Sometimes you want to finish dinner with a glass of sweet wine with the dessert. There are many types of sweet wines to choose from, such as sauternes, port wine, vin doux naturel, tokaji (or tokaj), sherry, vendange tardive and much more. So what wine to choose with what food? We had the opportunity to try several different types of sweet wines to various desserts when wine importer Sigva showed its line-up of sweet wines. BKWine’s Anette Zellen Soderstrom enjoyed the sweets and gives you her favourite combinations.
The table overflows with all kinds of sweet things, caramel fudge, brownies, fruit salad, creamy cheese concoctions and much more. To all this, I will try to pair some drinkable sweets.
It is not all that simple pairing desserts with the right wine, sweetness in one will need to meet another sweetness and sometimes acidity, unctuousness, bitterness, etc. As most people know astringency is hard to match; the wine should preferable not have much astringency at all, otherwise the combination will highlight the astringency / bitterness on all sides. Equally the wine must not be too sweet as any bitterness in the food / dessert will also highlights that quality. Today, however, we had no bitter tastes, except perhaps the chocolate in the brownie cake.
Wine and food matches
Castelnau de Suduiraut 2008, Sauternes
Chateau Suduiraut dates back to the 16th century and is today one of the most beautiful chateaux in Bordeaux. In the 1855 classification the chateau was classified as premier cru, and is well-known for its quality.
It smells wonderfully of apricot and honey. The flavour has hints of exotic fruits. One can also feel the barrel ageing in a nice and integrated way. With the blue cheese mousse this wine was excellent, even with the fruit salad with crème vanilla it was a treat. The caramel fudge is heavenly good and goes well with everything. In this case, it matched the wine well even if the next wine was an even better combination.
Price ~18 euro. (* aproximate price based on retail price in Sweden)
Disznoko Tokaji Aszu 5 Puttonyos 2001
Grape composition of this wine is 75% furmint and 25% zeta. After harvest, they are separated and the “nobly rotten” grapes are gently foot-treaded. The “healthy” grapes are pressed and macerated in cool temperature for 3 days. After this process the two are blended together and the process can begin. The wine has matured in lightly toasted small Hungarian and French oak barrels.
The colour is golden and the aroma has flowers, peach and honey. Long, sweet flavour with round acidity. Matches the fudge perfectly. At home my favourite is crème brûlée to which a tokaji 3-5 puttonyos goes just fine. (3 if I cut down on the sugar otherwise the 5 fits better).
Noval 10 Year Old Tawny Port
Touriga nacional, tinta roriz, touriga francesa and tinta barroca. Foot-treaded in traditional lagares.
This smells like toffee or perhaps burnt sugar and made me think of Christmas. The flavour has dried fruits and nuts. It matches perfectly with chocolate in all forms, but also caramel or fudge goes well. I myself am crazy about liquorice; I must buy one bottle and try if it works.
Price: ~23 euro.
Noval Late Bottled Vintage Unfiltered 2007
Touriga nacional, tinta cao, tinta roriz, touriga francesa, tinta barroca. 40% is foot-treaded and fermented in traditional lagares, the remaining grapes are fermented in stainless steel tanks.
The aroma has dark berries and chocolate, the sweetness is not so evident as in the Noval 10 Years Old Tawny. The taste has cherries and chocolate, good acidity. This went very well with the blue cheese mousse, chocolate and even to the fruit. A really good combination is with a chocolate mousse.
Price: ~19 euro.
Quite full with sweets by this time I ended the day with a beer.
Sassy Lassy Pale Ale
Unfiltered and unpasteurized top-fermented of Californian type. That is the profile of the beer produced by Stefan Risberg, who after 17 years on the British Isles moved back home and started DesignBrew in 2012. This is a bit like a dessert too, I think, with its flavour of fruit and liquorice, crisp bitterness in the aftertaste. Spicy food would fit this.
Price: ~2.20 euro.
New launches from Sigva and Vinia
At the next table two new launches caught my attention:
Org de Rac Shiraz Reserve 2011, Swartland, South Africa
Lovely concentrated on the nose on the palate, flavours of dark berries and chocolate.
Aged for 20 months in barrels, 80% in new oak barrels (80% French and 20 % American).
Price: ~18 euro.
Les Pious 2012, Remi Pouizin, Cotes du Rhone.
Pepper and berries on the nose and in the flavour. An easy-to-drink barbecue wine or why not with a picnic. “Packaged” in PET bottle!
70 % grenache, 30% syrah. Organic.
Price ~10 euro.
An interesting exploration of sweetness and food and wine pairings. I am since long a convert to desserts and trying new things is always exciting. Everything was delicious, but especially the 10 Years Old Tawny Port from Quinta do Noval.
The tasting was arranged by the wine importer Sigva and its sister company Vinia Sweden AB.
Anette Zellén Soderstrom writes on BKWine Magazine mostly about wine and wine tastings in Stockholm. She is an avid wine taster with a long tasting experience and is currently studying to become a sommelier.
This post is also available in: Swedish