5 Best Food and Drink Pairings

Dessert and Wine
Several red wines enhance the flavor of chocolate desserts.
Several red wines enhance the flavor of chocolate desserts.
©iStockphoto.com/Bill Lawson

Most folks know a little bit about pairing their favorite entrées with the right variety of red or white wine, but they might be a little more in the dark when the dessert menu rolls around. Chocolate desserts are a staple for many and the flavor can be enhanced if you pair it with a vintage port wine. Cognac (a spirit made from distilled wine) and bordeaux also taste good with chocolate recipes. Dark chocolates go well with the softer flavor of a merlot, and desserts combining chocolate with berries can be paired with the rich, deep flavors of a cabernet sauvignon.

Cheesecake is a tough match, but your best bet is a dry or sweet riesling. This is also a good wine to pair with any kind of fruit tart, pie or turnover. When in doubt, serve some champagne or sparkling wine -- they should go with most any dessert recipe.

To learn even more about how to match drinks to your meal, follow the links below.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles


  • Brewers Association. "Pairing Beer with Food." Beertown. 2009.http://www.beertown.org/education/pairing.html
  • Cooking Solutions. "Food & Wine Pairing, Wine Pairing Advice." 2009.http://www.cooking-solutions.com/winepairing.html
  • Koscica, Milica. "Cognac: The Elixir of the Gods." American University. April 2004.http://www1.american.edu/TED/cognac.htm
  • LeDraoulec, Pascale. "Ten Perfect Food & Wine Pairings." Forbes. March 4, 2008. http://www.forbes.com/2008/03/04/wine-food-pairing-forbeslife-cx_pl_0304wine.html
  • Shea, Lisa. "Chardonnay Wine Food Pairings." Wine Intro. 2009. http://www.wineintro.com/food/types/chardonnay.html
  • Shea, Lisa. "Red Wine and Food Pairings." Wine Intro. 2009.http://www.wineintro.com/food/charts/redwine.html
  • Shea, Lisa. "White Wine and Food Pairings." Wine Intro. 2009. http://www.wineintro.com/food/charts/whitewine.html
  • Shea, Lisa. "Wine and Cheese Pairing Guide." Wine Intro. 2009. http://www.wineintro.com/food/cheese/winechart.html


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