Dessert Time . . . Sometimes It’s Not About The Wine

While many sweet wines (e.g. Port, Madeira, Ice Wine, Late Harvest Riesling) can represent a dessert course on their own, there are times my sweet tooth craves for something more.

Read on if you want some hints for the current contest on “Know The Savvy Sommelier” iPad app.

Let’s start with “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.”  Ice Cream has much fat (at least the best kind) and because it is frozen it can numb your palate. This can make pairing a wine with ice cream a bit of a challenge.  So don’t bother!  Or if you must, try a Pedro Ximinez Sherry. You can either sip it or pour it on top of your ice cream dessert!

Next up I have a hard time turning down chocolate cheesecake.  A rich wine like Sauternes from France may have the ability to match up with the richness of cheesecake.  If your chocolate cheesecake has any fruit accents (raspberry, strawberry, blueberry), Moscato d’Asti is a light sparkling white wine whose sweetness can accentuate the flavors of the fruit.

Apple pie anytime of year makes me drool.  Whether it be a spring or summer picnic or fall harvest meal, there is something comforting and loving about tart apples combined with pastry, spices and baked to perfection.  My husband’s family always has a big slice of cheddar cheese on top of their pie.  Me?  I add a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the perfect pairing.

Enough with the food, a few tips for pairing wine with desserts:

  • Wine should be sweeter than the dessert it accompanies
  • Match flavors in food and wine wherever possible
  • Balance acidity and sugar levels in food and wine; if not balanced, a very sweet dessert will make a wine seem more tannic, less sweet and more acidic

Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@SavvySommelier) for more food and wine tips and clues to our “Know the Savvy Sommelier” contests on the iPad!  (Coming soon on the iPhone).

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