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Pairing Desserts and Wine- Part 3 How And Why!

This is the final installment of the dessert and wine pairing series, If I had tried to put all of this in one post it would be as long as a novel, so I decided to break this up into a series of 3 posts. The first was an explanation of desserts wines and the science involved in pairing taken from Julians blog, Vino in love. Post #2 is the actual desserts and the wine recommendations,  and the third will tell you why the wines were chosen for each dish.

Below is an explanation as to why these particular wines were chosen for each dessert. Cheers!

When desserts meet wine

Only recently, I wrote about pairing wine with desserts. I have teamed up with Suzanne from apuginthekitchen to present to you awesome dessert and wine pairings. If you want to know more about the desserts that Suzanne and I picked to pair with wine then read this post on apuginthekitchen.

In the final part of this mutual collaboration, I want to talk about why I decided to pair these wines with Suzanne’s desserts.

Stuffed pears en papillote

Suzanne’s Stuffed pears en papillote pair very well with a Passito di Pantelleria. For example we could pair this dessert with the Ben Rye from Donnafugata. Why? The answers is quite simple. The pears are steamed in brown sugar and stuffed with walnuts. Sweet desserts like this one call for a wine that has a good amount of sweetness itself. It should not be overly sweet though. Furthermore, the Ben Rye has a bouquet that includes candid oranges, which pair with pears en papillote very well.

Trabucchi d’Illasi’s Recioto di Soave is a great match for a fig and goat cheese tart. The flavor of the figs and the aromas of the Recioto di Soave (elderflower, chamomile, white chocolate, aromatic herbs, etc.) pair well together. This Recioto is also not that sweet. We also need a wine with an ABV between around 10% and 13.5%. A Passito di Pantelleria would be too intense and also too strong. That would cause the wine to dominate the dessert, which we want to avoid. The Recioto di Soave however, is a very elegant wine. It has an ABV of 12.5% which is perfect for this dish.

Ceretto Asti SpumanteThe buttermilk panna cotta called immediately for a Moscato d’Asti Spumante. Moscato d’Asti Spumante are sweet, fruity and usually have a very low ABV (often around 7%). These wines have a little bit of acidity as welll. And with pannacotta we want exactly that. The Moscato d’Asti Spumante from Cerotto has a good quality-price ratio and is the perfect match for Suzanne’s buttermilk panna cotta.

Pasticciotti filled with vanilla cream are a traditional dessert from Apulia, Italy. These delicious pastries also call for a sparkling wine and why not pair Apulian food with Apulian wine? Sometimes it is best to go with food and wine from the same region. Therefore, I decided to pair Suzanne’s Pasticciotti (you have to try them! They are so tasty!) with a Moscato di Trani Spumante. Pasticciotti are dry and pretty sweet. One of my favorite Moscato di Trani Spumante is produced by Azienda Agricola Franco di Filippo. Both of their Moscato di Trani Spumante will work excellent with Pasticciotti. These “Champagne-like” sparkling wines (“Champagne-like” because they are manufactured after the Classic-Method process) have a long-lasting perlage, an intense nose and a great palate. They tend to have less acidity then Moscato d’Asti Spumante. However, Moscato d’Asti Spumante are usually produced after with Martinotti-Method and not with the Classic-Method.

Recioto della Valpolicella - Trabucchi d'Illasi

Trabucchi d’Illasi does not only make a stunning Recioto di Soave but also an even better Recioto della Valpolicella. Recioto della Valpolicella is produced similar to Amarone. Grapes get sun-dried for around 40 days on straw-mats where they lose around 80% of their weight. This gives Trabucchi’s Recioto della Valpolicella a rich nose and an intense palate. The nose is incredible with a lots of different aromas. The finish is persistently long. I have baked Suzanne’s semolina olive oil myself and served it with Trabucchi’s Recioto della Valpolicella. A good match which I highly recommend.

Last but not least I paired the spicy chocolate panna cotta with aCognac. I am of the opinion that chocolate desserts like chocolate panna cotta or chocolate cake do not pair well with wine. A Portuguese Port wine would have worked as well but with these type of desserts your best bet are spirits like Brandy and Cognac – in fact Cognac is a type of Brandy from France. If matching chocolate desserts with alcohol then you have to go with strong spirits. Of course, we could also serve this delicious dessert with an espresso which would be the “Italian way”.

Photo Credits: Stuffed pears en papillote by Suzanne. All rights reserved
Ceretto Asti Spumante by Ceretto 
Recioto della Valpolicella – Trabucchi d’Illasi 
by Julian Rossello. All rights reserved.

This brings our dessert and wine pairing series to an end. I hope you have enjoyed it. Let me know what you think about these pairings. With what do you pair your favorite dessert usually with?


17 Comments Post a comment
  1. wineking3 #

    Very nice post. Love the explanations. If the Recioto Valpolicella wasn’t that expensive I would buy a bottle immediately and try it together with the semolina olive oil cake.

    March 9, 2013
    • Thanks so much, I am going to try to buy all of the wines, some are pricey so I may have to purchase one or two at a time. The Valpolicella is the first one I want to try with the cake.

      March 9, 2013
  2. I find this post very helpful. Thank you for posting this Suzanne 🙂

    March 9, 2013
  3. Sean P. #

    That’s what I wa looming for yesterday 😀
    Now it’s eaiser for me to understand these pairings.

    March 9, 2013
    • I know, I couldn’t wait for Julian to put it together. Much easier to understand. Thank you.

      March 9, 2013
  4. Panna cotta and cognac – absolutely agree. Delicious!

    March 9, 2013
  5. Awesome info! Thanks again Suzanne for sharing. I’m grateful! It will be really exciting to try these out sometime in the future.

    March 9, 2013
    • Thank you I loved doing this series. It’s so interesting and I also hope to try out the wines with each dessert soon.

      March 9, 2013
  6. petit4chocolatier #

    Excellent Suzanne and I love all the pairings. This was informative, interesting, and delightful. I feel like I went to a glorious wine tasting and dessert event. Your desserts are exquisite and paired with the right wine makes it even better 🙂

    March 9, 2013
    • Thank you Judy, me too, I want to make all the desserts and buy all the wines and have a tasting event. You are so kind, thank you again.

      March 10, 2013
      • petit4chocolatier #

        I have to tell you that your recipes are showcase recipes. That Semolina cake could be sold in fine restaurants among your other creations. You may want to think about it!!

        March 10, 2013
      • Thank you very much, you are just so kind. I can only dream!

        March 10, 2013
  7. Guess what? I have homemade panna cotta and a bottle of moscato d’asti in my fridge RIGHT NOW! Woo hoo! 😉

    March 10, 2013
    • Oh wow, Christina, please let me know how you like them together, I saw your panna cotta on your site and it’s beautiful!!

      March 10, 2013
    • What a coincidence! Did you like the pairing?

      March 10, 2013

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