A Guide to Wine & Dessert Pairings
There is a great deal of information out there on pairing wine with the perfect food, whether it is pasta, steak or seafood.
But what if you are going out to treat yourself to the perfect dessert?
Which wine would you pair with the delicious sweet confection that you choose from the menu?
This guide will help you decide on wines for a few different categories of desserts, including some reasons why the wine goes perfectly with it.
Next time you order dessert with a friend, you’ll be able to create the perfect combination of taste and your waiter will think you’re an expert in wine pairing.
Cakes & Cookies
Everyone loves cakes and cookies and when they are made right, they are some of the most delicious desserts ever created. Choosing the right wine to go with cookies and cake isn’t easy, but here are some tips that will help.
- Sugar cookies/shortbread cookies: A light, perhaps even sparkling beverage or a good Prosecco wine.
- Jelly-filled cookies: A sweet, fizzy wine with fruity flavor like Moscato D’Asti
- Ginger snaps/pumpkin spice: A rich, sweetened wine like Rutherglen Muscat
- Pecan sandies/peanut butter cookies/any cookie with nuts: Sweet, strong wines with nutty flavors like Malmsey Madeira
- Chocolate cake or chocolate-chip cookies: Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon or Banyuls, which is naturally sweet
- Pavlova: A lightly sparkling wine like Moscato d’Asti
- Strawberry shortcake: A palate-cleansing wine like extra-dry Prosecco.
- Red velvet cake: A red wine like Maury or Banyuls
If your favorite dessert is candy or confectionaries, then you want a wine that makes the cut. The main rule when pairing wine when this type of dessert is to always use wine that is sweeter than the candy itself. Here are some favorite pairings.
- Dark chocolate candies/rich toffee bars like those from Ghiradelli: A cabernet sauvignon from California
- Classic chocolate/Hershey bars: Any Merlot
- Caramel candy/candy apples: A sweet, buttery wine like Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels Chardonnay from New Zealand
- Colorful sweet-sour candy/sour patch kids: A floral, aromatic wine like a Pinot Gris/Grigio or Seghesio’s pinot
- Peanut Butter Candy/Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups: A almond, slightly fruity drink like Emilio Lustau Solera Sherry
Frozen desserts are a favorite to many people. From ice cream to Baked Alaska, people love their frozen sweet foods. Here are some pairings between your favorite ice creams and other frozen goodies.
- Vanilla ice cream: Any of the late-harvest Zinfandels
- Chocolate ice cream: A red, slightly sparkling wine with flavors like strawberries or raspberries like Brachetto d’Acqui
- Sherbet/Sorbet: Your perfect pairing for almost any sorbet or sherbet flavor out there (including Neapolitan) is one that has become a well-known wine on this list: Moscato d’Asti
- Fruity Ice Creams/Ben & Jerry’s Strawberry Cheesecake: Zinfandels are great because they have sort of a fruity, strawberry flavor and are medium-bodied. A full-bodied wine wouldn’t taste as good with these ice cream flavors
- Nutty Ice Creams: Sherry is the perfect combination to go with most of the nutty ice cream flavors out there and especially with any of the peanut butter ice cream flavors
- Hot-Cold Pastry Desserts/Baked Alaska: Again, a good Crémant d’Alsace sparkling or Tawny Port are perfect combinations for this dessert
Pastries & Puddings
Pastries and puddings are definitely a dessert favorite for some people, particularly in the U.K. where they have about a hundred different types of pudding. Here are some pairings that will help you choose the perfect wine.
- Jam-filled pastries or doughnuts/Bomboloni: The perfect wine is Brachetto d’Acqui
- Bread pudding: The best beverage to pair with bread putting is Champagne sparkling wine but you can also go with Sémillon or Cerdon du Bugey
- Chocolate Pudding: Sherry, Muscat, a fruity Chardonnay, Moscato d’Asti, merlot or pinot noir
- Butterscotch Pudding: Butterscotch pudding is a tricky one but you can go with chardonnay, Muscat or Crémant
- Tapioca: This is another dessert that is perfect for Champagne Blanc de Blancs but you can also go with Chenin Blanc or Sémillon
Custards, Pies & Tarts
Our last category of desserts is custards, pies and tarts. Custards and tarts actually go with the same kinds of wine no matter what the particular filling is, but with pie you have to get a little more specific.
- Custards and tarts: These both go really good with silky, rich wines made from Riesling, Vidal Blanc or Vignoles grapes that are harvested right after the first winter frost
- Cherry Pie: Zinfandel, pinot noir or syrah all goes well with dark berry desserts like cherry pie
- Apple Pie: Apple pie is great with one of our favorites – Moscato d’Asti – but you can also go with Sauternes or Tawny Port
- Pumpkin Pie: Medium to sweet Riesling wine or muscat go great with pumpkin pie – also, if you aren’t in the mood for wine in particular, rum also works
- Rhubarb Pie: Fruity and moderately sweet wines like Spatlese or Auslese
- Sweet Potato Pie: A high-acid wine like a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc or Gewurztraminer
- ‘Old Fashioned’ Pecan Pie with Bourbon
This guest post was written by Vera Miller exclusively for Social Vignerons.
All Images courtesy of Pixabay.com