The Best Desserts To Pair With Ice Wine

Glass of ice wine in vineyard
Glass of ice wine in vineyard - Willhowecreative/Getty Images

Unlike regular bottles of wine that come from grapes harvested during their in-season, ice wine is made from those that are harvested in the middle of winter. During this time of year, the fruit has frozen over and when they're fermented, you get a much sweeter bottle of alcohol. Those saccharine flavors make it a dessert wine, perfect for enjoying as a finish to your favorite meals. As such, you might also want to pair them with your favorite sweet dishes, whether that's chocolate cake, classic blueberry pie, or something else entirely.

Erin Henderson, certified sommelier and founder of the wine events company, The Wine Sisters, spoke with Daily Meal and provided a few exclusive insights into ice wine and how to pair it with desserts. "I am generally a believer in 'rules were meant to be broken,' but when it comes to pairing sweet foods, I'm afraid it's pretty cardinal," she explained. "Wines always must be sweeter than food, otherwise both end up tasting flat, bitter, and astringent."

Read more: Cake Hacks Every Baker Will Wish They Knew Sooner

For Chocolate Desserts, Think Red Ice Wines

red wine and chocolate
red wine and chocolate - Anton27/Shutterstock

If you love desserts like homemade chocolate pudding, Erin Henderson suggests a red variety like cabernet sauvignon Ice wine. "The robust red fruit notes work so beautifully with these chocolates — think of it like chocolate-covered strawberries or raspberry-filled chocolate cake," she said. Other similar wines you could try here include syrah, shiraz, and zinfandel. These kinds have jammy flavors with notes of things like blackberries, currants, and raspberries that can pair well with your cocoa-laden treats.

However, there is one exception to the red ice wines with chocolate suggestion. "If we are talking about white chocolate ... a delicate riesling or ice wine, which has notes of peach, pineapple and apricot really compliment," Henderson noted. White chocolate has no cacao solids, which not only gives it a lighter color but also a buttery, sweet taste. Those flavors pair well with fruity drinks, particularly ones with a light acidity that helps to balance out the richness of the treat.

If It's Fruity Flavors You Like, Both Reds And Whites Can Work

Wine and peaches
Wine and peaches - Knape/Getty Images

If you prefer an old-fashioned peach cobbler to a slice of chocolate cake, Erin Henderson has recommendations for you too. "If this is something warming and dense like a cherry tart or poached pear, red might be a better pairing," she explained. Other instances might include fruity treats that are typically baked with lots of spices. Apple or pumpkin pie, for instance, adds a warm and cozy feel thanks to the cinnamon, nutmeg, and other ingredients. These may better complement the warm, rich, full-bodied flavors of red ice wine.

On the other hand, if you've got something with a different tasting profile, other options might be a better fit. "If we're talking about something really bright and tart like a lemon curd or peach pie, I would stick with the white," Henderson said. Other fruit flavors that could work better with a white ice wine include something like a lemon sorbet or a fruit mousse. The texture and cold temperature can lend to a lighter mouthfeel, which may work best with white varieties.

Ultimately, with Henderson's guidance, there's plenty of room to get creative with your pairings. Use her suggestions or branch out and find your own way to match your favorite dessert to your drink.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal.