In the build-up to Christmas, during the period traditionally known as Advent, the glorious aroma of freshly baked Christmas biscuits and fruity Stollen fills the air in many a continental household. Delicious! But, if you’re looking for a wine to enjoy with sweet treats such as these, what should you opt for?
It comes as no surprise that it’s far from easy to choose the right wine to accompany baked Christmas treats – just think of all the sugar, nuts, chocolate, candied fruit and traditional spices that are poured into them! However, the same rule of thumb applies with these as it does whenever you harmonize food and wine: the former must not taste sweeter than the latter and so, the wine must be of comparable sweetness to the Christmas goodies or sweeter than them.
Tawny port to accompany nutty pastries
As well using the above ‘sweetness’ rule as your guide, you will find that a rather more heavy bodied and finely matured wine will be needed to complement the intense flavors of ginger-spiced nutty pastries; a tawny port that has matured for several years fits the job perfectly. With its nutty undertones and a silky yet fiery complexity, tawny port complements the spices and nuts found in these treats wonderfully. If you have chocolate in the mix too, especially if it’s bitter dark chocolate, a southern French Banyuls dessert wine is a perfect choice – it’s juicy and deeply expressive dark fruit acts as a fabulous counterpart to the chocolate.
Panettone with Moscato sparkling wine
If you are looking to serve a more vibrant and refreshing tipple alongside your sweet Christmas treats, try serving a slice of Panettone (the classic Milanese sweetbread) with a glass of fruity-sweet Moscato sparkling or semi-sparkling wine from the Asti province in the Piedmont region of northern Italy – a winning combination!
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