Christmas Pairings: Pair wine and Christmas desserts

During the past week we have done well with a series of posts dedicated to pairing wine with the main Christmas recipes.

However all good things must come to an end so we are finishing our menu, but not before paying attention to Christmas desserts. Pay attention because we are going to explain some secrets about the main Christmas desserts in Spain and we are going to give you some advice about how to pair them with wine. Enjoy your meal!

mar_dul_nav A paradise for a person with a sweet tooth © IMEO

At any Spanish table, we always finish the Christmas dinner with a good platter of polvorones, turrones and mantecados

Turrones are made from boiling sugar or honey and adding dry fruits as well as almonds. A batter is created, which an egg white is then added to, and afterwards kneaded into a rectangle shape. It is based on a typical Arab sweet that arrived on the Mediterranean coast in the 11th century.

Today the turrón industry is located in Alicante with two denominations: Jijona and Alicante. The two types have a base of honey and almonds, but also the Jijona turrón is soft and made out of crushed almonds, and the Alicante one is a hard turrón made from whole almonds.

You can encounter all kinds of flavours, chocolate, coffee, rum raisins, cream and nuts…but the truth that never fails is that there is the hard turrón and the soft turrón.

The polvorones are small dry pastries with a base of almonds, flour, pig lard and sugar that has been boiled over a strong heat and it is crumbled before eating. The polvorones are more famous in the south of Spain, in Andalucía, however they are made in other areas of Spain.

The mantecados, meanwhile, are sweet and look like polvorones, however they do not usually contain almonds.

When pairing wine and Christmas desserts, we have thought of three recommendations. You will love them!

El Maestro Sierra Cream. The DO Jerez brand can boast about giving us some of the best sweet wines in the world. On this occasion, we are opting for a Cream, i.e. an Oloroso which has sweet Pedro Ximénez wine added to it and afterwards there is an aging with other soleras for a minimum of 5 years. We love this Maestro Sierra Cream because it gives us just the right amount of sweetness to accompany the dessert without us drowning in it.

Alceño Monastrell Dulce 2010. We travelled to DO Jumilla  to present you with a 100% sweet monastrell from Bodegas Alceño. A sweet Monastrell with a good length and a good point of acidity which takes our fancy as it perfectly accompanies these types of desserts.

Llopart Néctar Terrenal. We have come from a stream of established opinions in the last few years that have defended the quality of sparkling wines that can only be treated as Brut or Brut Nature. Fortunately, it seems that this trend is starting to be abandoned and consumers and wineries increasingly believe that sparkling wine can be dedicated to accompanying sweet desserts. This Llopart Néctar Terrenal is a very good example of this. A cava with the spirit of a dessert wine. Fresh and different. Very interesting.

These are our three recommendations to pair with desserts this 2014 Christmas. What wines would you recommend to us?

About Decántalo

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