I hope you had a fantastic Halloween. I thought this holiday was as good an occasion as any to test a basic rule of wine: the rule about pairing wine with dessert. At the two tastings I led this week, I had my hosts put out candy, in addition to the normal wine tasting foods, and I asked the guests to try each candy with each wine. Please continue reading to see what we discovered.
What Is the Rule for Pairing Wine with Dessert?
The age-old rule is that a wine should be sweeter than the dessert it’s paired with. The experts say that if you pair a drier wine with a sweeter dessert, the wine will taste incredibly bitter and acidic. YUCK. Why is that? Well, the experts say that a wine’s acidity becomes really prominent when the wine isn’t as sweet as the dessert. And the sweeter the dessert, the worse the experience.
The Results of the First Tasting
In the first tasting, we used candy corn and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups as our candies of choice. As I’m sure you remember, candy corn is incredibly sweet. So, the only wine candy corn went well with was Muscat. With all the other wines, the taste was really bad.
While Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are sweet, the peanut butter seems to tone down the sweetness somewhat. This candy went pretty well with all but the driest red wine.
The Results of the Second Tasting
In the second tasting, we had a wide array of candies, including Kit Kats, M n M’s, Snickers, Milky Way and York Mint Patties. The Mint Patties were bad with everything, which I think calls for another wine rule to be added: that mint is tough to pair with wine J Besides the mint, we found that all the other candies went well with the Muscat. With the Rosé wine, all the candies except those with caramel in them worked well. With the red wines, nothing seemed to work. We didn’t have any Reese’s at this tasting. So that might have worked with the sweeter red.
The Not-so-surprising Conclusion
When it comes to pairing wine with dessert, I think the experts know what they’re talking about. To get the most out of the wine and the dessert, you definitely want to make sure your wine is at least as sweet as the dessert it’s paired with.