The art of learning to pair wine with dessert is something that you will find helpful throughout your life. There are even culinary courses, pastry classes and various books and websites devoted to the topic, which simply highlight the importance of knowing your wine when you dine. Whether you are ordering for yourself at a restaurant or entertaining guests, finding the perfect wine that compliments and doesn't overpower the delicious natural flavor of the dessert is key to combining the best of both worlds.
Chefs who have attended a pastry college have learned the secrets to achieving a good, balanced wine selection that compliments their creations. Sampling is definitely encouraged and once you understand the basics you can begin to trust your own judgment and select whatever suits your tastes. Many pastry schools also teach their students about pairing as part of the overall culinary experience. Here are some tips to get you started.
Red wine and chocolate
If you are serving any chocolate-based dessert, red wine is the way to go. With such a large category however, there are some that are notably better than others. When you are dealing with very light chocolate, like white chocolate, it is best to go with a wine that is as sweet, if not sweeter, than the chocolate it is accompanying. Most dessert reds have this same sweet aftertaste. Take a taste of the chocolate and a sip of wine to compare. As you move on to the next darkest chocolate, make sure to cleanse your pallet first with water and bread to remove all leftover remnants of the previous wine and chocolate pairing.
If you are serving a dessert with milk chocolate, a lighter-bodied wine is best. Whether you would like to stick with those in the dessert category or try a pinot noir or merlot is completely up to you. Simply try out a bite of chocolate followed by a sip of wine and sample to your heart's content. Slightly darker chocolate pairs well with cabernet and red zinfandel, while the darkest are best complimented by a wine that is less sweet since naturally dark chocolate has a more bitter, less sweet, taste.
Other popular dessert and wine pairings
When serving fresh fruit, a pastry or a pie filled with fruit, deciding whether you would like a sweet, fruity wine like rielsing or a contrasting flavor is all up to you. Cheesecake often goes well with champagne or a light, crisp and bubbly tasting white and any dessert with coconut flavoring takes on a crisp and fresh flavor when served with a sauvignon blanc. Most importantly, no matter what the dessert, feel free to have fun and experiment on your own. No combination can be "wrong" when it tastes great to you or your guests. If you would like to learn more about how to pull off the best tasting dessert, enroll in a pastry degree program and you will not only amaze your friends and family, you'll be turning your passion into a career.
Information in this article was provided by Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Las Vegas. Contact Le Cordon Bleu today if you're interested in developing marketable knowledge and career-relevant skills with an industry-current degree program. (Le Cordon Bleu does not guarantee employment or salary.)
Courtesy of ARAcontent