Some combinations of wine and fruits have become indisputable classics. For example, Rosé and strawberry are not only romantic but also satisfying from the gastronomic point of view. It is no surprise that wine and fruit complement each other but in actuality: Wine and Fruit either emphasize and enhance each other or, on the contrary, are combined according to the principle of “opposites attract”. Some citrus fruits do not match the taste of exquisite dry wine, while sweet fruits make dessert varieties too cloying. After all, not every drink can cope with the excessive sweetness, acidity, or the specific taste of certain fruits. In other words, fresh fruits and berries are great as a dessert, but for wine, especially dry wine, it is better to look for an alternative. There are some simple rules, you can follow, to be able to create wine and fruit pairings that work to perfection, and we are here to help!
It is particularly important to pay attention to the color of the fruit when pairing it with wine. Relatively speaking, lighter (yellow and green) fruits favor white wines more, while dark (red and purple) fruits complement reds. It is not a coincidence that when we talk about our white wines, we often talk about the aromas of apples, pears, and citrus fruits, and in red wines, we get berries, plums, and fig notes. The only exception is oak-aged tannins – it is best to save them for a more substantial dinner – BBQ or red meat. Now, let’s talk some fruits:
Pineapple is the fruit of a perennial herb native to South America. Portuguese sailors, having reached the shores of what is now Brazil for the first time and having tasted pineapple, called it “the most delicious fruit on earth.” The Spaniards, because of the outward resemblance, called it “bump” (piña), later this word migrated into many languages, including English. Hence the famous ” Piña Colada “, a cocktail based on rum, pineapple juice, and coconut milk was created.
There are many types of pineapple, but they are all high in acids. Fruit that is not ripe may even cause irritation so only sweet wines can compensate for such acidity. Our 2019 Ephemere Vidal Blanc will perfectly cope with this and enrich the tropical taste of the fruit with nuances of orange peel and honeydew.
The fruit of a plant named genus Musa, the banana is, strictly speaking, a berry. Bananas are typically eaten fresh, and as plantains that require heat treatment. In some countries, bananas are an important part of the local diet. For example, a citizen of Burundi eats an average of 190 kg of bananas a year. Even though some Latin American countries hold the title of “Banana” Republics, the world leaders in fruit cultivation are India and China. Bananas are used in many classic American desserts, such as banana split and banana cream pie.
Combining bananas with wine is not difficult, there is no bitterness or acidity in them. The average banana contains about 16 grams of sugar, so wines must be picked from the dessert category. Our 2019 Reserve Riesling will complement the simplistic and iconic taste of the fruit with notes of sweet melon, peach, and honey-apricot.
There are suggestions that the fig tree is one of the first plants domesticated by man. It is mentioned in many sacred texts, that it was with the leaves of the fig tree that Adam and Eve used to cover themselves. Figs are incredibly tasty, but they do not tolerate transportation well, so they are usually found in the form of dried fruits, preserves and jams. Fresh figs go perfectly with our 2019 Ephemere Baco Gamay and our 2019 Ephemere Gamay Noir. These wines are best served slightly chilled for a more fruity and silky steam.
Kiwi is originally from China, however, it gained worldwide fame thanks to the New Zealanders. In the middle of the 20th century, the fruit entered the country under the name “Chinese Gooseberry”. New Zealand breeders have worked on the size of the fruit and sugar content and brought out the fruit we know. The new name was not immediately thought of, but the similarities between the local kiwi bird and the green fruit did not go unnoticed. This is how the name kiwi appeared, which officially took root on the market only in the 1990s. Drier wines combine perfectly with the sweet and sour taste of kiwi. Our 2018 Select Fleur Des Marais will not only complement the Kiwi taste, but will additionally give you very unique and tropical notes on top of it!
Despite the name, coconut is not a nut, but a stone fruit, just like a cherry or a peach. Originally from South Asia, however, thanks to the Portuguese sailors, it has spread throughout the world. There is a story about it coming to America long before the era of the great geographical discoveries, which some scientists interpret as evidence of contacts between the Indigenous inhabitants of the two continents before the arrival of Europeans. Others say that the coconut is waterproof and could easily float across the Pacific Ocean on its own. The fruit also owes its name to the Portuguese. The three dark spots on the surface of the fruit reminded them of demonic eyes and mouth, so they gave it the name “coco”. That was the name of the monster that scares children, comparable to the “boogeyman”. Oily coconut pulp requires wines with a similar structure. Our 2018 Ephemere Pinot Grigio Vidal is not only perfectly structured to complement the Coconut, but also will give you a very pleasant and clean aftertaste on the finish!
When Europeans speak of mango, people from Asian countries ask: “What kind of mango?”, because there are more than 300 varieties of this fruit. It is common in Southeast Asia and is the national fruit of India, Pakistan, and the Philippines. Chutney is made from unripe sour mango in India, while sweet ones are typically used for desserts and drinks. Ripe mangoes are high in sugars and low in acids. Our 2019 Select Sauvignon Blanc, with its aromas of lemon, green apple and grapefruit will add the much-needed acidity to your mango and will leave your palate wanting more!
Passion fruit is a fruit, or rather a berry, of a passionflower plant. It is called the “fruit of passion”, which is why many believe that passion fruit has aphrodisiac properties. Passion fruit is common in countries with tropical climates and is used both fresh and in desserts, drinks, jams, and hot dishes.
Passion fruit has a sweet and sour taste at the same time, but acidity often dominates, so it is worth playing either on similarity or in contrast. Our 2019 Select Sauvignon Blanc will exude passionfruit aromas, so the combination will turn out to be similar, however, in this case, the acidity multiplier may not be pleasing to everyone’s taste. Of the sweet wines, the most successful pairing will be our 2019 Ephemere Vidal Blanc and our 2019 Ephemere Gamay Noir.
The suggested recommendations can also be used for desserts with matching fruits. However, keep in mind that when combined with sweet dishes, the wine should always be sweeter than the dish, otherwise the taste may be overcome by that of the dessert.
To learn more about Wine and Dessert combinations, happily check out our Perfect Dessert Pairing blog!
Cheers from us at Holland Marsh Wineries!