Are there any foods that when paired together with wine can be disastrous?
Every food can be paired with some wine. It is just finding the proper wine for the food. Some foods are very challenging. Foods that are high in acid or have strong raw flavors can be most challenging to wine. Artichokes, sauerkraut, habanera peppers, and asparagus are some of the most challenging of foods.
My German heritage celebrates sauerkraut. Riesling is the perfect pairing. The low alcohol and slight sweetness nicely balances the acid and strong flavors in the Kraut. Vegetables like artichoke and asparagus also work with the slightly sweet wines like Riesling as well as Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc. As a matter of fact, the Gewurztraminer, Pinot Grigio, and Sauvignon Blanc are excellent vegetarian wines. They make the flavors of vegetables and herbs pop.
Spicy foods like habaneras are too hot for most wines. It takes a low alcohol, sweet wine to balance the heat of the pepper. Wines as sweet as Angel can even be successfully paired with very hot peppers. Though Angel is considered a dessert wine on its own, with hot and spicy dishes the sweetness is diminished and the Angel tastes like a table wine.