Fruit Wine Pairings for the Holidays

The holidays are fast approaching and festive cooking in now in full swing.

For those of us that love to make or buy fruit wines, the question of pairing food and fruit wines always comes up. Pairing food and regular grape wines is also an art but there is so much out there in books and on the internet that making pairing decisions is a lot easier than with fruit wines. There simply is not a lot out there and most of the successful pairing come about through trial and error.

There has recently been an extravagant fruit wine and food pairing done at the Calgary Farmer’s Market, in Calgary, Alberta by a fruit winery there and I thought I would share this to get your taste buds flowing and inspire you to come up with your own fruit wine and food pairing for the holidays. I have included a link to a recipe that you can use to pair with the wines. Enjoy!

1. Black Currant Dry Wine: dry, delicate aroma, crisp finish

Food Pairing: Sushi

Reason for the pairing: The wine is light and delicate and will not overpower the fish

2. Cherry Dry wine: a balanced but intense nose, delicate palet, slight acid finish and easy to drink

Food Pairing: A salmon based dish

Reason for pairing: The slightly bigger nose of the wine will be able to match the higher flavoured salmon.

3. Raspberry Dry wine: dried fruit nose, off-dry, good structure and mellow finish

Food Pairing: Festive Poultry

Reason for pairing: The body of the raspberry is smooth and well structured but the tannins are low enough to go well with poultry and not over power it.

4. Strawberry/Rhubarb wine: white zin like nose, more musky pallet, delicate and drying finish

Food Pairing: A light salad with fruit

Reason for pairing: A picnic wine that goes perfectly with light, California style salads

5. Berry Blend wine (strawberry, raspberry, saskatoon berry): off-dry, more fruity pie flavour, soft but fresh finish
Food Pairing: Great with easy eating, flavorful meals such as pizza

Reason for pairing: The smoked chicken and herbs on the pizza will increase the complexity of the wine.

6. Strawberry Dessert wine: more intense strawberry nose, apricot, rich pallet, golden, like a good Late Havest wine.

Food Pairing: Apricot based marmalade Cake

Reason for pairing: The rich almost floral flavors will go well with this wine that is reminiscent of a vidal late harvest wine.

7. Wild Black Cherry Port: musky, ripe stewed fruit, good acid balance finish

Food Pairing: Creme Brule

Reason for pairing: The acid balance will go perfectly with a rich, creamy creme brule

8. Saskatoon Fortified Dessert wine
: musky, foxy, stewed fruit, canned fruit, some brown sugar, exotic nose

Food Pairing: Gorgonzola and Walnut-Stuffed Apples

Reason for pairing: The port style wine will go well with the nut flavors of the walnuts and the almost musky flavors of the cheese. The wine is also rich enough to cut through any crisp apple flavors.

9. Raspberry Fortified Dessert wine: rich, decadent, goes with chocolate, alcohol finish, can cut through the Chocolate, pure raspberry nose

Food Pairing: Almost anything with chocolate

Reason for pairing: The raspberry dessert wine is one of the few wines that will pair well with chocolate. A perfect marriage and great for romantic moments.

10. Black Currant Dessert:
Candy pallet, lively, rich, inviting, pure black currant

Food Pairing: How about finishing off the tasting with a sparkling wine? Kir Royal

Reason for pairing: I think this would end the tasting on a great note and get people in the mood celebrating the holidays in a great way.

If any of you like any of the above pairings, let me know. If you would like to share any of your own fruit wine and food pairing ideas, I would love to hear from you.

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