Dessert and wine pairing

By Alisa Star

As the colors of the desert get lighter the wine gets lighter.

Rule of thumb: The wine should be as sweet as the desert, with enough acidity for balance. It’s easy to pair wines with the main course. But what if you are treating yourself to the perfect desert? Fear not, the basic rules of wine pairing still apply, that you look for similar notes in your wine and your desert.

When shopping for the right dessert wine, you don’t have to limit yourself — get creative! As long as you ensure that the wine you pick falls on the sweeter side of the spectrum and matches the flavor and the color of the desert. You will be sure to end up with a perfect dessert wine pairing for your guests.

Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc pair perfectly with creamy butter desserts such as cheesecake, or brulee. It also complements lemon and cranberry flavors. Cabernets and Shiraz go well with lighter flavored chocolate, caramel, raspberry, plum and blueberry desserts. If you’re a port lover, try pairing with spicy desserts such as nutmeg, ginger, pumpkin or orange flavors. Rose wines get all the fuss pairing with strawberry, kiwi, peach, and shortbread, such as a fruit tart. For all the sparkling wine or champagne drinkers, we all know the answer to this one…raspberries and dark decadent chocolate! It takes champagne, with all that intense minerality and high levels of refreshing acidity, to contrast with the rich, creamy smooth and intense flavor of dark chocolate.

If you want to throw a special event for a party or holiday, you should try a “Sip & Sweets” theme. Your guests will be entertained throughout the whole evening taking this delicious and unusual journey with their palates as they sample different wines and dessert’s pairing.

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