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Food Pairings that Go Well with Ice Wine

Ice wine, with its intense sweetness and rich flavors, is often considered a dessert in itself, but it can also be a versatile partner for a variety of foods. When pairing ice wine with food, the goal is to balance the sweetness and acidity of the wine with the flavors of the dish. Here are some specific food pairings that harmonize beautifully with ice wine:

Food Pairings with Ice Wine

Niagara is Famous for Ice Wine
Niagara is Famous for Ice Wine

1. Cheese

  • Blue Cheese: The bold, pungent flavors of blue cheese such as Gorgonzola or Roquefort are complemented by the sweetness of ice wine.

  • Aged Cheddar: The sharpness and slight bitterness of aged cheddar can be a good match for the sweetness of the wine.

  • Triple Cream Brie: The rich and creamy textures of brie or Camembert create a delightful contrast with the acidity in ice wine.

2. Foie Gras

  • Foie Gras Pâté: The luxurious, buttery texture and rich flavors of foie gras are perfectly offset by the acidity and sweetness of ice wine.

3. Desserts

  • Fruit-Based Desserts: Tarts, pies, or pavlovas with apricot, apple, peach, or berries can complement the fruity notes in the wine.

  • Dark Chocolate: Bitter or semi-sweet dark chocolate can provide a nice contrast to the sweetness of ice wine.

  • Crème Brûlée: The caramelized sugar top and creamy custard pairs well with the texture and flavor profile of ice wine.

4. Spicy Foods

  • Asian Cuisine: Spicy dishes from Thai or Indian cuisine can be cooled by the sweetness of ice wine.

  • Spicy Glazed Meats: Dishes like spicy glazed pork or duck can be balanced by a sip of ice wine.

Seafood and Ice Wine are a Good Pair
Seafood and Ice Wine are a Good Pair

5. Seafood

  • Lobster and Scallops: Rich and sweet seafood dishes, especially when accompanied by a fruit-based sauce or glaze, can be enhanced by ice wine.

6. Charcuterie and Pâtés

  • Meaty and savory pâtés, terrines, and charcuterie boards with a selection of cured meats can be well-paired with the sweet and acidic notes of ice wine.

7. Roasted Nuts

  • Candied Nuts: The caramelized sweetness of candied nuts can echo the sweetness in ice wine.

  • Spiced Nuts: Spices can bring out different notes in the wine, making for an interesting pairing.

8. Salty Snacks

  • Pretzels or Salted Nuts: The classic combination of sweet and salty can be particularly enjoyable with ice wine.

Sushi and Ice Wine are a Good Pair
Sushi and Ice Wine are a Good Pair

9. Sushi

  • Certain types of sushi, especially those with a bit of sweetness like eel (unagi) or some types of sashimi, can pair well with ice wine.

When pairing ice wine with food, it is essential to consider the intensity of the wine's sweetness and the potential for it to overpower some foods. A good rule of thumb is to ensure that the dish is not sweeter than the wine. Serving the wine well-chilled can also help to enhance its refreshing qualities and make it a more versatile pairing partner.


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