Wine & Food Pairing Tip: Sweet Wine

I am a firm believer that everybody should eat and drink what tastes good to them.  That simple.  Every person has a different palate.  Every person finds different tastes pleasurable.  Find what makes your tastebuds sing and go with it! That being said, there are many wine and food pairing tips that work beautifully for the majority of the population.

When the wine is sweet:

* If you’re serving the wine with dessert, choose a dessert that’s less sweet than the wine, or else the wine will taste sour.

* If the wine is not too sweet (closer to off-dry), try serving it with foods that are slightly sweet to complement it, or dishes that are mildly hot or spicy as a foil.

* Try playing the wine against dishes that are a little salty; you may find some fun combinations, especially with chesses and many Asian and Nuevo Latino, North African, Floridian/Caribbean or Hawaiian-influenced “tropical” preparations.

Moscato versus Moscato d’Asti

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I first discovered Moscato d’Asti when I was in college, having what I then considered a fancy dining experience at Biaggis.  The wine was light, crisp, and effervescent with the perfect touch of sweetness.  Although I have now tried many different brands of Moscato, I have never found any that rivals the original one I tasted, Bricco Riella Moscato d’Asti.

Moscato wines are produced from the muscat/muscadet/moscato bianco grape and are a sweet white wine, often considered a dessert wine.  When it is followed by d’Asti, that indicates that it has been produced in the province of Asti, in northwest Italy.

In my experience, most of the Moscato wines I have tried tend to be too sweet for my palate while the Moscato d’Asti wines seem to strike the right balance of being refreshing and crisp without too much residual sugar.

My favorite, Bricco Riella Moscato d’Asti tends to be reasonably priced, usually ringing in under $20.

Wine & Food Pairing Tip: Sweet Balances Spicy

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I am a firm believer that everybody should eat and drink what tastes good to them.  That simple.  Every person has a different palate.  Every person finds different tastes pleasurable.  Find what makes your tastebuds sing and go with it! That being said, there are many wine and food pairing tips that work beautifully for the majority of the population.

If the meal you are savoring incorporates spicy notes, it is beneficial to imbibe with something that has a cooling effect on your mouth.  This can be challenging because the alcohol in wines often antagonizes the heat of the hot spice, reducing the likelihood that your palate is able to cool down. Because of this, it is vital for wines that you drink with a spicy dish to contain a lower alcohol level.  Balancing the spice by drinking a wine with residual sweetness diminishes the perception of heat.

The next time you find yourself ordering or preparing Thai or Indian food, try pairing them with a Riesling, Moscato or Gewurztraminer.