The right wine pairing can enhance any dessert. The key is to find a wine that complements the flavors present in the dessert rather than pairing with this a wine that vies for attention. We’ve laid out the most popular pairings below, but that doesn’t mean our pairing suggestions are the only options.
Follow these guidelines when pairing wine and dessert at home:
- Go for a wine that is sweeter than your dessert dish to accentuate rich flavors
- Prevent clashing tastes by pairing similar flavors together
- Narrow your search to include only wines that have 50 and 150 g/L of residual sugar content
Pinot Grigio is a drier wine and not generally a go-to for drinking with richer desserts. But if you just can’t get enough of your favorite Pinot, then we recommend going with desserts that aren’t too sweet. This will keep your dessert from drowning out the intricate flavors within your wine.
This means most chocolate-based desserts should be skipped. Instead, go for lighter, fruity desserts.
Moscato is a sweet, light white wine that can be delicious with the right dessert pairing. Match it up with desserts featuring fruits and hazelnuts. It’s also better paired with white chocolate over milk or dark chocolate.
Sauvignon Blanc can range in flavor from peachy and light to more tangy and zesty. This dry wine features notes of peach, lime, and green apple. Because it is a dry wine, it’s best to pair it with lighter dessert options. This keeps this white from presenting as bitter or sour.
Riesling can be sweet or dry, generally carrying notes of citrus and green apple with it either way. This is a complex wine that needs a dessert that meshes with its fruity flavors and vibrant acidity. Riesling can enhance the subtle sweetness in desserts featuring fruits, like cobblers and pies.
Christner’s Pairing Favorite
Our delicious, refreshing Strawberries Romanoff is complete with vanilla ice cream topped with strawberries that have been marinated in Grand Marnier and powdered sugar. A perfect match for sweet and dry Rieslings.
Cabernet Sauvignon is more commonly served along with red meats, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be paired with desserts as well. You’ll just need to be especially careful about what you choose to pair it with.
The big and bold flavor profile Cabernet Sauvignon provides needs a dessert that can keep up with its complexity. It should be paired with rich and heavier desserts, nothing too delicate.
A versatile red, Pinot Noir tends to have a fruit and spiced flavor with aromas of ripe red fruit. This fruit-forward dry red pairs best with dark chocolates.
Many proseccos are extra-dry or Brut. Be careful about what types of desserts you pair these wines with. Remember, sweeter desserts need sweeter wines. If you’re planning for a decadent dessert go with a ‘demi-sec’ or ‘doux’ Prosecco.
Fruit tarts are ideal for less sweet Proseccos while cheesecakes are perfectly paired with a sweet Prosecco.
Christner’s Pairing Favorite
Mandarin Orange Cake
Our three layer mandarin orange cake is perfect for enjoying alongside Prosecco. It has sweet tropical pineapple-orange whipped cream icing and is served a la mode with orange sauce.
This pink wine with its crisp flavor has become quite a favorite among many wine-lovers. You have a number of options when it comes to dessert pairings but you’ll need to keep one thing in mind. Rosés tend to be a dry winemaking them unsuitable for cream-based desserts. But, you can mix Rosé with chocolates for a delectable pairing.
Sherries generally start from the Palomino grape but are then fortified through a process of maturing, cask-aging, and blending to transform it into its final form which ranges from light to dark and dry to sweet. While Sherries are varied in nature, and this will inspire your dessert pairings, you’ll want to remember one important pairing tip: You can’t go wrong with nuts when it comes to Sherry pairings.
This unique savory and nutty quality of Sherries make it great for pairing with vanilla ice cream, tiramisu, and carrot cake.
Port is a fortified wine from the Douro Valley in Portugal (it can’t come from anywhere else or it isn’t a true Port). Port wines come in a variety of styles from vintage to ruby and white to tawny. If you’re looking for general Port-approved dessert pairings, we suggest rich desserts.
Selecting a Versatile Wine for Dessert
Serving a number of desserts or just want something versatile? We recommend Port and Champagne when pairing with any dessert. These wines are good go-to’s when you aren’t sure how to pair or you don’t know what dessert you’ll be having.
Try a Glass at Christner’s
If you’d like to try a glass of wine, visit our location in Orlando. At Christner’s, we have more than 4,500 bottles of wine to choose from. If you want assistance in selecting a wine, our in-house sommelier is happy to assist you with finding pairings.