Love is in the air come February, when plenty of sweethearts enjoy romantic evenings together. When the Valentine’s Day meal is through, it is prime time for something sweet. Often individuals feel they have to put away the wine from dinner and switch over to coffee or tea at this point in the meal. However, with a little knowledge of how to pair wine with dessert, Valentine’s revelers can continue the celebration through this final course.
According to Wine Folly, when pairing wine with dessert or other foods, the secret is to think of wine as an ingredient that will add a new flavor profile. Generally speaking, when it comes to choosing the best wines for desserts, a sweet wine is preferable as the sweetness in the wine will match the sugar in the dessert, suggests the wine resource Vin Yang. Here are some additional pairing pointers.
• A darker dessert usually requires a darker wine, as the wine should have a similar intensity to the dessert.
• The wine should be sweeter than the food in most cases.
• The flavors in the wine should match the flavors in the food.
• Chocolate and caramel are best paired with a sweet or fruity red wine, as dry wines may taste too bitter against chocolate due to the tannins found in both the wine and chocolate. Port, Sherry, Marsala, and Zinfandel are good options.
• Mild, buttery or sweet vanilla desserts work best with white wines, including sparkling wines. Muscat, off-dry Rieslings, and Prosecco are some ideas.
• Keep in mind that very sweet desserts or those with fruits, like cobblers or shortcakes, may benefit from a burst of acidity. A drier Riesling may work or a Vouvray Brut.
Those who may be unsure of how to pair their desserts with wine can always speak with a wine retailer or a trusted restaurant sommelier for suggestions on wines for an extra-special Valentine’s Day.