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Ending Dinner on a Sweet Note: A Guide to Pairing Wines With Desserts

Few people give a thought to pairing desserts with the perfect beverage. Whether the meal takes place at home or a restaurant, most diners are content to enjoy the last course with coffee or tea.

However, you don’t have to limit your choice to coffee or tea for pairing with your dessert. You can also enjoy the last course of the meal with a glass of wine.

Wines are versatile and packed with flavours that can be highlighted by the food we eat, whether savoury or sweet. Therefore, you can end the meal on a high when you indulge in dessert with a glass of red or white.

Because of this, if you want to end a dinner you’re hosting on a sweet note, buy fine wine online in Abu Dhabi to serve with your last course.

Choosing the Right Wine to Pair With Desserts

If you want to serve the right bottle of wine with your dessert course, below is a handy guide you can follow:

  1. Go with dessert wine.

Dessert or sweet wines are made from extra-sweet grapes. Their fermentation is stopped before the yeast converts the sugar into alcohol.

The result is a rich wine bursting with the natural sweetness of the sugar from its grape content.

This noticeable sweetness makes drinking dessert wine a fantastic way to complete a meal.

Dessert wine comes in different varieties. These include:

  • Sparkling dessert wine

This type of wine is usually fermented twice to create the alcohol and form carbon dioxide. Champagne is the most popular variety of sparkling dessert wine. Other examples are Cava, demi-sec Moscato, and Brachetto d’Acqui.

  • Lightly sweet dessert wine

Lightly sweet dessert wines have noticeable fruit flavours and are refreshingly sweet. Riesling, Chenin Blanc, and Viognier are examples of this variety.

  • Richly sweet dessert wine

This variety of dessert wine is made with high-quality grapes in an unfortified style. These wines are often aged to preserve their sweetness and fresh flavour. The Hungarian Tokaji, South African Constantia, and French Sauternes are famous examples of richly sweet dessert wines.

  • Fortified wine

This type of strong, sweet wine has alcohol content due to a distillation process. Examples of fortified wines are Port, Madeira, and Sherry.

  • Noble rot or Botrytis-affected wine

Botrytis Cinerea is a type of mould that grows on grapes in certain conditions. This fungus causes the affected grape to shrink and dehydrate, increasing their sugar content and making them sweet. The Hungarian Tokaji and Bordeaux Sauternes are examples of this wine.

  • Late harvest wine

This type of wine is made with grapes left on the vine past their optimal period of ripeness. As a result, they become dehydrated, increasing their sugar and alcohol content. Moscato or Muscat and Vidal are two examples of this variety.

  • Ice wine.

Also known as eiswein (its German name), this type is produced from grapes left on frozen vines. Because of this, the fruit’s sugars become concentrated. The produced wine is very sweet yet slightly viscous. Due to its production process, authentic ice wine can be pricey.

Dessert wine is a quick, effortless option you can consider if you want to serve a beverage instead of a sweet treat to cap off the meal.

  1. Opt for classic sweet wine – dessert pairings.

If serving only wine to finish a full course meal isn’t an option, you have to know which type of sweet red or white is best paired with specific desserts.

Below is a guide you can follow for the perfect classic sweet wine and dessert pairings:

  • Madeira

This popular fortified dessert wine pairs well with toffee pudding, treacle tart, and tiramisu. It is also the perfect accompaniment for cookies with nuts and spiced desserts, such as chocolate truffles with a sprinkle of cayenne.

  • Port

Another popular fortified dessert wine, red tawny port and ruby port are excellent when paired with chocolate cake and truffles and salted caramel afters. On the other hand, white and rosé port wines enhance the flavours of strawberry angel food cake and lemon pies.

  • Sherry

Rich, dark, and sweet sherry complements crème brûlée, ice cream, coffee and walnut cake, and dark chocolates. This wine also goes well with toffee, caramel, and honey-based desserts.

  • Moscato

White Moscato’s fruity and floral flavours are perfect with poached and grilled peaches and pears, fruit pies, pavlovas, sherbets, and sorbets. It also pairs well with jelly-filled biscuits and nutty desserts, such as biscotti and madeleines.

  • Riesling

The fruity taste and natural acidity of Riesling helps cut the sweetness of desserts, thus making it the ideal accompaniment for cheesecake or a cheese course. This wine also complements citrusy treats, such as lemon pound cake, key lime pie, and pear tart.

  1. Don’t limit your options to sweet wines only.

When purchasing wine from liquor stores in Dubai to serve during the dessert course, you don’t only have to stick with the sweet varieties.

You can choose another type of wine as long as you know which dessert to best pair it with.

A good rule of thumb to remember when pairing vinos with desserts is to choose a variety that can mellow or cut the sweetness and richness of your chosen treat.

For instance, a crisp Chardonnay complements a Victoria sponge cake and other delicately flavoured loaf cake.

On the other hand, merlot is the perfect accompaniment for a red velvet cake or cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.

Chocolate desserts, such as chocolate cakes and brownies, pair well with Cabernet Sauvignon. However, chocolate truffles taste and go down better with a glass of Chardonnay.

  1. Match wines with desserts based on colour and flavour profiles.

Another simple technique for pairing wines and desserts is to do so based on their colours and flavour profiles.

Just like red wine pairs well with pasta dishes with tomato sauce, a glass of cabernet sauvignon or pinot noir will complement a strawberry shortcake with fresh berries.

Desserts with apples and citrus and tropical fruits are best served with a glass of white wine.

Also, buying a bottle of wine that has the same flavour profile as the dessert you wish to serve is a smart move.

Pairing the sweet treat with a vino that features one or more of the described flavours can draw it out in the wine. This is the main reason why citrusy sauvignon blanc goes well with a lemon cake or tart.

There are no hard and fast rules for pairing wines with desserts. However, you can use this guide to narrow down your options when buying a bottle of red or white and boost your chances of ending the meal on the perfect sweet note.