog food.

So the question on the minds of wine lovers–and dogs–everywhere is: which wine pairs with dog food? A Sauternes? Late-harvest Gewurztraminer? Or is it…impossible?

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20 Responses to “Dog food: an impossible food-wine pairing?”

  1. From a limited survey, dogs can’t tell the difference either. I was once at a wine tasting where the host’s dog jumped up and gobbled down an entire half pound of duck pate in two gulps.

  2. The last time I made liver pate I also used some various odd bits of meats that I had saved for the purpose to make my dog a pate. Needless to say it went over pretty well.

  3. Hmm, I would have to ask the dog,but I can tell you right now he is a fan of the Rhone Valley.

  4. LOL. I’d suggest something with a dog-friendly label…Mulderbosch Faithful Hound, O’Rielly Pinot Grigio or Pinot Noir, a nice Buster Cuvee. Doesn’t really matter what’s in the bottle….they’re dogs, they eat garbage!


  5. Some good suggestions on Critter Wines
    Suspect most dogs would prefer a Flying Dog brew 😉

  6. Impossible? Probably not. Sparkling wines are wonderfully versatile.

    One place to look for matches would be Canine Wines ( They offer several varietals and have dog pictures on the labels. They donate $5 per bottle sold to their animal rescue partners. One drawback: They don’t, however, currently offer any sweet wines.

  7. Personally, I enjoy a nice spicey Shiraz with my pureed dog food. With kibble, something lighter that won’t overwhelm the more delicate flavors. I usually plump for a cava or occasionally, if, for example I’ve added some leftover chicken gravy, I might try something like a Pinot Blanc. I hope this helps. Dog food…yum.

  8. In that sense most people probably cannot tell if we pair the dog food with Cabernet or Merlot. Or Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc.

  9. Isn’t that “im-paws-ible”?
    I’d go with dry riesling- always good with rich food.
    I’ve never begged for Sauternes with my pate.

  10. […] – During med school I got by on canned meat hash that probably was closer to the dog food than the pate. It went great with a lager. So much of canned pet food advertizing is geared towards the pet owner that it makes sense that the producers would want to make the stuff somehow appealing to the people who buy it. When you remember how many retirees subsit on canned pet food, it stands to reason the stuff is not all that bad. addthis_pub = ‘redwinebuzz’; addthis_logo = ‘’; addthis_logo_background = ‘ffffff’; addthis_logo_color = ‘666699’; addthis_brand = ‘’; addthis_options = ’email,favorites, digg, delicious, stumbleupon, facebook, twitter, myspace, more’; Email & Share […]

  11. Hope those volunteers at least asked if that dog food was from China!
    Reminds me of those women in Grey Gardens too…

    I suggest a big, fat, high alcohol CA syrah or cab. That should deaden your tastebuds to any atrocities.

  12. This seems to me like the stupidest “study” that has been done to date. Doesn’t Robin Goldstein and the “principal researchers” have anything better to do with their time? I am in the wine biz and when I get the email from American Association of Wine Economists from Karl Storchmann I expect research not sensationalism. This belongs in a home made movie on U Tube or some other ridiculous website.

  13. I don’t understand the article’s study. It said only 3 recognized when it was dog food, yet, “72% rated the dog food as the worst-tasting pâté.” Is there a disconnect that the worst tasting item would not be the specially formulated dog food?

  14. Dog food might also get you ahead on the job. Hasn’t anyone seen the Honeymooners episode with Jackie Gleason (Ralph) feeding his boss a ‘new’ canned spread that his wife whipped up?

    TV writers knew about this study in the 1950s, and they didn’t even have a study to find out.

    I don’t recall, however, if Ralph served wine to his boss, too. Considering the time, it might have been served by a ‘Little Ole Winemaker’ with a stupid giggle.

  15. I don’t understand the article’s study. It said only 3 recognized when it was dog food, yet, “72% rated the dog food as the worst-tasting pâté.” Is there a disconnect that the worst tasting item would not be the specially formulated dog food?

    I assume that the subjects, told that they were evaluating the taste of dog food, expected the researchers (1) to be trying to show that dog food doesn’t taste as bad as people think and (2) to have some reason to believe that the test would in fact show that. So they figured the worst tasting couldn’t be the dog food and chose the second worst.

  16. I work for a company that makes, among other things, pet food.

    It’s a family-owned business (it’s a huge one). It used to be that you could NOT go into a meeting with the owners talking about per food without having tried it, they’d just toss you out of the meeting.

    So I’ve tried dog food.

    And I can tell you, it’s gonna DESTROY any wine you put in front of it… 😛

  17. […] Colbert has a hilarious send-up of the dog food vs pate paper we recently discussed. Check it out! (and see what he puts in his […]

  18. It is generally thought that if the tasters are blindfolded, they won’t be able to tell red from white, dog food from cat food from . . . .

  19. […] tip: Dr.Vino who asks the question, what wine would pair with this dog […]

  20. […] the woodwork. (And, no, we weren’t being serious when talking about which wine to pair with dog food.) Take a look for yourself at the previous entries in the series and decide if it is funny, […]


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