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The art of learning to pair wine with dessert is something thatyou will find helpful throughout your life. There are even culinarycourses, pastry classes and various books and websites devoted tothe topic, which simply highlight the importance of knowing yourwine when you dine. Whether you are ordering for yourself at arestaurant or entertaining guests, finding the perfect wine thatcomplements and doesn’t overpower the delicious natural flavor ofthe dessert is key to combining the best of both worlds.

Chefs who have attended a pastry college have learned the secrets to achieving a good,balanced wine selection that complements their creations. Samplingis definitely encouraged and once you understand the basics you canbegin to trust your own judgment and select whatever suits yourtastes. Many pastry schools also teach their students about pairing as partof the overall culinary experience. Here are some tips to get youstarted.

Red wine and chocolate

If you are serving any chocolate-based dessert, red wine is theway to go. With such a large category, however, there are some thatare notably better than others. When you are dealing with verylight chocolate, like white chocolate, it is best to go with a winethat is as sweet, if not sweeter, than the chocolate it isaccompanying. Most dessert reds have this same sweet aftertaste.Take a taste of the chocolate and a sip of wine to compare. As youmove on to the next darkest chocolate, make sure to cleanse yourpalate first with water and bread to remove all leftover remnantsof the previous wine and chocolate pairing.

If you are serving a dessert with milk chocolate, alighter-bodied wine is best. Whether you would like to stick withthose in the dessert category or try a pinot noir or merlot iscompletely up to you. Simply try out a bite of chocolate followedby a sip of wine and sample to your heart’s content. Slightlydarker chocolate pairs well with cabernet and red zinfandel, whilethe darkest are best complemented by a wine that is less sweetsince naturally dark chocolate has a more bitter, less sweet,taste.

Other popular dessert and wine pairings

When serving fresh fruit, a pastry or a pie filled with fruit,deciding whether you would like a sweet, fruity wine like rielsingor a contrasting flavor is all up to you. Cheesecake often goeswell with champagne or a light, crisp and bubbly tasting white andany dessert with coconut flavoring takes on a crisp and freshflavor when served with a sauvignon blanc. Most importantly, nomatter what the dessert, feel free to have fun and experiment onyour own. No combination can be “wrong” when it tastes great to youor your guests. If you would like to learn more about how to pulloff the best tasting dessert, enroll in a pastry degree program and you will not only amaze your friendsand family, you’ll also be turning your passion into a career.

Information in this article was provided by Le Cordon BleuCollege of Culinary Arts in Las Vegas. Contact Le Cordon Bleu todayif you’re interested in developing marketable knowledge andcareer-relevant skills with an industry-current degree program. (LeCordon Bleu does not guarantee employment or salary.)

Courtesy of ARAcontent