Compare & Contrast 5 Sweet Wines
Traditionally sweet wines are paired with dessert, right? Not so! Europe, especially France, has a long tradition of pairing sweet wines with savory foods. We know from experience at Quady Winery that many of our fans love to drink Electra Moscato with their meal – especially with bbq, picnic, or Asian cuisine! From taste to pairing ability, each of our wines has something dynamic and different to offer. Did you know that Essensia can be paired with chili? Or that Electra makes a mean accompaniment to sweet potato curry? You can get these recipes and find more delicious pairings below.
Inspired by the Sweet Wines of the World Seminar that our friend Ed Korry is presenting at the Boston Wine Expo this past week and featuring a few of our wines, we created this post to compare and contrast five sweet wines so that you can explore the differences between each and also learn how to pair the wines with delicious foods. Packed with bold fruit characteristics and perfect fruit acidity, Quady wines add a layer of brightness that brings forth the best in fruity, salty, rich and spicy foods. Sure to satisfy and stimulate your taste buds, enjoy Quady wines as a companion to your favorite savory flavors!
Essensia California Orange Muscat
A lightly fortified, aromatic Orange Muscat dessert wine
Color: Rich, golden amber
Aroma: Spicy orange and apricot
Flavor: Dried apricots, golden raisins, lemon-orange sorbet, spiced orange marmalade, sautéed almonds and white maple fudge finish
Body: Medium and seamless
Finish: Clean. No tannins or oak.
Essensia can often make a dramatic accompaniment to dessert. It is sufficiently sweet to harmonize with the sweetness in the dessert, has excellent acidity and stands up to assertive flavors. In savory pairings, Essensia shines when paired with dishes that are spicy, salty, and/or foods with higher fat content (like cheese). Delicious with ice cream, dark chocolate, almonds, pistachios, mint, honey, grapefruit, coconut, apple desserts, pumpkin pie and cheesecake. Dip in biscotti, use to moisten cakes and add to truffles.
Herbs: Rosemary, basil, thyme and mint
Spices: Cinnamon, cardamom, clove, cumin, Serrano chili peppers and black pepper
Fruit: Pear, peach, apricot, baked apple, pomegranate, coconut, grapefruit and lime
Veggies: Sweet potato, green onion, red onion, fennel, pumpkin and arugula
Nuts: Almond, macadamia and pistachio
Dairy: Goat cheese, chevre and mascarpone
Meats: Poultry, shrimp, scallop, pork and rabbit
Perfect Pairing: Sweet Savory Chili + Essensia
Not your everyday chili – fresh apple, dried fruit and cashews add sweetness and crunch to this savory comfort food classic. Sensational when paired with Essensia, the subtle spiciness and sweet savor of the chili is perfectly met with the spicy orange-apricot-pear flavors and aromas in the wine. Vibrant fruit acidity and the clean finish of Essensia make this a well-balanced pairing that will keep you engaged sip after sip.
2 cup thick and chunky salsa
2 cup can yellow hominy, rinsed and drained
2 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
3 ¾ cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
1 medium Granny Smith apple, chopped
1/3 cup cashews
2/3 cup dried apricots,
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 -3 tsps chili powder
Several dashes Tapatio hot sauce
2/3 cup coarsely chopped cashews
Granny Smith apple, finely slivered
1. In a Dutch oven, combine salsa, hominy, beans, broth, apples, apricots, cashews, cocoa powder, chili powder and Tapatio sauce. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
2. Top with chopped cashews, apple slivers and a squeeze of lime juice.
Elysium California Black Muscat
A lightly fortified, aromatic Black Muscat dessert wine, made from an unusual grape variety. Elysium is sweet but also has excellent acidity
Color: Light garnet
Aroma: Rose, raspberry jelly, Concord grape and red velvet cake frosting
Flavor: Cherry, strawberry compote and litchi
Body: Medium and seamless
Finish: Clean, no tannins or oak
Elysium is wonderful with desserts and cheeses, especially goat cheese or gorgonzola. Pair it with dark chocolate or red fruit tarts and pies, cream based desserts and cheesecake. Elysium poured onto vanilla ice cream is an effortless favorite.
Herbs: Sage, lemon verbena, rosehip and mint
Spices: Garlic, coriander, clove, ginger, green pepper and vanilla
Fruit: Lime, raspberries, peaches, plums, figs, orange zest and rhubarb
Veggies: Cauliflower, Beets and buttery lettuce
Nuts: Almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts and pecans
Syrup: Caramel and honey
Dairy: Cream cheese, gorgonzola, blue and sour cream
Meat: Poultry, roasted meats and pork
Perfect Pairing: Blue Cheese Roasted Cauliflower + Elysium
An enticing mix of roasted cauliflower, salty blue cheese, and luscious Elysium makes a pairing, fit for any occasion. With flavors of cherry, strawberry, and boysenberry syrup – Elysium’s perfectly balanced fruit acidity and velvety finish create a delicious experience when paired the pungent, salty and savory, complex notes of blue cheese.
1 large head cauliflower, leaves trimmed
2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
⅛⅛ teaspoon plus ¼ teaspoon salt, divided
2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon minced scallion greens
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1. Preheat oven 450°F.
2. Cut cauliflower into quarters. Remove any extra core from the ends. Keep the quarters intact.
3. Make the blue cheese vinaigrette by combining 1 tablespoon oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, blue cheese, vinegar, water, scallion greens and pepper in a small bowl.
4. Coat cauliflower with blue cheese vinaigrette.
5. Place cut-side down on an oiled baking sheet.
6. Roast the cauliflower for 15 minutes. Turn so the opposite cut sides are down. Continue roasting until tender, 10 more minutes.
7. Drizzle with blue cheese vinaigrette. Serve with Elysium Black Muscat Wine.
Electra California Moscato
Soft bubbles float over flavors of sweet citrus, peach and melon. A bouquet of wildflowers refreshes the senses. Electra Moscato is a Moscato d’Asti style wine for any occasion that calls for a light, spritzy and refreshing experience. Compared to other moscatos, Electra Moscato is more aromatic, crisp and refreshing. Whereas most moscatos are made from Muscat of Alexandria, Electra Moscto is over 75% Orange Muscat and the balance is Muscat Canelli. These varieties have smaller yields, and their aromas and flavors are more refined.
Color: Bright, golden amber hue
Aroma: White flowers, dried lavender and green apple skin
Flavor: Peach soda, apricot, melon and crystallized lime zest
Body: Refreshing and bubbly
Finish: Spritzy, light and lively tannins and no oak
Pair Electra with light desserts, fresh fruit, salads, spicy Asian and Indian foods, burgers with sweet sauce, blue skies and fresh air. With only 4.5% alcohol, you can still play volleyball after the picnic.
Herbs: Basil and ginger
Spices: Cinnamon, clove, vanilla, saffron, thyme, lemon verbena, chili, red curry, green curry and white pepper
Fruit: Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, bananas, orange, peaches, apricots, papaya and passion fruit
Veggies: Jalapeño peppers, sweet potatoes, red peppers, jicama, arugula and yellow onions
Nuts: Almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios and pecans
Dairy: Mascarpone, goat cheese, greek yogurt and sour cream
Meat: Fish and poultry
Perfect Pairing: Creamy Sweet Potato Curry + Electra
Comforting and creamy, this perfectly spiced Sweet Potato Curry is healthy and easy to make. The dishes natural sweetness and hints of heat make a delightful pairing with the refreshing peach soda and apricot flavors Quady Electra Moscato.
1 tablespoon oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 sweet potatoes
1 red pepper
3-4 cups thinly sliced fresh baby spinach
2-3 tablespoons curry paste
1 can regular coconut milk
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup heirloom rice
½ cup chopped peanuts and cilantro
1. Start your Heirloom Rice (follow directions on package)
2. Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into 1 inch squares. Thinly slice shallots.
3. Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and stir-fry until soft and fragrant. Add the sweet potatoes and stir to coat with oil. Add the curry paste and stir until well-combined.
4. Add the coconut milk and broth and let it simmer over low heat for 10-15 minutes until thickened. Serve over rice, topped with remaining peanuts/cilantro.
5. Chop the peanuts, dice the red pepper, and thinly slice fresh baby spinach.
6. Fill a bowl with Rice and Sweet Potato curry. Dress with toppings to taste. Serve with Quady Electra Moscato.
Red Electra California Moscato
Red Electra Moscato is made by combining Orange and Black Muscat grapes with Muscat Canelli and fermenting very slowly at a low temperature so they keep their delicious flavors.
Color: Light garnet
Aroma: Strawberry shortcake, cherry cobbler, raspberry jam and fruit roll up
Flavor: Fruit loops, cherries jubilee, succulent peach and mapled blueberries
Body: Bold and bubbly
Finish: Clean. No tannins or oak
Try Red Electra with your favorite desserts including bon-bons, truffles, holiday cookies, vanilla ice cream or fruit. Pass it around as a playful party companion. Red Electra makes delicious sangria, sorbet and ice cream floats.
Herbs: Mint and lemon verbena
Spices: Cinnamon and clove
Fruit: Peaches, apricots, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, lime and mango
Veggies: Salad greens, sweet potato, broccoli and yellow peppers
Nuts: Almonds, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts and pecans
Syrups: Carmel and honey
Dairy: Goat cheese, ricotta, buttermilk and yogurt
Meat: Fish and poultry
Perfect Pairing: Ahi Tacos & Kiwi, Tangerine Salsa + Red Electra
Sweet, tangy and spicy these fresh Ahi tacos are elevated to a whole new level of yum when paired with Red Electra. With flavors of sweet peaches and tart cherries, Red Electra’s sweet medium body and crisp soda accented finish that completes this vibrant dish.
1/3 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1 tsp lime juice
1/8-1/4 tsp wasabi paste, depending on taste
Kiwi Tangerine Salsa:
3-4 kiwis, peeled and diced
4 small or 2 medium tangerines, peeled and diced
1 cup peeled and diced jicama
½ cup diced red bell pepper
¼ cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small jalapeño pepper,
¼ teaspoon salt
Ahi Tuna Tacos
1 tsp olive oil
10 oz ahi tuna, 1 in chunks
2 tsp taco seasoning
4 flour or corn tortillas
1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients.
Mango Avocado Salsa:
2. Combine in a small bowl.
1. Season tuna on both sides with taco seasoning.
2. In nonstick pan, heat olive oil until hot. Sear Ahi 1 minute per side or until tuna is cooked on the outside, but rare inside.
3. Place seared tuna on a paper towel lined dish.
4. Cover tortillas with damp paper towel and microwave 30 seconds. Line tortilla with wasabi cream, fill with tuna and top with the kiwi-tangerine salsa. Serve with Quady Red Electra Moscato.
Deviation is an Orange Muscat wine infused with Rose Geranium and Damiana. The Rose Geranium leaves gathered from the Quady garden impart an herbal quality and an unusual finish in a sweet wine. Damiana, wild harvested from South America, was first used by the Mayans for its aphrodisiac properties and continues to be popular today for luck in love. To make Deviation, the herbs steep in Orange Muscat wine for seven days. The wine is filtered and bottled and held for one year before release.
Color: rich, golden amber
Aroma: Spicy orange, apricot
Flavor: Dried apricots, golden raisin, lemon-orange sorbet, spiced orange marmalade, sautéed almonds and white maple fudge finish
Body: Medium and seamless
Finish: Clean, no tannins or oak
Enjoy Deviation with pie, truffles, cookies, vanilla, cheese and fruit, as a palate cleanser, or in a cocktail. Drink it on its own as a dessert in itself.
Herbs: Rosemary, basil, thyme, lemon verbena, and mint
Spices: White pepper
Nuts: Almonds, pine nuts, macadamia, and pistachios
Veggies: Sweet potatoes, green onions, red onions, fennel, butter lettuce
Fruit: Pears, peaches, apricot, baked apples, grapefruit, lime
Dairy: Goat cheese, chevre, mascarpone.
Meats: Poultry, white fish, shrimp, and scallop
Perfect Pairing: Cooked Grapefruit Syrup and Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream + Deviation
Sweet, tart, and creamy this dessert is simple to make and delightful when paired with the aromas of rose geranium and burst of a flavor in Deviation.
Two pink grapefruits, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
Bourbon Vanilla ice-cream
1. Combine water and sugar in a pan over medium heat.
2.Grapefruit and cook down until sugar has turned into a thick syrup.
3. Scoop ice cream into a bowl. Top with cooked grapefruit pieces, drizzle with Grapefruit syrup and garnish with a mint sprig.