Why Pair Sweet Wine With Dessert

Why Dessert Wine Pairing Is Different

On December 3, 2020, wine will be served at Pacific Rim. Wines that are low in sugar content, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and Pinot Noir, have gained in popularity in recent years as people strive to reduce their intake of added sugar. But. every now and again, you just need a little sweet wine treat. Dessert wine comes in handy in this situation! These selections, which are meant to be drunk in tiny glasses and savored slowly, might be the perfect after-dinner pleasure. In preparation for your next dinner party, romantic supper, or “you” time with a glass of dessert wine, you should be aware of the following:

Dessert Wine Pairing: Why It’s Different

Dessert wine pairings are distinct from other types of wine pairings since the wines themselves are distinct. It is intended to be consumed in modest quantities, and as we will explore later, it is sweeter than other wines as a result of the changes in the fermenting process. Because it is a “dessert” wine, it is logical that you would want to pair it with dessert. Sweet on sweet may be tough, so it’s crucial to strike a balance between the two flavors.

Types of Dessert Wine

To begin, what exactly is a “sweet wine” or “dessert wine”? If winemakers want to produce dessert wine, they must halt the fermentation process before the yeast converts all of the sugars to alcohol, which is impossible. They can do this by super-chilling the wine or by adding the right amount of brandy to the wine mixture. Ultimately, you’ll have a luscious, sweet wine that’s bursting with delicious, naturally occurring sugars. Dessert wines such as port and sherry are often thought of when people think of dessert wines.

There are several different varieties of dessert wines to choose from, including:

  • Wines that are sparkling (e.g. Moscato, a little Riesling, Rose, and a little Gewurztraminer)
  • Light and sweet (e.g. Gewurztraminer, a little Riesling, and a little Chenin Blanc)
  • And dry (e.g. Riesling, Rose, and a little Gewurztraminer). Some Rieslings, some Gewurztraminers, Sauternais, and Ice Wines are very sweet. Vine-ripened red grapes (such as Zinfandel, Mourvedre, Malbec, Petite Sirah, and a few Bordeaux-style red mixes) with a sweet taste
  • Enhanced by fortification (e.g., Port or Sherry)

Now, any of these types of dessert wines may be served as a dessert in and of themselves, especially if it’s a wonderful, rich port or sherry that’s been aged for a long time. But what if you want to add a little something special to your meal?

Your Dessert Wine Pairing Guide

To create a successful dessert wine match, it’s important to make sure the wines you offer complement the meals rather than overshadow them. For example, pairing a substantial, rich Merlot with a delicate tart is not ideal since the substantive wine takes center stage and overpowers the delicate tart. You won’t enjoy the lovely, light dessert, and the wine, too, may suffer as a result of what appears to be an excessive amount of food. Here are a few of our recommendations:

  • Desserts that are extremely sweet: If you’re indulging in a pecan pie, cheesecake, creme brulee, chocolate cake, or any other delicious dessert, choose a wine that can stand up to the sweetness of your dessert. In order to hit all the proper notes, you’ll need an aged madeira or port. Desserts with a sweet taste: Those chocolate chip or sugar cookies are calling your name. Chocolate chip cookies and Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as sugar cookies and Chardonnay, are dessert pairings made in heaven. Sweet/Savory: What is the best complement to pumpkin pie? Try a gently sweet wine, such as Riesling, to complement the salty notes in the dish. Sweet/Spicy: A batch of gingerbread cookies is baking in the oven, and the fragrance of cinnamon is making your mouth wet. Choose a sweeter wine with a dash of spice to make the most of the flavor! Riesling is an excellent choice for this occasion. Pinot Noir is a good wine to serve with molasses-based sweets. For fresh fruit or fruit pies, use slightly sweet whites if your dessert contains stone fruits (e.g. peaches, nectarines, apricots)
  • If your dessert contains dark fruits (e.g. cherries, plums, blackberries), use a slightly sweet red
  • And if your dessert contains berries, use a slightly sweet red.

We’ve discovered that the best approach to discover your favorite dessertwine pairing is to experiment with different combinations! What is your favorite combination of ingredients? Do you find that Sherry or Port overwhelms your delicate torts? Why not experiment with a Chardonnay? Is it possible for Riesling to be lost in crème brulee? It’s possible that you’ll need to increase the sweetness level.

In any event, it all boils down to personal preference. Our recommendation is to organize your own dessert-wine matching tasting and see what you and your friends/family come up with! PACIFIC RIMCO. WINES CAN BE ORDERED ONLINE RIGHT NOW.

Simple Dessert and Wine Pairings With Chart

Karen Frazier contributed to this report. Karen is a wine, drink, and cuisine aficionado who enjoys traveling. She has a California Wine Appellation Specialist credential from the San Francisco wine school, as well as a Bar Smarts mixology certificate, and she works as a bartender for charity events. Specialist in the Appellations of California Wine (CWAS) In order for LoveToKnow to be a participant in affiliate relationships, it is possible that a portion of purchases from links on this page will be paid to it.

Our editorial content is not influenced by these relationships in any way.

A solid combination brings out the flavors of both the wine and the dessert to their full potential.

Berry Wines

Karen Frazier contributed to this article. The author of this article is a wine and cocktail aficionado who also enjoys good meals. She has a California Wine Appellation Specialist credential from the San Francisco wine school, as well as a Bar Smarts mixology certificate, and she volunteers as a bartender for philanthropic events. Specialized in California Wine Appellations (CWAS) LoveToKnow is a participant in affiliate marketing programs and may get a commission on sales generated by links on this page.

For more information, please see our affiliate program page.

If you choose the proper combination of wines and sweets, you will be delighted.

To take your dessert to the next level, you should experiment with these combinations.

Ruby Port

When combined with dark chocolate, Ruby Port offers a deep, rich, dark fruit flavor that is unbeatable. As a matter of fact, it’s a fantastic traditional combination that’s definitely worth trying since it successfully balances the bitterness of dark chocolate with the sweetness of dark fruit.

Chocolate Wine

Although it may seem like a no-brainer, chocolate and chocolate go together like peanut butter and jelly. Creamy chocolate wines, such as Chocovine, have a mild, milk chocolate flavor with a warmth that is nearly like a fortified wine in taste and texture.

These smooth, creamy wines pair well with dark chocolate because they temper the intensity of the chocolate’s flavor while yet providing similar flavor characteristics.


Big, rich, fruit-forward notes that taste like berries and jam are commonly found in this powerful, spicy red from Australia that is also dry and peppery. While the Shiraz is dry, the fruit notes of the dessert pair beautifully with the dark chocolate, and the tannins help to cut through the fattiness of the dish. The dryness of the wine also helps to balance the sweetness of the chocolate, while the flavors of the jam help to soften any bitterness.

Wines With Crème Brûlée and Vanilla-Flavored Desserts

With its rich, creamy vanilla custard and caramelized sugar topping, this dessert is the perfect way to cap off a dinner. Pairing it with a dessert wine enhances the flavor of the meal even further.

Sauternes or Barsac

Traditionally, crème brûlée is served with sweet white wine from the Bordeaux area, which is the most traditional wine combination. Both Sauternes and Barsac wines are produced from grapes that have been infected with botrytis cinera, which is found in Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle. The presence of this fungus adds layers of complexity to the wines, and the lateness of the harvest results in a high residual sugar level in the finished product. A luscious, sweet wine with tropical aromas and a great, balanced acidity is produced as a consequence, which is well complemented by the vanilla custard.

Moscato (Muscat)

This white variety has a subtle sweetness to it that makes it enjoyable. Apricots and almonds are typical tastes found in Moscato wines, and they pair well with the rich vanilla custard in this dessert. In addition, pairing a Moscato with crème brûlée helps to balance out the richness of the custard since, while it has a modest sweetness, it is not overpoweringly sweet like other dessert wines.


This German dry whitemay seem like an odd pairing with a thick crème brûlée at first glance, but when you consider the wine’s taste and balance, it makes perfect sense. Gewürztraminer is a dry, spicy wine with a pleasant acidity that pairs well with food. The acidity of the wine helps to cut through the fat of the custard, and the dryness of the wine serves to temper the sweetness of the dessert. In this dessert, the delicate vanilla notes of the crème brûlée are complemented by the spiciness of the Gewürztraminer.

Pairing Wine With Apple Pie and Apple or Pear Desserts

Apple pies are a delicious combination of sweetness and spice. The majority of the time, wines that match well with apple pie will also pair well with other apple desserts, such as apple brown Betty (also known as apple crisp) and baked apples.

German Riesling

It is possible to find Riesling from Germany with varying degrees of dryness and sweetness. The three finest apple dessert combinations are Kabinett, Spätlese, and Auslese, which are listed in order of sweetness from least sweet to most sweet. Riesling has a strong level of acidity, which helps it to cut through the sweetness of the pie perfectly. A subtle spicy flavor that fits well with the pie ingredients is also present in this mixture. Finally, the taste profile of Riesling is generally dominated by apples, pears, and other tree fruits, and the flavor of apples is a good match for the flavor of the wine.

If you want a wine with less sweetness to balance the sugar in the pie, a Kabinett is a good choice for you. Auslese is the wine you pick if you want a lot of sweetness in your wine.


Prosecco is a mildly bubbly Italian wine that is comparable to Champagne in taste and appearance. Prosecco is available at a variety of sweetness levels. To counteract the richness of the pie, go for an off-dry Prosecco that is gently sweet but not overpowering in its sweetness. Apple pie is made with crisp and acidic Prosecco, which pairs perfectly with the acidity of the apples used in the pie.

Moscato d’Asti

Champagne and Prosecco are both Italian sparkling wines with a mild bubbly finish. Depending on how sweet you want your prosecco, there are several options. Choosing an off-dry Prosecco that is gently sweet but not overbearing will help to offset the sweetness of the pie. Prosecco is crisp and acidic, which is a good complement for the acidity of the apples in the tart.

Lemon Meringue Pie and Citrus Curd Wine Pairing

Because lemon sweets, such as lemon meringue pie, are naturally acidic, they can be paired with wines that are rather sweet in comparison.

Ice Wine

Ice wines are prepared from white wine grapes that have been harvested after the first frost has occurred, allowing the sugars to become more concentrated. Ice wines become delectably sweet as a result of this. This sweetness helps to temper the acidity of lemon sweets, resulting in a wonderful and satisfying match.

Late Harvest Whites

Grapes picked late in the season are used to make late harvest white wines, which are delicious. As a result, the wines tend to have a low alcohol content but a high concentration of residual sugar. The sweetness of these wines ranges from mildly sweet to extremely sweet. Consider a late-harvest Viognier or Chardonnay, which tend to have zesty qualities that will pair nicely with the lemon taste profile.


A dryChampagneor sparkling wine will also go well with a lemon meringue pie, as will a dessert wine. As with the crust’s characteristics, the biscuity notes of Champagne are a good complement for the meringue’s toasty flavor. Finally, Champagne has a tendency to be dry, which will help to balance the sweetness of the dessert.

Pumpkin Pie and Warm Spice Desserts Wine Pairing

Pumpkin pie and other pumpkin sweets tend to be sweet, creamy, and spicy, with a hint of cinnamon and clove. Numerous wines mix nicely with these characteristics, counterbalancing the creaminess and enhancing the spice notes.

Tawny Port

Tawny Port is distinguished by its golden hue and its warm, rich taste. Although the fortified wine is often sweet, it also has delicious caramel and spice tastes that go nicely with the pumpkin and spices. The strong alcohol content of the pumpkin custard helps to balance out the creaminess of the custard.

See also:  What Winery In Pennsylvania Sells Chocolate Dessert Wine

Australian Dessert Muscat

This is a fortified wine that is comparable to a tawny Port in taste and appearance. It boasts a delicious combination of sweet and spicy aromas, as well as a pleasing golden appearance. Wine drinkers frequently describe the tastes of this wine as toasty, raisiny, or toffee-like. Pumpkin pie benefits from the combination of these warm tastes and the warm spices.


This fortified wine from Portugal is available in a variety of sweetness levels, ranging from dry to sweet. Choose a sweet or semi-sweet Madeira to combine with your pumpkin dish, depending on your preference.

Among the many characteristics found in Madeirate are smoky, peppery, and nutty, all of which complement the flavor of pumpkin. The high alcohol concentration also serves to perfectly complement the rich, creamy custard.


Hungarian Tokaji has rainy notes that go well with the spiciness of pumpkin pie and other sweets with a similar flavor profile. Dessert wine has a pleasant sweetness to it that goes well with the spice in the pie.

Tiramisu and Mocha Dessert Wine Pairings

When combined with the spiciness of pumpkin pie and other similar dishes, Hungarian Tokaji has rainy tastes that are delightful. Dessert wine has a pleasant sweetness to it that complements the spiciness in the pie perfectly.

Vin Santo

The color of this sweet Italian dessert wine has a lovely golden hue. It has a nutty flavor, similar to that of hazelnuts, with a hint of sweetness. Nuts and coffee go together like peanut butter and jelly, so a glass of Vin Santo will go a long way in balancing out the coffee flavor of the tiramisu.

Cream Sherry

Cream Sherry is a sweet fortified wine with a chocolate hue that is made from grapes. In tiramisu, it has a nutty flavor with a hint of sweetness, which helps to balance out the harshness of the coffee components in the dessert.

Ruby Port

The color of this fortified wine is a rich maroon, and it has a subtle sweetness to it. Ruby Port is known for being fruit driven, with tastes of berries dominating the aromas and sensations. It also has slight notes of nutmeg in the background. The aromas of berries and nuts are a fantastic compliment to the flavors of coffee and espresso.

Berry Desserts

Whatever the dessert (summer pudding or raspberry pie), berry desserts pair nicely with a wide range of wines that enhance their tastes and textures.


Rosé wine is available in a variety of styles, from dry to sweet, and it has delicate floral and berry flavors that go well with berry sweets. If you’re serving sugary sweets, a drier rosé will help to balance out the sweetness.


In the Rhône Valley, there is a sweet fortified wine called Muscat-de-Beaumes-de-Venise. It features sweet, honeyed, and citrus aromas that pair nicely with berries and berry desserts of all types and varieties.


The sparkling wine produced in Spain Cava may be either dry or sweet, and both are complementary to berries. Choose drier rosé wines to pair with sweeter sweets and sweeter rosé wines to pair with less sweet desserts to create a sense of balance and contrast in your meal.

Wine and Dessert Pairing Chart

Cava, a sparkling wine from Spain Cava may be either dry or sweet, and both of these flavors pair nicely with fruits like strawberries and raspberries. Choose drier rosé wines to pair with sweeter sweets and sweeter rosé wines to pair with less sweet desserts to provide a sense of balance and contrast.

Matching Wine and Dessert

The sparkling wine from Spain Cava may be dry or sweet, and both are complementary to berries. Choose drier rosé wines to pair with sweeter desserts and sweeter rosé wines to pair with less sweet desserts to create balance and contrast.

7 Tasty Pairings For Dessert and Wine

These dessert and wine pairings are perfect for every dining occasion, whether it’s a romantic dinner for two, an anniversary celebration, or a lavish feast for four. When it comes to combining food and wine, the key is to think of wine as an ingredient rather than as a complement. It provides a “additional bonus.” Wine intensifies flavors, resulting in a whole different flavor profile.

Desserts are no exception to this rule. In fact, creating the ideal dessert and wine match may be a wonderful way to cap off a great evening with friends and family. Check out these 7 delectable dessert and wine combinations and get ready to pump up the heat on your next romantic evening.

Strawberry Shortcake

This creamy classic is given a sparkly makeover with fireworks. Purchase the book and receive the course! Learn about wine with the Wine 101 Course ($29 value). With the purchase of Wine Folly: Magnum Edition, you will receive this bonus. Read on to find out more Vouvray Brut: This is a brute of a Vouvray. Made from Chenin Blanc grapes,Vouvrayis a crisp, mouth-puckering white wine that has flavors of green apple, pear, and honeysuckle in addition to its crisp, mouth-puckering texture. Those seeking for something familiar but also distinctive can choose sparkling wines from South Africa, where Chenin Blanc is a very prominent grape variety.

Furthermore, many Vouvray Brut wines are produced using the Traditional Method, which imparts a biscuity flavor that pairs beautifully with the already creamy components in this delight.

Peach Cobbler

The wine has a lot of fruit and a nice blast of acidity. The dry Riesling grape is Germany’s favorite wine, and it can be found in a variety of styles ranging from sweet to bone dry. It has excellent aromas of citrus and green apple to go with it. A slatey feeling of minerality is particularly noticeable in drier Rieslings, which only adds to the complexity of the wine. Why it works is as follows: Using its crisp acidity and fruity tastes, a dry Riesling cuts through the syrupy richness of a peach cobbler, increasing the fruitiness of the dish very slightly.

White Chocolate

Subtle sweetness should be balanced with decadently fruity aromas. New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc: Studies have revealed that New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc brings out more of the distinctive passion fruit flavors in wine than any other Sauvignon Blanc produced anywhere else in the world. When compared to its greener, Old World counterparts, the Kiwi standard forSauvignon Blanchas far more fruit to it, which contributes significantly to its current popularity. Why it works is as follows: Those rich, fruity fragrances take the subtle balance of white chocolate and enhance it with a layer of fruit that isn’t too overpowering in its own right.

You’ll be convinced that you’re eating a fruit cream mousse at any moment.

Lemon Bars

Subtle sweetness is balanced with decadently fruity tones in this fragrance. The Sauvignon Blanc produced in New Zealand has been demonstrated to produce more of the characteristic passion fruit scents in wine than any other Sauvignon Blanc produced anywhere else on earth. When compared to its greener, Old World counterparts, the Kiwi standard forSauvignon Blanchas a lot more fruit to it, which contributes to its current popularity. Reasons for its effectiveness: Those rich, fruity scents take the subtle balance of white chocolate and enhance it with a layer of fruit that isn’t too overpowering in its flavor.

After you’ve had a mouthful of white chocolate, sip some Sauvignon Blanc. You’ll be convinced that you’re eating a fruit cream mousse for a short while.

Carrot Cake

With a hint of tanginess on the side, this dish is a combination of spice and sweetness. Fino Sherry (Spanish for “fine sherry”): Because it is the driest of the Sherries, Fino Sherry does not have the heavy sweetness that many of its darker sisters are renowned for, and instead has lighter, more delicate notes of almonds, salt, and a hint of citrus to accompany its lighter, more subtle flavors. The more robust tastes of the Oloroso Sherrysoften may be enjoyed on its own as a dessert, whilst Fino’s more subtle flavors can be enjoyed with a variety of cuisines.

The acidic Jackfruit taste of many Fino Sherries also works well with the earthier flavor of the carrot cake itself, which makes for a delicious combination.

Chocolate Mousse

The richness of chocolate combined with the lightning bolts of fruit is unbeatable. Brachetto d’Acqui (Brachetto of Acqui): In this semi-sparkling Italianred that has a lighter body and wine berry flavors, there is some sweetness without being overly overwhelming. Actually, if you don’t have anything to serve as a dessert, a bottle of Brachettocan be just as satisfying on its own! Why it works is as follows: They’ll cut right through the rich creaminess of a chocolate mousse, while also imparting crisp texture and scents of candied fruit, red flowers, or both.

Apple Pie

Take this traditional pie and smother it in a slew of additional fruits! Gewürztraminer: Gewürztraminer is a very fragrant white wine that is recognized for its scent of lychee, flowers, citrus, and spices. Despite the fact that it is widely recognized as being sweet, drier types are available, and they are sometimes just as aromatic. Why it works is as follows: As with warm apple piedoes, Gewürztraminer blends fruit and spice in the same way, making it one of the most apparent dessert and wine combinations on this list!

Some wines are wonderful desserts on their own, but this should not prevent you from searching for the right after-dinner snacks to pair with them!

How to Pair Wine with Chocolate (and Other Desserts)

Discover more about our review method here. Our editors independently investigate, test, and suggest the finest goods. We may gain a commission if you make a purchase after clicking on one of our links. What’s the difference between wine and chocolate? There is no longer any reason to do so, thanks to the abundance of delectable dessert wines available. Contrary to common perception, your favorite bottle of red wine is definitely not the best pairing for your favorite sweet treat.

However, with so many different alternatives available, you’re sure to discover the ideal bottle to complement your dessert. These are the most important suggestions to bear in mind.

What Is the Most Important Rule for Pairing Wine with Chocolate?

Wine and chocolate go together like peanut butter and jelly, and the golden rule for combining them is that the wine should always be sweeter than the dessert. Reduced sweetness in the wine often results in a less-than-delightful flavor that is sour or bitter to the extreme. You’ll be on your way to a delectable match in no time if you remember just one rule: keep it simple.

Can I Pair Dry Wines with Chocolate?

Dry wines, on the whole, don’t pair well with chocolate, for the most part. If you want to match wine with chocolate (or other sweet delights), always remember that the former should be sweeter than the latter, according to the golden rule mentioned above. Exceptions can be made in rare cases (for example, Beaujolais or Zinfandel), but we recommend erring on the side of caution and opting for a bottle of sweet wine rather than a sweet wine.

Do Certain Wines Go Better with Milk Chocolate Versus Dark Chocolate?

In a way, yes! Certain wines will pair well with different types of chocolate (see our quick reference guide below), while milk and dark chocolate pairings are more interchangeable than white chocolate pairings (see our quick reference guide below). The sweetness of the chocolate is responsible for this.

Are Fortified Wines Good with Chocolate?

It’s true to some extent! Certain wines match well with different types of chocolate (see our quick-reference guide below), while milk and dark chocolate pairings are more interchangeable than white chocolate pairings (see our quick-reference guide). The sweetness of the chocolate is to blame for this result.

Which Wines Pair Best with Chocolates That Contain Nuts or Other Fillings?

It is dependent on the type of chocolate. Before thinking about the fillings, we recommend starting with the basic chocolate (white, milk, or dark). Remember that coming up with your own unique and imaginative wine and chocolate combinations can be a lot of fun as well. Do you happen to have a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup handy? Try mixing it with a sweet sparkling red wine for a taste that is reminiscent of peanut butter and jelly. Do you like chocolates with caramel filling? Consider mixing it with wines (tawny port, for example) that have similar caramel flavors for an out-of-this-world experience.

A Quick Guide

Wines that pair with white chocolate include the following: Late-harvest Moscato d’Asti (Moscato d’Asti Late-Harvestriesling) Sauternes gewurztraminer, for example. Ice wine is a type of wine that is frozen (eiswein) Wines that go well with milk chocolate include: Portuguese: (ruby or tawny) Madeira is a small island off the coast of Portugal (malmsey) Brachetto d’acquiRutherglenmuscato d’acqui d’acqui Sherry (amontillado or oloroso) is a kind of sherry. Wines that pair with dark chocolate include the following: Natural wine (banyuls/maury) with a sweet taste Sherry from Pedro Ximenez Recioto della Valpolicella (Valpolicella Recioto) Vin santo (holy wine) (Italy) Here are six different bottles to try.

See also:  How Many Carbs In Dessert Wine

The Secret to Pairing Sweet Wine With Savory Food

Is there a wine adjective that is more prohibited than the phrase “sweet”? Despite the fact that we guzzle soda and even spend $15 for a milkshake that contains a slice of cake, Americans avoid sweet wines like they’re the devil, according to the Wine Institute. But if there’s ever a time to indulge in sweet wines, some of which are among the world’s most complex and long-lived varietals, it’s on Valentine’s Day, when the sugary treats are plentiful. It is generally accepted that sweet wines should always be served with sweet foods (thus the phrase ” dessert wines “) and that the wine should always be sweeter than the item being served.

Do you have the courage to serve a sweet wine with your main dish rather than save it for the end of the meal?

Take the time to learn these eight easy guidelines for creating extraordinary sweet and savory combos that will have you exploring long beyond Valentine’s Day. Don’t let a drop pass you by! Get the most up-to-date information about beer, wine, and cocktail culture sent directly to your email.

Compare or contrast

When it comes to pairing food and wine, there are two main schools of thought: either compare the tastes, matching notes in the meal and wine, or contrast them, utilizing the wine to bring flavors and aromas that the dish is lacking. That’s why Sauternes, which has a flavor reminiscent of orange marmalade and honey, goes so well with duck a l’orange because it complements the juicy citrus, as well as with strongly salty blue cheeses like brie. For dishes with dark, rich tastes or pronounced berry notes — such as slow-roasted pork with cranberry sauce — Ruby Port is a natural complement since it has many of the same qualities as the dish in which it is served.

Acidity matters

Not all sweet wines are made equal, which is why Manischewitz and Liebfraumilch aren’t actually considered to be in the same category as Madeira and Tokaji, respectively. Balance is one of the most important characteristics of a superb sweet wine, and in order to achieve balance, a sweet wine must have a high level of acidity. Additionally, the acidity of the wine will aid to balance a sweet food match by cutting through the richness of certain items while standing up to the tartness of others.

Match the body

The body of both the meal and the wine should be equivalent in order for a match to be successful. A light meal would be overpowered by a rich, sweet wine, and vice versa for the opposite. UnctuousTokaji is a fantastic pairing with rich foie gras since neither the meal nor the wine will be overshadowed by the other. Do you think you have what it takes to combine sweet wine with fish? Because of the delicate nature of the meal, a lighter sweet wine such as Moscato d’Asti is recommended.

Sweeter sauces love sweet wines

Flavorful foods do not have to be totally savory in order to be considered savory. Cooking dishes that use fruit reductions, sweet sauces, or honey glazes provide good pairings with sweet wines. In case you’re concerned that putting too much sugar in a meal is a bad idea, don’t worry. Sugar in food naturally reduces the perception of sugar in wine, so a dry wine may actually be too harsh and acidic for recipes that have sweet components. The sweet wine that is coupled with the dessert will appear drier than it would on its own, reducing the intensity of the rich fruit and showcasing the complexity of the non-fruit components.

Sugar and spice and everything nice

Because alcohol only serves to fan the fires of spicy cuisine, what is the key to combining wine with tongue-numbing dishes? Read on to find out. Sugar. If you want to contrast powerful heat and calm down the palate of even the spicier foods, opt for low-alcohol sweet wines such as Kabinett or Spätlese Riesling with lower alcohol content.

Season the food well

Because the sugar in sweet wines increases the strength of the tastes, make sure that the meal is tasty and well-seasoned before serving it with the wine.

Unless you do so, the dish will just fade into the background.

Salt is a sweet wine’s best friend

Because the sugar in sweet wines increases the strength of the tastes, make sure that the meal is tasty and well-seasoned before serving it with the sweet wines. It will just blend into the backdrop if this is not done.

Don’t be afraid of age

Sweet wines, which are fortified and maintained by copious amounts of sugar, might be among the most age-worthy alternatives available. After some time has passed, wines generally acquire secondary flavors like mushroom, nuts, and forest floor, which can help to more organically blend a sweet wine into a savory combination. In fact, it is precisely this characteristic that permits an ancient white Pineau des Charentes to combine wonderfully with a light raw oyster entrée, for example. Originally published on February 14, 2018

Yes, You Can Pair Sweet Wine With Your Entire Meal

Sweet wines aren’t exclusively for desserts any longer. In fact, they can help to raise the quality of your main course. Dishes that blend sweet and savory aspects provide a feeling of balance and can thrill the taste receptors, but they might be difficult to match with a dry wine because of the sweetness of the dish. In contrast, a bottle of sweet wine with brilliant acidity may be the perfect complement to courses that contain ham, bacon, fruit and cheeses, as well as caramelized onions, baking spices and balsamic vinegar, to mention a few examples of ingredients.

Here are three suggestions to get you started on your quest to discovering and enjoying everything that sweet wines have to offer.

Salty and Sweet

Pairings of sweet and salty foods work in both directions: Drinking dry wines with a hint of saline is also a good idea when serving foods that contain fruit. The richness of the fruit and the salinity of the wine work together to create a pleasing taste on the mouth. If you’re serving up a green salad with apple or pear slices, figs with blue cheese and prosciutto, or a tomato and watermelon salad, be sure to choose a white wine with robust minerality and strong salinity to go with it. Consider the following: Assyrtiko from Santorini, Albario from Rás Baixas, fino You are on the correct track if you drink Sherry from Jerez or Vermentino from Sardinia, both of which are cultivated and produced in close proximity to the sea.

Ceviche with sea bass, lime, and coconut milk The photograph was taken by Sarah Anne Ward, the food styling was done by Jamie Kimm, and the prop styling was done by Maeve Sheridan.

Ceviche with sea bass, lime, and coconut milk Because of the variety of textures found in seafood, it is a natural pairing with wine.

Carpaccio de Mushrooms with Queso Fresco y Ajo de Marjoram Food styling by Jamie Kimm and Sarah Anne Ward.

Photograph by Sarah Anne Ward.

Carpaccio de Mushrooms with Queso Fresco y Ajo de Marjoram Mushrooms’ umami and chameleon-like tastes are well-known in culinary circles.

Published on the 6th of December, 2021.

Dessert Wine Pairing 101: How to Serve Wine with Sweet Holiday Treats

To select the perfect dessert wine combination, look for varietals that have a sweetness level that matches the sweetness of the dessert. Delicious sweets are abundant throughout the holiday season, ranging from nutty and caramelized pecan pie to spicy gingerbread cookies and more. Discovering the ideal dessert wine combination for each of these classic desserts elevates the experience to a whole new level of decadence. An earthy, honey-likeRiesling may bring out the nutmeg and cinnamon flavors in a slice of pumpkin pie, while a rich, fruityvintage port can lend a sophisticated layer of fruitiness to a cup of creamy chocolate mousse.

Finding the ideal dessert wine combination, on the other hand, might be difficult, especially if you, like the majority of people, plan on serving more than one dessert this season.

This year, you’ll be able to conclude all of your Christmas gatherings on a high note by investing in the correct bottles and selecting wines that suit the tastes of each dessert.

Serve True Dessert Wines with Dessert

When it comes to matching wine with dessert, one of the most common mistakes wine enthusiasts make is concentrating too much on the flavor of the wine itself rather than thinking how the wine will interact with the food. Even if a bottle of 2005 Château Pontet-Canetis is uncommon and of high quality, if you serve this wine together with a sweet dessert, the wine may appear overly acidic and tannic in contrast. The combination does this great wine absolutely no honor at all, in my opinion. When your taste receptors are exposed to high-sugar meals such as pie or cheesecake, they get momentarily acclimated to the high quantities of sugar.

  1. This is true whether you’re pouring a $20 bottle of table wine or a $5,000 bottle of Pétrus, among other things.
  2. For one thing, it allows you to commemorate a particular event by sharing your wine with friends and family, or simply enjoy the wine that you have carefully selected.
  3. A proper dessert wine is either extremely sweet or fortified with distilled spirits, such as brandy, to make it more robust.
  4. Tokaji, Viognier, and some varieties ofRiesling are among of the other popular and valued sweet wines produced.

When purchasing a high-quality dessert wine collection, there are a few aspects that you should keep in mind.

Getting Creative with Dessert Wine Pairings

It’s not necessary to restrict yourself to vintageTaylor Fladgate orChâteau d’Yquem when looking for the perfect dessert wine to complement your meal (although these are foolproof selections). There is no restriction on the type of wine you may serve with your dessert, as long as the wine is on the sweeter side of the spectrum and fits the flavor of your dessert. For example, fruit-based sweets that are lower in sugar content can be combined with wines that are lower in sugar content. Desserts that are more indulgent and rich (such as chocolate pots de crème) will combine better with wines that are sweeter in flavor.

  • In order to select the best wine for any dessert, one of the simplest strategies is to reject any wines that are much lighter or darker in color than the dessert that will be served.
  • Although this guideline is not always applicable, it will assist you in narrowing down your selection of probable pairings to only the most dependable ones.
  • Are there any characteristics in the wine’s tasting notes that are similar to the ones in your dessert?
  • Additionally, Sauternes is known for its tropical fruit notes, which would pair nicely with any foods that have a lot of citrus or pineapple.

The Best Dessert Wine Pairings for Holiday Classics

It should be simple to create your own dessert wine combination if you follow the fundamental rules outlined above. Alternatively, if you’re looking for some inspiration, we’ve compiled a list of tasty (and valued) wines to pair with traditional holiday treats.

Crème brûléeand custards

Any custard-based dessert should be paired with a sweet white wine. Wines with a tropical or citrus fruit taste complement this dish particularly well since the custard’s richness makes them a good match for the wine. Custard and wines with caramel flavors go along like peanut butter and jelly.

  • Château D’Yquem, 2014 vintage
  • Domaine Charbay Charbay was founded in 1997. Château Pajzos Tokaji Esszencia, 1993
  • Château Pajzos Tokaji Esszencia, 1993

Fresh fruit or fruit pies

Match the fruit notes in your wine with the fruit notes in your pastries. Wines that match well with stone fruits (such as peaches) are white wines, whereas red wines that pair well with dark fruits (such as cherry, plum, or blackberry) are red wines.

  • The 2001 Château D’Yquem, the 2016 Taylor Fladgate Porto Vintage, and the 2013 Royal Tokaji Asz 5 Puttonyos Red Border are all excellent choices.

Pecan pie and other extremely sweet desserts

Pecan pie’s extremely sweet and robust tastes will overshadow practically any wine, with the exception of a high-quality port.

  • 2017 Fonseca Vintage Port
  • 2017 Taylor Fladgate Porto Vintage

Chocolate cake and other dark chocolate treats

Pair chocolate cake with a hearty red wine, such as port, to complete the meal.

  • Dow’s Vintage Port (2017 vintage)
  • Quinta Do Noval Nacional Vintage Port (2016 vintage)
  • 2009 Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port (2009 vintage). Quinta De Vargellas Vinha Velha Vintage Port
  • Quinta De Vargellas Vinha Velha Vintage Port
  • Quinta De Vargellas
See also:  What Wine With Blueberry Dessert

The wines you purchase not only provide a fantastic dessert wine complement for any holiday gathering, but they also serve as a long-term financial asset should you decide to store the wine and resell it in the future as well.

Collecting Dessert Wines

When it comes to financial investments, a wine collection is unusual because you have the option of either drinking your bottles right away or storing them and reselling them for a profit once their value has increased. Neither sweet dessert wines nor superb tannic wines like Nebbiolo or Sangiovese are exempt from this rule. When investing in white wines, Sauternes, particularly Château d’Yquem, might be an excellent choice, especially if purchased young or en primeur. Therefore, it’s necessary to have at least a few dessert wines in your collection, even if you’re not sure if you’ll drink them during the current holiday season or not.

Dessert wines, in a way, have some of the greatest versatility of any type of wine available on the market.

By having a number of dessert wines ready and waiting in your house or in a professional storage facility, you can add a touch of luxury to the holidays while also adding considerable value to your investment portfolio and increasing the value of your investment portfolio.

Contact us today to have access to some of the world’s most exquisite wines.

Author:Vinfolio Staff

At Vinfolio, we assist our clients buy, sell, store, and manage their most beloved bottles of wine. But in our leisure time, we’re just a group of passionate and slightly crazy oenophiles-we adore sharing a wonderful glass of vintage Champagne, followed by a Burgundy, and then a Bordeaux, to get things started. We’re continually obsessing about the latest (and oldest) vintages, and we want to share that knowledge and enthusiasm with our readers.

How to Pair Sweet Wines with Savory Foods

Generally speaking, when it comes to food, the common American diner psyche has been conditioned to expect sweet after savory—and the same can be said for wine. Sweet wines such as Moscato d’Asti, Riesling, Tokaji, or Sauternes are virtually usually listed on a wine list at the conclusion of a meal under headings such as “dessert wines” or “after dinner beverages,” and they are almost always served with dessert. In fact, in certain countries, it is customary to begin the dinner with a sweet wine, such as the classic Portuguese apéritif of Port and tonic, before proceeding with the main course.

Sweetness, on the other hand, is stigmatized in the United States, which may explain why sweet wines are not well recognized in the country.

I have difficulty selling a Riesling because visitors insist that it will be sweet, despite the fact that the wine I’m proposing contains no residual sugar at all.

Despite this, there is an ice cream store on nearly every corner. Sweet is something we enjoy, but it has become forbidden in wine somewhere along the line.”

What is Sweet Wine?

Sweet wines, as the name implies, are highly sweet and may be produced using a variety of different processes. The most straightforward are those prepared from grapes that have been dehydrated by a fungus known as Botrytis, often known as “noble rot,” which increases the sweetness and taste of the grapes. The Sauternes area of Bordeaux is home to the most famous noble rot grapes, which are called saignée. Besides sweet wines, there are many more varieties available, including ice wines, late-harvest wines, passito or dried/raisin wines, which may be found around the world.

When it comes to savoring a meal, all food and wine pairings should be considered in terms of balance.

Sweet enhances the flavor of sour and spicy foods as well.

Vegetarian and Spicy Foods

The sweetness of a wine may have a significant impact on the balance of many characteristics of a dish, particularly spicy heat. Riesling is without a doubt the best wine to drink with spice. In the words of Advanced Sommelier Ryan Stetins of Complinein Napa, “Nothing cools down hot cuisine such as Thai cuisine like a Riesling with a reasonable level of residual sweetness.” For spicy vegetable dishes such as curries, sommelier Scott Baker of the two-Michelin-starredSomniin Los Angeles recommends a fuller Riesling with fall fruit notes such as apple, pear, or quince with a hint of caramel—one of his favorites is Memorista from Ovum in Oregon.

“I reside in Los Angeles, where I enjoy a variety of cuisines, including Korean, Japanese, and Thai.

Sweet wines pair particularly well with mushroom recipes, according to Shanker, since they “emphasize the smoky quality of Botrytis, which is, after all, a fungus.”

Cooked or Grilled Seafood

The beverage director at two-Michelin-starredCommisin Oakland, California, Mark Guillaudeu, says, “When I think of seafood on the grill, my mind instantly wanders to shrimp on the BBQ with a lovely citrus sauce.” In this case, he leans toward the Italian passito styles that are fresh and fruity: Everything from the exquisite Erbaluce di Caluso passito all the way down to the Sicilian Moscato di Noto.

Wines made from muscat grapes pair particularly well with sweet orange-glazed foods. When it comes to grilled shellfish such as lobster, sommelier Emilia Aiello of Lupa Osteria Romana in New York City prefers the Sauternes grape variety from Bordeaux.

Because lobster is a sweet flesh, the peachy pineapple and occasionally lemony tones of Sauternes form an unusual but excellent combination with the sweet meat.

To the honey and nutty flavors of the wine, the smokey flavor produced by the grill is a pleasant complement to the dish. If you like Sauternes, try Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey, 1er Cru Classé.”

Ceviche or Raw Seafood Dishes

Shanker is a fantastic match with an off-dry Riesling, which is available here. Because many of these meals (ceviche in particular) have a hot capsaicin component, a sweet wine such as an off-day Riesling, with its low alcohol content and mild presence of sweetness, helps to keep the heat under control. “Aside from that, German Rieslings have some of the highest acid levels of any sweet wines, and this acidity is critical in order for the wine to stand up to the lemon or lime component. In the presence of a meal with such strong acidity, a lower acidity wine would appear ‘flabby’ in comparison “Shanker expresses himself.


Plentiful in flavor and versatility, poultry is an excellent complement to practically any dish or sauce. “Duck is frequently served with a sauce made from sweet, luscious fruits as an accompaniment. Rather than incorporating those ingredients into the meal itself, there’s no reason why you couldn’t get the same result with a rich, raisin-y Pedro Ximenez wine instead. Fernando Castillo’s PX is one of my favorites “Thomas expresses himself. Sauternes would make for an excellent matchup as well: “The caramelized, smokey flavor of the aged Sauternes pairs perfectly with the seared duck breast that has been scored and crispy-skinned on the outside.

  • One of Marissa Payne’s favorite sweet wine pairings is really fried chicken, according to the chief sommelier at Cotognain San Francisco, Marissa Payne.
  • Things like chicken and waffles or M Ms and peanuts come to mind.
  • “If I’m cooking Italian, my favorite wine to pair with it is the 2007 Felsina Vin Santo from Tuscany.
  • This sort of wine has a hint of caramelized nuttiness to it that many people enjoy.

Red Meat

Plentiful in flavor and versatility, poultry is an excellent complement to nearly anything. “Duck is frequently served with sweet, rich fruits in the accompanying sauce, and this is a popular method of preparation. As an alternative to incorporating those ingredients into the meal itself, there’s no reason why you couldn’t get the same result with a rich, raisin-y Pedro Ximenez. A lot of my favorite PX comes from Fernando Castillo “According to Thomas. In addition to Bordeaux, Sauternes is a fantastic complement “When combined with the scored, crispy-skinned grilled duck breast, the caramelized smokey quality of the aged Sauternes creates a deliciously balanced dish.

  • In fact, fried chicken is one of Marissa Payne’s favorite sweet wine pairings at Cotognain San Francisco, where she works as the chief sommelier.
  • For example, chicken and waffles, or M Ms and peanuts are both delicious combinations of ingredients.
  • “For Italian cuisine, my favorite wine match is the 2007 Felsina Vin Santo from Tuscany.
  • This kind of wine has a little nuttiness that has caramelized.

The food critic adds that “Jean Francois Ganevat Macvin is clean enough for fowl but still has an earthy depth that rivalchicken.” Another Passito that Payne recommends is a Prà from the area of Soave, Italy, called “Bianco della Fontana.”


Sweet wine and cheese are a match made in heaven. or at least they should be. Sauternes is a perfect option at this occasion. Payne recommends a bottle of Château Guiraud Sauternes, which has aromas of dried fruit, honeysuckle, and a touch of smokiness, as an approachable option. If you want to be specific about wine and cheese pairings, talk to your sommelier or beverage director about what they recommend—and then just enjoy yourself.

Bottom Line

General rule of thumb according to Shanker: choose wine that is always sweeter and higher in acid than the meal, and pair similar tastes with one another. Consequently, “if you’ve ever had a dry Champagne with dessert, you’ve definitely regretted it,” despite the fact that it sounds delicious.

Wine and Dessert: 3 Pairing Rules

When done right, wine and dessert may be a wonderful combo. If you’re wondering whether or not you can drink wine with sweet sweets, the answer is yes, you can! In reality, wine and pastries may make for a delicious combination. All that is required is that you follow three basic pairing guidelines. The date of publication is April 10th, 2020. Dessert wines are a little bit of a surprise to many wine enthusiasts because of their sweetness. Many people drink wine during the course of the meal, until it is time to serve the dessert.

Desserts are frequently paired with sweet dessert wines in several wine-producing nations, such as Italy, France, and Portugal.

Both the dessert and the wine will really taste better as a result of this!

Rule1: Choose a wine sweeter than the dessert

Always choose a wine that is sweeter than the dessert; else, the wine will taste sour and unpleasant. If the sweetness of the dessert is not balanced by the sweetness of the wine, the result will be harsh and unpleasant. As a result, Portand-style wines and other similar wines are frequently recommended for dessert pairing.

Rule2: Match the flavours

The flavors of the dessert should be complemented by the flavors of the wine. When it comes to desserts, chocolate sweets pair well with chocolate wines, nutty desserts work well with nutty wines, and wines with berry flavors couple well with desserts that are heavy on the fruit. Whenever you prepare a dessert with a lot of fruit and acidity, make sure to use a wine with a lot of natural acidity. Here are a few good examples:

  • Dessert should be paired with a wine that has flavor profiles that complement one other. When it comes to desserts, chocolate desserts go well with chocolate wines, nutty desserts go well with nutty wines, and berry wines go well with desserts that are heavy on the berries. For sweets that are rich in fruit and acidity, look for wines that have a high natural acidity level. Here are a few nice illustrations:

It is highly recommended that you read our article on the finest wine and dessert pairings if you want to find out what is the greatest combination for tiramisu or Pinot Noir.

Rule3: Match the colors

The more intense the dessert, the more powerful the wine needs to be to complement it properly. A good rule of thumb is to always select a dark wine with a dark dessert, as darker wines tend to be more intense. The following are some good instances of color matching:

  • Desserts made with cream and vanilla are best served with late harvest Chenin Blanc or Chardonnay
  • Lemon meringue pie is best served withRiesling
  • Berry cake is best served with a fruity rosé wine, such as Zinfandel Rosé
  • Desserts made with nuts or caramel and paired with tawny port
  • Chocolate cake paired with ruby port

Special rules for winecheese pairing

Late-harvest Chenin Blanc or Chardonnay match well with creamy vanilla desserts; lemon meringue pie pairs well withRiesling; berry cake pairs well with fruity rosé wines, such as Zinfandel Rosé; and so on. Desserts made with toasted nuts or caramel with Tawny Port; chocolate cake made with Ruby Port

Latest guides

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *