Baklava is a sweet dessert that has layers of filo pastry, chopped nuts, spices and a syrup or honey glaze. The best wines to pair with Baklava are sweet wines with a fruitiness or nuttiness, such as Sauternes, Tawny Port, Sherry, and Madeira. Sparking wine, Late Harvest Riesling, and Late Harvest Gewurztraminer also make excellent wine pairings with Baklava.
When pairing wine with Baklava, it’s essential to consider the sweetness level of the wine. You want to choose a wine that is at least as sweet as the dessert to avoid making either the wine or the Baklava taste flat or unbalanced.
Sauternes and Baklava make for a delightful and unexpected pairing that combines the richness of a sweet dessert wine with the indulgent flavours of a traditional Middle Eastern pastry. Sauternes is a luscious and complex French dessert, and it is known for its golden hue, intense sweetness, and a beautiful balance between acidity and decadence.
Baklava, on the other hand, is a rich and flaky pastry that originated in the Ottoman Empire and is now popular across many Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines. It is typically made with layers of thin phyllo pastry, finely chopped nuts, and a sweet syrup or honey, resulting in a dessert that is both crunchy and tender, with a hint of aromatic flavours.
When these two distinct treats come together, the combination is truly harmonious. The intense sweetness of Sauternes perfectly complements the delicate layers of buttery phyllo dough and the nutty filling of the Baklava. Sauternes’ rich flavours of honey, apricot, marmalade, and exotic spices add depth and complexity to the experience, enhancing the overall enjoyment of the dessert.
The pairing works so well because the high sugar content and natural acidity of Sauternes help balance the Baklava’s sweetness. The wine’s acidity cuts through the richness of the pastry, preventing it from becoming overwhelming on the palate. Additionally, the wine’s fruity and floral notes create a beautiful contrast with the nutty and spiced flavours of the Baklava, creating a symphony of taste sensations.
When serving Sauternes with Baklava, it is recommended to chill the wine to enhance its refreshing qualities and serve it in small glasses or wine goblets to fully appreciate its aromas and flavours. The wine should be sipped slowly, allowing its sweetness to mingle with the various textures and flavours of the Baklava, creating a delightful balance between the two.
Overall, the pairing of Sauternes and Baklava is a match made in culinary heaven. It brings together the best of both worlds: the opulence of a luxurious dessert wine and the exotic allure of a beloved Middle Eastern pastry. Whether enjoyed after a meal or as a standalone indulgence, this combination is sure to satisfy even the most discerning of palates, leaving a lasting impression of culinary delight.
Tawny Port and Baklava Pairing
Tawny Port and Baklava form a delectable pairing that combines the rich and nutty flavours of the fortified wine with the sweet and delicate layers of the Middle Eastern pastry. Tawny Port, a style of Port wine produced in Portugal’s Douro Valley, is renowned for its mellow, aged character and notes of caramel, dried fruits, and toasted nuts.
The pairing of Tawny Port with Baklava is a delightful balance of flavours and textures. The wine’s caramel and nutty notes beautifully complement the nut-filled layers of the Baklava, enhancing the overall taste experience. The sweetness of the Tawny Port harmonizes with the sweet syrup or honey that coats the Baklava, creating a luxurious combination that is both indulgent and satisfying.
The aged character of Tawny Port, developed through extended barrel aging, adds complexity to the pairing. The wine’s oxidative notes, such as toasted almonds and hints of toffee, blend seamlessly with the flavours of the Baklava, creating a harmonious fusion of tastes. The smooth, velvety mouthfeel of Tawny Port provides a pleasant contrast to the crispiness of the pastry, elevating the overall enjoyment of the combination.
To fully appreciate the Tawny Port and baklava pairing, it is recommended to serve the wine slightly chilled, around 12-16°C (54-61°F), in small glasses or port wine goblets. This helps to emphasize the wine’s flavours and maintains its refreshing qualities. The Baklava should be served at room temperature to maintain its desired texture and allow its aromas to be fully appreciated.
When enjoying this pairing, take small sips of the Tawny Port, allowing its flavours to meld with the nutty and sweet characteristics of the Baklava. Let the wine wash over your palate and enjoy the interplay of tastes as the richness and complexity of the Tawny Port complement the intricate layers and nutty goodness of the Baklava.
PX Sherry and Baklava Pairing
Pairing sherry with Baklava creates an intriguing contrast of flavours and intensities. The wide range of Sherry styles allows for various pairing options. For the purpose of this description, we will explore two contrasting styles: Fino and Pedro Ximénez.
Fino Sherry is a bone-dry style that exhibits a pale straw colour, delicate aromas of almonds and yeast, and a crisp, refreshing character. When paired with Baklava, the dryness and subtle nutty flavours of Fino Sherry complement the nut-filled layers of the pastry. The wine’s crisp acidity cuts through the sweetness of the Baklava, preventing it from becoming overwhelming on the palate. The result is a harmonious balance between the wine’s refreshing qualities and the rich, sweet characteristics of the Baklava.
On the other hand, Pedro Ximénez (PX) Sherry is an intensely sweet style made from sun-dried grapes, showcasing flavours of raisins, caramel, and figs. When paired with Baklava, the luscious sweetness of the PX Sherry complements and enhances the pastry’s sweet syrup or honey. The wine’s rich flavours mingle with the nutty layers of the Baklava, creating a luxurious and indulgent combination that satisfies the sweet tooth.
To fully enjoy the sherry and baklava pairing, consider the following serving suggestions. For Fino Sherry, serve it chilled between 7-9°C (45-48°F) in a white wine glass to allow the aromas to flourish. Enjoy small sips of the wine to appreciate its delicate and crisp nature, savouring the contrast with the Baklava’s flavours.
When it comes to PX Sherry, serve it at room temperature or slightly chilled, around 14-16°C (57-61°F), in small glasses or dessert wine goblets. This allows the wine’s rich and syrupy qualities to shine alongside the Baklava. Sip and relish the combination, letting the decadent flavours intermingle on your palate.
Cava Sparkling Wine & Baklava Pairing
The pairing of cava with Baklava is a marriage of contrasting sensations that complement and elevate each other. The lively bubbles and crisp acidity of cava act as a refreshing palate cleanser, cutting through the sweetness and richness of the Baklava. The effervescence adds a lively and celebratory element to the tasting experience, enhancing the enjoyment of both the wine and the pastry.
Cava’s bright and citrusy flavours, along with its floral and toasty notes, create an exciting contrast to the nut-filled layers of the Baklava. The wine’s lively acidity helps balance the sweetness of the pastry, preventing it from overwhelming the palate. Meanwhile, the nutty and aromatic qualities of the Baklava provide an interesting counterpoint to the vibrant flavours of the cava, creating a harmonious blend of tastes.
To fully appreciate the cava and baklava pairing, it is recommended to serve the sparkling wine well chilled, ideally between 6-8°C (43-46°F), in flutes or tulip-shaped glasses. The slender shape of these glasses allows the bubbles to be preserved for longer, showcasing the wine’s effervescence. As for the Baklava, it is best served at room temperature to maintain its desired texture and allow its flavours to be fully enjoyed.
When enjoying this pairing, take small sips of the cava and allow the bubbles to dance on your palate, accentuating the flavours and textures of the Baklava. The refreshing qualities of the wine cleanse the palate between bites of the sweet and nutty pastry, creating a delightful interplay of sensations.