By Margie Raimondo :: Photography by Jamison Mosley

Throw out any beliefs about wine and desserts. It’s all about enhancing the taste of both.

Wine glasses courtesy of Everyday Chef.

My grandfather always said, “Food is the celebration of life and wine is the extension of a good life.“ Going by that mantra eliminates a lot of barriers in paring food and wine. Essentially, if it makes you happy, drink the wine!

There are a couple of things to keep in mind to help you maximize your food and wine experiences. Two principles to consider: you can complement or you can contrast the most dominant flavor in your primary dish.

 


 

Complement pairing food & wine have similar flavor profile.

An example of this could be to pair a smooth and creamy texture dish, such as fettuccine alfredo, with a sharp, crisp wine like a sauvignon blanc. Another would be a full-bodied warm wine, such as a cabernet or merlot, with a cold cheese platter.

 


 

Contrast pairing food and wine flavor profiles are distinctly different. 

Sometimes a dry red wine is the best choice. It’s true that sweet needs sweeter. Even if you are not drawn to the sweeter wines such as a port or a dessert wine, try taking a sip of either before, and then again, after biting into a dense fudgy cake to be completely transformed.

 


 

All desserts are not sweet.

Take a salted caramel cheesecake or a tiramisu; the dominant element in these desserts is fat from the cheese and custard respectively. With each one, a deep red wine, rich in tannin, a petit Syrah for example, would be perfect.

 


 

Tray courtesy of tanarah luxe floral