Dark ruby red in color, this is a port-like dessert wine with intense aromas of dark cherries, ripe plums, cocoa powder and candied orange peels. Chocolate covered cherries, raisins and bitter orange are evident on the palate, with ample tannins on the finish. The wine’s chocolatey overtones are an obvious match to the tart’s chocolate component, and the spicy orange elements in the wine highlight the pumpkin, clove, nutmeg and ginger perfectly. The wine is powerful enough to stand up to a rich texture of a custard-based dessert, but still feels light on its feet due to a nice balancing acidity. Banyuls may be hard to find, but well worth the effort!
Banyuls falls under the category of Vins Doux Naturels (or VDN), which means wines that are naturally sweet. Like ports, these wines achieve their sweetness by being fortified with clear grape spirits, similar to brandy, to stop fermentation early so the wine retains its sweetness. Fortification also means that these wine are higher in alcohol, usually 16–17 percent. VDN wines can be both red (like Banyuls), or white. A good rule of thumb when pairing desserts with dessert wines is that tree and stone fruit-based desserts go with white desert wines, and chocolate-based desserts are best paired with red desert wines.
Also pairs well with blue cheeses, coffee-flavored dessert, dried fruit, nuts.
- Category Dessert Wine
- Varietal Grenache
- Region Roussillon France