top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>I am throwing a girls bash in a month and am featuring wines and desserts. Could The Wine Guy recommend a few dessert wines that would pair nicely with chocolate, berries and maybe something lighter with a lemony twist? And yes, of course we will have champagne on hand!!
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Before I go on too much about matching wines with desserts, there is one little gem I MUST tell you about!! Quady Elysium Black Muscat from California. This little treat has a very dark color which is quite interesting (comes from the Black Muscat grape). Will work well with your dark chocolates and is also one of the only wines you can serve with chocolate pudding. Surprisingly, it goes with desserts that have vanilla in the recipe as well. Or for something a little more over the top, try it poured over vanilla ice cream! This is always a star when we serve it at home – very unique wine…definitely locate one and show to others! Elysium, by the way, is Greek for Heaven. Get it, like it, love it!
If your dessert is fruit (alone or in tarts, etc), go for a sweet white wine. For this, you can never go wrong with a Sauternes (the king of dessert wines…and it doesn’t hurt to have the royal funds of a king to buy them…). In fact, at to.html” target=”_blank”>the big gala The Antiques Diva and I went to at the Louvre last year, we enjoyed a sublime Chateau d’Yquem with our dessert… the undisputed king of Sauternes. To save a few dollars, though, and still have a similar effect, I usually go for a Monbazillac. My favorites are the ones from Chateau La Robertie. We ran into this family in the annual wine expo in Paris several years ago and have been faithful patrons ever since! They produce a very balanced, full-of-fruit wine that can be stored for quite some time and still retain a crispness. Just a side note: we will often serve Sauternes or this Monbazillac with fois gras, dates and fig confiture as a starter. Remember, often a solid dessert wine can stand on its own and actually be used in place of a dessert!
If you are serving chocolates, which is extremely common as dessert, it’s tough to serve wines to match. Definitely go for the black muscat I mentioned above. DO NOT SERVE A WHITE WINE WITH IT. I’ve heard of some people serving Merlot with chocolate, but I wouldn’t do that. If I didn’t serve the Elysium above, I would probably serve a Tawny Port or Madeira (a fortified wine from the Madeira Islands, Portugal) with the chocolate.
If your dessert is sweet and particularly heavy, you might try a light sparkling wine – remember, champagne works perfectly here.
Also, just a thought, but for desserts that are not very sweet (berries, shortbread, pound cake, or even your tart-lemony desserts), feel free to pop the cork on a few bottles of champagne. But try to get a “demi-sec” champagne – these are the sweetest of champagnes and will match well with those desserts.
Another type of sweet wine to consider is Ice Wine (usually from Canada or Germany). Interesting in that these wines are produced from grapes that have been FROZEN while still on the vine! The sugars and other juices in the grape don’t freeze, but the water does –the result is a highly concentrated grape must. These usually are characterized by a clean, refreshing taste. Given the labor intense and risky production process, ice wines are typically quite expensive as well.
One of our favorite sweet wines is Muscat de Beaumes de Venise (probably the best of all the Muscat wines made in Southern France). A beautiful honey color, they have the typical Muscat flavors of flowers, tropical fruit and honey. Have it with peaches, figs, strawberries & cream…or even ice cream by itself…. Yum, my mouth is watering! My favorite is from Domaine de Fenouillet – we stumbled across this place while visiting the town Beaumes de Venise and stocked up on this sweet nectar!! Sometimes, we serve as an aperitif (and I’m opening a bottle right now as a result of this delightful little blog!!).
And remember… “Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance” ~ Benjamin Franklin
The Wine Guy…