Pairing Wine With: Dessert

10th August 2016

Carrot cake cheesecake iStock_000075531637_Small

For those of us with a sweet tooth, (or a mouthful of them) dessert is the best part of the meal and there are some truly staggeringly good desserts out there. From classics such as tiramisu to new age spectaculars from the likes of Heston and friends, dessert is always a treat, but what should you have in your glass to accompany your dessert?

Let’s take a look at the most classic categories of dessert and see exactly which wine you will want keeping them company on your table.



Chocolate is the heavyweight champion of desserts and it is often revered as a flavour to pair anything with. Whilst there are even specific chocolate wines out there, they are really more of a curiosity piece and what you really need to accompany a chocolate dessert is a light and fruity red.

Chopped chocolate

A light Pinot Noir should accompany a chocolate dessert to perfection and provide the perfect fruity compliment to the deep, rich indulgence of something like a semifreddo.



Whilst citrus desserts have waned in popularity recently, they are still an incredibly delicious and  perfect ending to a white meat main. Probably the greatest of all citrus desserts is a well-executed lemon tart (this recipe from James Martin is perfect) which will always impress dinner party guests.

Tarte au citron

The problem with pairing this with a wine though is that it is very sharp, sweet and intensely flavoured which tends to leave most wines tasting a little thin alongside them. The best choice is a light and fruity white wine such as a high quality Reisling served very cold, it will act as a perfect refreshment between bites ensuring that every spoonful is as enjoyable as the first.



Much maligned of late as the reserve of the child’s birthday party, cakes are far more than that and there are some incredible recipes out there. From a caramel Pecan cake to a pear upside down cake, they will impress and are sure to not last very long once they hit the table.

Naked cake with cream

Pairing a wine with cake is a little easier than other desserts as you can be far more flexible with your pairing. The best pairing though is a traditional dessert wine, either a lightly or a richly sweet wine will go perfectly with a decadent dessert. Seek out a high quality Sauternes dessert wine and you will never be disappointed by your purchase.


General Rule of Thumb

If your dessert doesn’t exactly fit into any of the above categories then worry not as there is a general rule that the darker the desserts colour, the deeper and ricer the wine paring should be. The most important thing of course is that you focus on finding a quality wine, regardless of type.

So the next time you host a dinner party and want to show off your latest dessert then worry not as you will know the perfect wine to pick from your spiral wine cellar and serve with it to wow your guests.

For information on pairing wine with other food stuffs such as cheese, simply keep an eye on our blog for regular updates.