Holiday sweets bring out the kid in me, I think because they spark my childhood holiday memories of making cookies and candies by the dozen, baking pies and even making popcorn balls. Now that I’m grown up I’ve discovered the pleasure of pairing wine with classic holiday sweets. It’s fun because there’s such a diversity of styles to pair with just about every dessert tradition. For example, for your neighborhood cookie swap I suggest a tawny port, whose nutty-toffee flavors compliment everything from gingerbread cookies to snickerdoodles. A great compliment for classic holiday pies – apple, pumpkin, mincemeat – is ice wine, fermented from frozen grapes into a luscious nectar. And for fruitcake an Australian Tokay is worth the search because its raisin-y fig flavors pick up the fruitcake’s dried fruits perfectly.
Fonseca 10 Year Old Tawny, Portugal NV ($22) – The nutty, toffee flavors are like liquefied nut brittle – delicious!
Bonny Doon Muscat Vin de Glaciere, California 2004 ($14 half bottle) – I love this wine’s racy acidity, orange blossom scent and juicy peach flavor.
Chambers Liqueur Tokay, Australia NV ($17 half bottle) – This wine has a wonderful syrupy texture and a spicy-rich flavor that’s like Fig Newtons!
by Andrea Robinson