If you are looking to host a different type of wine tasting, pairing serious wines, usually reserved for dinner, with pastries, cakes, cookies and fruit can give your wine tasting a new life. Pairing wine with unexpected choices can enhance different components of the wine allowing you to taste it in a different way. Wine can be used to enhance the flavors and textures of a dessert as well.
If you aren’t the baking type or if you don’t have time to throw together an array of desserts for your tasting, Washington, PA native Allison (Hughes) Randall can help. Her custom desserts can be ordered online and shipped to you in time for your tasting event. She will make desserts based on any of the recipes in her collection or she will even use your grandmother’s recipe if you prefer. Allison, who now lives in Bethel, CT was inspired by her mother to start her company, Sprinkles and Jimmies. “Even though my mom hated to bake, she often told me how sad it made her feel when my brother and I would come home from school functions, parties, etc. talking about the homemade desserts our friends’ mothers had made. She was a full-time teacher and had no time for ‘homemade’”. After her mother passed away, Allison decided that there must be others who feel the same, so she launched her online cookie based baking service in order to help other busy people take the “ache” out of baking.
You can order desserts at www.sprinklesandjimmies.com and have them shipped directly to you, so that you can spend more time shopping for wine.
Here are a few dessert and wine pairing ideas to get you started.
Brownies or dark chocolate:
A red wine with ripe fruit components goes nicely with chocolate desserts. Try a Cabernet Sauvignon from California or a Blaufrankisch (Lemberger) from the Finger Lakes. Port also pairs well with rich chocolate dishes or chocolate candies.
A tart, crisp wine will help to enhance the sweetness of the berries. Try a semi dry Riesling (Germany/Eastern US), Pinot Grigio (Italy) or a hybrid white like Seyval Blanc (Eastern US). On the opposite end, a smooth sweet wine like a Vidal Blanc Ice Wine will enhance the toasted flavors of the crust portion of the dessert.
Because apples are crisp and tart to begin with this dish requires a sweeter wine to compliment the apples. Try a late harvest riesling (Germany/Eastern US), oaked Chardonnay (California), or Moscato. You can also pair with a fruity, sweeter red wine such as Dornfelder (Germany) or De Chaunac (Eastern US Hybrid).
Tart lemon custard dishes can be paired with a semi dry Riesling to enhance the lemon flavors, a lighter red with fruit components such as a California Pinot Noir to add a fruity component or a sweet, rich dessert wine such as Melomel (wine blended with honey) to combat the tartness.
Remember, experimenting is the most fun part of a wine tasting, so feel free to try unexpected parings using your favorite wine and desserts. Who knows, you just may discover your own perfect pairing!