Knowledge Base

How to pair cake and wine

Although pairings for cake and wine are often an afterthought at a dinner party, any sommelier will tell you just how important a good dessert wine can be. The Drinks Cabinet has asked Australian food blogger Maya of Cake Factory to share her favourite ideas for presenting exceptionally decadent combinations of cake and wine. 

Riesling and Carrot Cake

Few cakes are as suitable for high-class occasions as carrot cake. Carrot cake has an understated elegance that makes it the cake of choice for many events. Its reputation as a healthier alternative to richer desserts only helps to cement its popularity.

Riesling is a white grape variety of wine. Originally developed in Germany, it is renowned for its flowery aroma. A Riesling will perfectly complement just about any carrot cake, provided you make sure your carrot cake is not excessively sweet. The flowery aroma of a good Riesling perfectly offsets the delicate carrot flavor of a good carrot cake.

The Right Wine for Chocolate Cake

Finding a good wine to pair with chocolate cake can be difficult. Many wines are overwhelmed by the rich chocolate flavor of a good chocolate cake. Your best bet is to choose a Cabernet Sauvignon. Cabernet Sauvignon is a popular red wine with a good full-bodied flavor. It tends to have a fairly high alcohol content.

Red wine and chocolate cakeA good Cabernet Sauvignon will be the perfect complement to a luscious chocolate cake. Unlike lesser wines, it is not easily overwhelmed.

Pairing Wine with Coffee Cake

While coffee cake has a reputation for being the cake of choice for informal events, the right coffee cake wine pairing is a gastronomic treat not to be missed. The trick to finding a wine that will pair well with coffee cake is finding a wine sweet enough to meaningfully impact the palate in the presence of the intensely sweet coffee cake.

Madeira is an excellent choice. It has a sweet taste that works very well with coffee cake. None of your guests will be disappointed if you offer them a glass of Madeira along with their coffee cake. In fact, you can expect the more gastronomically sophisticated ones to offer you many compliments.

While pairing the right wine with the right cake is not always easy, it is always worth making the effort. Pairing cake with wine is a mark of sophistication, and if you can demonstrate to your guests that you possess the ability to pair cake with wine well, you are almost sure to make a good impression. More importantly, you will also help them to enjoy the cake you offer them more.



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