Compare & Contrast 5 Sweet Wines

 In Pairings & Parties, Videos, Vya

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!

Quady Essensia Muscat Sweet Wine

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.

Flavor Pairing

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

Syrup: Maple

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

Lime wedges


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.


Quady Elysium Muscat Sweet Wine

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

Flavor Pairing

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.

Quady Electra Moscato Sweet 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

Flavor Pairing

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

Liquids: Honey

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.

Quady Red Electra Moscato Sweet Wine

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

Flavor Pairing

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.


Wasabi Cream:

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


Wasabi Cream:

1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients.

Mango Avocado Salsa:

2. Combine in a small bowl.

Tuna Tacos:

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.

Quady Deviation Muscat Sweet Wine


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

Flavor Pairing

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

Syrups: Honey

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

Mint sprig

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.


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