another tough dessert pairing
Grilled pineapple with french vanilla ice-cream -- got the caramel, crazy acidity, strong sweetness and creaminess to boot... what to do...looking for a sweet wine, not sherry for this. Having considered both Sauternes and Tokai, I am now leaning towards the 2001 Philippe Delesvaux Coteaux du Layon Sélection de Grains Nobles. Any opinions?
I regularly make a similar dessert with fresh pineapple chunks that are sprinkled with Demerera sugar and then torched till the sugar forms caramel. I serve it with melon-ball-sized scoops of Haagen-Dazs Dulce de Leche ice cream. All this is all presented "lengthwise" in a banana split dish. I've done this about five times, and have always served Dolce, the Sauternes-like dessert wine made at the winery affiliated with Far Niente in Napa. It's one of my favorite pairings, so my vote is for something in the Sauternes or Barsac or botrytised wine category.
My sense on the pairing is that the pineapple finds some sort of commonality with the tropical fruit in the wine, same with the caramel and vanilla. Good acid cuts through the fat. I've never looked back since the first time I paired this with Dolce, but any Sauternes will do. Oh dear, perhaps I'm in a pleasure rut with this Dolce/Sauternes thing with this dish. Maybe I should branch out.
Through de-construction we can arrive at our best pairing options...
First, the dominant flavors here are likely carmelized pineapple and Vanilla...
PINEAPPLE: Vouvray Molleaux, Sweet Germans, Muscats, Sauternes
VANILLA: Muscats, Sauternes, Sweet Germans, Monbazillac. You've specifically excluded sweet sherries and madeira which are also very nice here.
SO... our list is reduced to the common wines: Dessert Rieslings, Muscats, and Sauternes...
NOW... the Ice Cream. PX Sherry again shines here, but we have precluded that. But even better with "ice cream" is a very rich muscat... de Beaumes de Venise or even better (depending on your palate), Liqueur Muscat...
Since sweet muscat is also a "finalist" in our pineapple and vanilla categories, it's the obvious first choice for me here.
As for "coating the tongue", if that were a problem with ice cream dishes we'd never cover them with chocolate syrup, caramel, etc. etc. :)... but it does raise an interesting option... if you want a sparkler which is more likely to be a "fat cutter" then look for a SPARKLING muscat... Moscato d'Asti here.
Don't serve any good wine at all. Cream coats the palate and will prevent any fine wine from being appreciated.
What you want is good acidity and high sugar. But not any kind of subtlety or quality.
If you have th money to waste, send me the money and I'll send you some expensive wine labels to glue onto cheap bottles to impress people!
Seriously - if you are determined by wine, go for something that will cut straight accorss the fruit and cream. Sauternes and Loire and any sweet white will try to partner it (with that creamy, fruity, acidic thing) and will ultimately fail. How about a decent vintage port to strip the mouth and really assert a different character? Or, maybe better, a kir royale made with simple sparkling wine and a good blackcurrant liqueur?