When looking to pair a wine with cuisine...

When pairing a wine with different desserts - the wine should be at least as sweet, if not a touch sweeter, than the main ingredient/character of the dessert you are serving it with. Otherwise, the taste may quickly turn towards sour notes. Just as you do with other cuisine - match lighter, more delicately flavoured desserts with lighter-bodied wines; likewise, the richer, more intense and even warm desserts, the more complex the wine should be. For example: a peach gelato ice-cream tends to pair well with a refreshing Asti or a slightly-sweet Prosecco - and boysenberry ice-cream pairs well with a chilled Ruby Port.
• Light, creamy textured desserts - wine suggestions:
These desserts tends to be light, smooth in texture and delicate in flavour, making an ideal candidate for a Moscato D’Asti, which offers a hint of carbonation, or a bright style ‘Late Harvest’ dessert wine. The Moscato D’Asti will pick up the creaminess of the dessert and the Late Harvest will pick up any citrus-fruit tones.
• Pastry, dried-fruits & nut desserts - wine suggestions:
A Botrytis style dessert wine will complement richer pastry notes and any accented baked / dried fruits. Plus a light style Marsala or aged 20+ Year old Tawny Port serve slightly chilled will pair well with roasted nuts.
• Dark fruits through to coffee, chocolate desserts - wine suggestions:
A rich or sweeter style sparkling rosé wine or better still a chilled Ruby Port will complement mixed berry fruits. As you move into coffee then levels of cacao-chocolate you need to more to rich, sweet wine like a Port.
Be careful when trying to pair sweet wines with ice-cream and desserts - as the two do not always match each other's intensity (mouthfeel) - but when paired well they are a perfect end to any occasion, plus neither can truly be at their very best nor truly enjoyed on their own.
The following are only suggestions, guidelines and starting points
 - enjoy the journey.

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Pavlova:

You are looking to complement the sweet meringue, and the crunchy/chewy texture and flavour of the cream and added fruits, making it an ideal candidate for a Moscato D’Asti, as it offers a subtle hint of carbonation.
An Asti or a 'Sweeter Style' Prosecco will pick up the creamy/chewy nature of the Pavlova and release the hidden flavours in the sugar content and then cleanse the palate.
• White Wine: Look to pair with an Italian Asti or Moscato D’Asti DOCG, a 'Sweeter Style' Prosecco or a quality Crémant or lighter style dessert wine.
• Red Wine: Difficult to pair, as most dry red wines with tannins will clash or overpower the delicate White Meringue, though a sparkling rosé can pair well.

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Panna Cotta:

You are looking to complement the white creamy, smooth delicate texture and flavour of the Panna Cotta, making it an ideal candidate for a Moscato D’Asti, as it offers a hint of refreshing carbonation.
A Moscato D’Asti or a 'Sweeter Style' Prosecco will pick up the creaminess of the sweetened cream thickened with gelatin and release the hidden flavours and then cleanse the palate.
• White Wine: Look to pair with an Italian Moscato D’Asti DOCG, Asti, a 'Sweeter Style' Prosecco or a semi-sweet Champagne/ Méthode wine.
• Red Wine: Difficult to pair, as most dry red wines with tannins will clash or overpower the delicate creamy notes - but is served with mixed berries a chilled Ruby Port is an option.

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Apple Tart:

You are looking to complement the savoury nature, the texture and flavour of the baked apples and biscuit base, making it an ideal candidate for apple/pear style Champagne, as it offers an uplifting carbonation.
A pip-fruit, or biscotti style Champagne or Méthode will pick up the rich texture and characters of the Apple Pie and release the hidden flavours in the sugar/ pastry and then cleanse the palate.
• White Wine: Look to pair with a pip-fruit or biscotti style Champagne or Méthode, a 'drier-style' Prosecco or Late Harvest or Vin Doux Naturel style wine.
• Red Wine: Difficult to pair, as most dry red wines with tannins will overpower and clash with the baked apple flavours.

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Passionfruit Cheesecake:

You are looking to complement the light, creamy texture and flavour of the cheesecake and passionfruit syrup topping, making it an ideal candidate for a Late Harvest wine, as it offers a complementary sweet-freshness.
A ‘Late Harvest’ Sauvignon Blanc will highlight the lighter characters of the cheesecake and release the hidden flavours in the sugar and syrup glaze and then cleanse the palate.
• White Wine: Look to pair with a Late Harvest style dessert wine or an Italian Asti or Moscato D’Asti DOCG, and a 'sweeter style' Prosecco.
• Red Wine: Difficult to pair, as most dry red wines with tannins will overpower and clash with the bright passionfruit cheesecake flavours.

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Poached Pear:

You are looking to complement the medium-firm texture and flavour of the Poached Pear and the wine/port/sugar syrup it has been poached in, making it an ideal candidate for a Ruby Port wine, as it offers a complementary berry-freshness.
A ‘chilled’ Ruby Port will complement and balance the poached characters of the pear and release the hidden flavours in the wine sugar syrup and then ready the palate for the next bite.
• White Wine: Look to pair with a Sparkling Rosé, Mateus Rosé, Moscato D’Asti DOCG, and 'sweeter style' Prosecco, plus a Botrytis dessert wine.
• Red Wine: If served cold, can be hard to pair, as most dry red wines with tannins will clash with the poached pear flavours, but on this occasion a chilled Ruby Port will pair perfectly.

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Walnut Cake:

You are looking to complement the rich sponge, texture and flavour of the walnut and coffee cream layers and walnuts on top, making it an ideal candidate for a 20-30 Year Old Tawny Port, as it offers the ideal nutty complement.
A more subtle nutty nature of an aged Tawny Port will pick up the texture and nut-characters of the Walnut Cake and release the hidden flavours and then ready the palate for another bite.
• White Wine: Look to pair with an aged Late Harvest or Vin Doux Naturel or a quality Botrytis style or Tokaji dessert wine.
• Red Wine: Difficult to pair, as most dry red wines with tannins will clash - but an aged 20, 30 or even a 40 Year Old Tawny Port and an aged Marsala will pair very well.

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Lemon Meringue Pie:

You are looking to complement the fluffy meringue, and the texture and flavour of the lemon curd and biscuit base, making it an ideal candidate for a slightly sweet Prosecco, as it offers a hint of refreshing carbonation.
A 'sweeter style' Prosecco or Asti will pick up the creamy light characters of the Lemon Meringue and release the hidden flavours in the sugar sweetness and then cleanse the palate.
• White Wine: Look to pair with an Italian Asti or Moscato D’Asti DOCG, a 'Sweeter Style' Prosecco or Late Harvest style wine - or a chilled Limoncello.
• Red Wine: Difficult to pair, as most dry red wines with tannins will overpower and clash with the delicate Lemon Meringue flavours.

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Berry Semifreddo:

You are looking to complement the smooth creamy texture and flavour of the semi-frozen cream, custard and any added fruits, making it an ideal candidate for a Sparkling Rosé as it offers a subtle lift of carbonation.
A sparkling rosé, Moscato D’Asti or sweeter style Prosecco will pick up the smooth-creamy nature of the Semifreddo and release the hidden flavours in the sugar and then cleanse the palate.
• White Wine: Look to pair with an Italian Asti or Moscato D’Asti DOCG, a 'Sweeter Style' Prosecco or a quality Crémant or lighter style dessert wine.
• Red Wine: Difficult to pair, as most dry red wines with firm tannins will overpower the delicate Semifreddo characters, though an off-dry Sparkling Rosé will pair very well.

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Crème Brûlée:

You are looking to complement the rich custard, and the creamy texture and flavour of the hardened caramelised sugar crust on top, making it an ideal candidate for a Botrytis style dessert wine.
A generous Botrytis dessert wine or Vin Santo will pick up the creamy characters of the custard and release the hidden flavours in the sugar and then ready the palate for another bite.
• White Wine: Look to pair with a Botrytis or Tokaji dessert wine, or a Vin Santo sweet wine or an aged/ rich style Late Harvest style dessert wine.
• Red Wine: Difficult to pair, as most dry red wines with tannins will overpower and clash with the rich custard flavour.

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Berry Cheesecake:

You are looking to complement the creamy texture and flavour of the cheesecake and dark berry syrup topping, making it an ideal candidate for a chilled Ruby Port wine, as it offers a complementary berry-freshness. A ‘chilled’ Ruby Port will complement and balance the berries of the cheesecake and release hidden flavours in the syrup glaze and then cleanse the palate.
• White Wine: Look to pair with a Sparkling Rosé, Mateus Rosé, Moscato D’Asti DOCG, and a 'sweeter style' Prosecco, plus a Botrytis dessert wine.
• Red Wine: Difficult to pair, as most dry red wines with tannins will clash with the berry cheesecake flavours, but on this occasion a chilled Ruby Port will pair perfectly well.

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Cannoli:

You are looking to complement the rich, firm cone texture and flavour of the cream core and added pistachios, roasted nuts etc, making it an ideal candidate for an aged Marsala, as it offers the ideal nougat complement.
An aged or mature Marsala or an aged Tawny Port will pick up the crunch and nut-characters of the Cannoli and release the hidden flavours in the pistachio creamy and then ready the palate for another bite.
• White Wine: Look to pair with an aged Late Harvest or Vin Doux Naturel or a quality Botrytis or Vin Santo style dessert wine.
• Red Wine: Difficult to pair, as most dry red wines with firm tannins will clash - but an aged, chilled Marsala, plus a 20, 30 or even a 40 Year Old Tawny Port will pair very well.

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Tiramisu:

You are looking to complement the tiramisu chocolate and its subtle coffee and liquor flavours and the combination of sponge and cream texture, making it an ideal for a 20yr Old Tawny Port, as it offers characters of dry fruits and nuts, with subtle coffee notes.
The 20yr Tawny Port will pick up the sutble coffee notes & chocolate cream and release the hidden flavours in the sugar layers and a smooth finish.
• White Wine: Can be difficult to match as most white / dessert wines will not be strong enough to balance the chocolate, brandy and coffee notes.
• Red Wine: A full bodied, rich red wines will overpower - but with a Tiramisu a perfect pairing is with a slightly chilled 20 or 30 Year Old Tawny Port, an aged Marsala, also a Pedro Ximénez.

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