Autumn, and most particularly Easter, is a time to enjoy the sweet indulgence of desserts and nothing pairs better than a glass, or two, of dessert wine
Whether it’s a category you’re familiar with or you’re ready for some experimentation, dessert wines have much to offer and more variety than you’d think.
“There’s huge diversity in dessert wines, from the less to the more sweet wines that are really clean and fresh, and wines that are unctuous and full bodied,” says Brown Brothers wine ambassador, Andrew Harris. “In a classic style, you’ve got German rieslings, that tend be tight and fresh and light, right up to something like the Tokaji wines of Hungary, which are big and quite powerful and rich.”
DESSERT MATCHING TIPS
“My preference is to go weight for weight, pairing lighter dessert wines with something like lemon tart, pana cotta, crème brûlée; and heavier and richer dessert wines with puddings and richer chocolate desserts,” advises Harris.
Harris says that cheese and dessert wines make a fantastic combination if you select the right cheeses. “The ones that work best are the really stinky ones, washed rinds, really creamy or intense blue cheeses, and because of the dessert wine you can really play around with the accompaniments.”
RECIPE: Harris’s top recipe is to marinate dried apricots in some Tricia Noble Riesling or muscat overnight, remove the apricots and reduce the syrup down to half in a simmering pot on the stove. He then adds the apricots back in and serves them with blue cheese and the matching dessert wine. “Failing those efforts, you can get some really lovely fruit breads that have a lovely sweetness to them to pair with the cheese and wine,” he says.
ANDREW HARRIS'S TOP DESSERT WINE RECOMMENDS:
- Brown Brothers Orange Muscat and Flora: “A dessert wine with a nice balance between sweet and fresh.”
- Tricia Noble Riesling: “This is Brown Brother’s most awarded wine in terms of international wine shows. Because it’s a botrytis wine [where the grapes have been affected by the botrytis funghi, which gives them deliciously concentrated sugars and greater acidity], I would describe it as having a real marmalade flavour, so you’ve got the sweetness and honey tones to it, but also this lovely citrus element that comes through.”
- Brown Brothers Moscato Rosa: “This is on the border of dessert wine, it’s very drinkable, more like an everyday wine that also work really well paired with dessert.” A muscat with a rosé colour, you’ll find aromas of rose petals and red berries, and a slightly fizzy finish.