Friday, March 28, 2014

How-To: Pair Wine with Dessert

While food and wine pairings can be tricky, nothing is quite so difficult as the dessert course. Desserts tend towards big flavors and lots of sweetness that can ruin the palate for the more delicate flavors of many wines, and some heavier red wines have savory flavors that might clash with dessert. But you do have some options.

White Wine: Most light white wines will be overpowered by the sweetness of dessert. But some buttery, citrusy Chardonnays might hold up to more delicate vanilla dishes. And a sweet Riesling can match many sweeter fruit desserts.

Red Wine: With big cherry flavors, some Pinot Noirs might work with red fruit desserts. Chocolate with heavier, earthier reds, like a strong Bordeaux, might work. Cheese with heavy fruity or funky wines like a big Barolo or and old vine Zinfandel can be fun as well.

Sparkling Wine: Despite the fact that they are usually a lighter body, sparkling wines can work well for dessert. The bubbles help cleanse the palate between bites, keeping even the heaviest dessert from becoming too cloyingly sweet.

Port: Chocolate and port wine is a classic pairing, with the strong nutty flavors of the fortified wine being an obvious choice for chocolate.

Ice Wine: For big flavored sweets, nothing quite compares to the rich sweet fruit flavors of an Ice Wine.

Noble Rot Wines: Cheese plates may not be a traditional dessert, but we love them. And nothing works quite so well with a plate of sweet, fatty, funky cheese like a glass of sweet, funky and fruity Sauternes.

Late Harvest Wines: These wines are pulled off the vine at the end of harvest. The extra time of the vine makes them much sweeter, and they pair well with that same cheese plate mentioned above.

No comments:

Post a Comment