Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Pairing Wine With Candy

Pairing wine and food always seems to center around matching wines with meat, pasta or vegetables.  You can have a lot of fun pairing wine with candy, though.  If you've never tried it, it's a taste treat you need to experience.

Chocolate is a natural for pairing with red wines.  I find that dark chocolate works best, and reds with a soft mouthfeel go really well with it.  Try to stay away from reds with a lot of oak, or too much tannin.  Zinfandel, Syrah and Merlot are usually pretty good choices.

Chocolate candies with a creamy center of raspberry or cherry taste great this way, and the creamy center adds to the melt-in-your-mouth factor.  Port wine is nearly always a good choice for pairing with chocolates.

White wines can even be matched successfully with candy.  Try tasting a chocolate with a butter rum filling with a sip of Chardonnay, or a late-harvest Viognier.  Spicy candies - with peppers or chiles introduced to the mix - match up spectacularly with with a dry Riesling.

I recently found that brittle made with New Mexico chiles and pumpkin seeds was a perfect fit with Roussanne.  Throw a little goat cheese into the bite and you have a real delight.  With this kind of match, you want to use a white wine with a good deal of acidity.

What's your favorite candy?  Think about the flavors involved in it and pick a wine that suits those qualities.

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