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Sweet wines are not just for dessert. In fact, they can elevate your main course. Dishes that combine sweet and savory elements offer a sense of balance and can excite taste buds, but they also often present pairing challenges with dry wine. However, a bottle of sweet wine with bright acidity can be just the trick for courses that include ham, bacon, fruit, blue cheese, caramelized onions, baking spices, honey or balsamic vinegar, to name a few.
So, instead of saving your sweet wine for dessert, serve it alongside the main course or appetizer. Here are three ideas to get you started on the journey to appreciating all sweet wines have to offer.
Salty and Sweet
Sweet and savory pairings work in both directions: Dry wines with a sense of salinity are also a good choice for dishes that include fruit. The sweetness from the fruit and saltiness of the wine interact to please the palate. Consider a green salad with slices of apple or pear, figs with blue cheese and prosciutto, or a tomato and watermelon salad, and then pair it with a white wine with bold minerality and strong salinity. Think Assyrtiko from Santorini, Albariño from Rías Baixas, fino Sherry from Jerez, or Vermentino from Sardinia, all of which are grown and made close to the sea, and you are on the right track.