The most important rule to remember when matching wine and desserts is that a sweeter wine is always better. Wine that doesn’t have ample sugar levels will invariably taste thin and tart.
Botrytis affected wines fit the bill nicely. Late harvest wines generally aren’t as sweet as their Botrytis cousins, but still offer excellent matching with lighter desserts.
Another wine you should consider is a Moscato. This fruity sweet semi-sparkling white wine is low in alcohol (around 5 per cent) and is heaven when drunk with fresh fruit and other light fruity desserts.
Ice cream is almost like chocolate in its difficulty to match wine with. If it’s merely an accompaniment to a slice of cake or pudding, it shouldn’t pose too much of a problem and you should continue with your normal wine matching. If however you’re sitting in front of the TV smashing a litre of ice cream, this is probably not the best wine partnering moment! The creaminess and the coating ability of the ice cream, along with the cold temperature are very difficult for any wine to deal with.
Chocolate is also hell to match a wine with – and that’s because it is super sweet and coats the palate. The only wine that can step up to the challenge is a rich Liqueur Muscat or Tokay.
Thanks to renowned Sydney restaurant, Yellow, which let Conrad and I take over their restaurant recently. Their desserts are heavenly. Read all about the winning wines of the recent International Sweet Wine Challenge here.