Fruit-based desserts

March 24, 2023Pairing food

What wines pair best with fruit-based desserts?

For many fruit-based desserts, consider pairing them with thick, dark, sticky, unctuous dessert wines such as Moscatel, PX Sherry, or Rutherglen Muscat. These wines can also work well if the dessert is similar to caramel or butterscotch sauce. Many fruits pair well with these dark, sticky wines, including banana – think banoffee pie. Desserts featuring grapes can be paired with Muscat wine, as it is the primary family of wine grape varieties also grown for eating. For gently flavored tropical fruits, a sweet Muscat or a Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon dessert wine from around the world can also work well. Oranges can be difficult to pair with wine, but if the flavor is not too pronounced, a dessert Muscat with marmalade flavors may work. Lemon, lime, and grapefruit can also be tricky to pair with wine, but a dessert Riesling or a molasses-laden PX Sherry may be options. Apples and pears can be paired with Chenin Blanc, which has apple aromas and flavors and is available at a range of levels of sweetness to suit both savory and sweet dishes. The Loire Valley, particularly the central region around Anjou, is the home of Chenin Blanc. Classic dessert wines for apples and pears include Côteaux du Layon and Bonnezeaux. Blackberries can be paired with sweet Chenin Blanc, but cider may be even better, as apples often accompany blackberries. You could also try a Sauvignon-Semillon wine like Saussignac with a dish featuring gooseberries. For cherries and plums, red sparkling Brachetto d’Acqui is an option – most other sparkling reds are too dry. Strawberries and cream are traditionally paired with brut Champagne, but Demi-Sec usually works better. For more pairing options, you may also want to consult the two other dessert categories, as there is often scope for overlap. Some top choices for pairing with fruit-based desserts include Rutherglen Muscat from Australia, Coteaux du Layon from the Loire Valley in France, and Moscatel Sherry from Andalucia, Spain.