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A Guide to Wine and Dessert Pairings

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Wine & Dessert!

Wine & Dessert!

“As the colors of the dessert get darker, the wine gets darker.”

So how to figure out what wine to pick with dessert? There are three factors to consider: acidity (an acidic wine may pair best with a fruit dish, which also has natural acidity), intensity (the more intense the flavors of a dessert, the more intense the wine), and sweetness (a dessert wine should be sweeter than the dessert itself).

Focus on the different “dessert” categories when selecting wine:

  • Custard and vanilla
  • Fruit and spice
  • Caramels and chocolates

Custard: Desired Flavors (in the wine and dessert): Mild, light, buttery

Suggested Wine Pairings: White wines (late-harvest Riesling), sparkling wines like demi-sec champagne, and Asti Spumanti.

Fruit & Spice: Desired Flavors (in the wine and dessert): Apples, pears, cinnamon

Suggested Wine Pairings: White wines (Sauternes, late-harvest Gewirtztraminer) and pink champagne.

Caramels & Chocolates: Desired Flavors (in the wine and dessert): Dark, buttery, caramelized, rich.

Suggested Wine Pairings: Red wine (like late-harvest Pinot Noir, Banyuls, Grenache, Australian Shiraz), port (the classic chocolate pairing), and Grappa.

Any Dessert

Desired Flavors (in the wine and dessert): Versatile.

Suggested Wine Pairings: Port and champagne.

No Desserts

Suggested Wine Pairings: Ice wine. (It’s a dessert in itself!). And acidic, crisp white wines.

Kara Newman www.seriouseats.com