Biscotti pairs best with Vin Santo, Sherry, Late Harvest Wines, Ice Wines, Espresso, Coffee and Tawny Port. The hard-like cookie softens when paired with a beverage, allowing the nutty flavours to tickle your taste buds with its heavenly flavours.
What is Biscotti?
Biscotti is an Italian almond biscuit that is baked twice for a dry, crunchy texture that is quite hard. Often people enjoy Biscotti with their morning espresso or coffee, where they dip the biscuit into the drink to soften it up. As Biscotti is semi-sweet (more nutty than sugary), you can also enjoy it with various dessert wines. Traditionally, Biscotti was made hard to help extend its shelf-life, however the happy marriage between cookie and drink followed shortly.
What is the Best Wine to Pair with Biscotti?
|Dessert Wine||Vin Santo||Biscotti|
|Beer||Vienna Lager||Almond Biscotti|
|Port||Tawny Port||Biscotti Nutty|
|Dessert Wine||Brachetto d'Acqui||Biscotti|
|Sparkling Wine||Prosecco||Biscotti Nutty|
|Sparkling Wine||Asti Spumante, (DOCG)||Biscotti|
|Sherry||Sherry, PX or Pedro Ximenez||Biscotti|
|Dessert Wine||Ice Wine||Biscotti|
|Dessert Wine||Late Harvest White Wines||Biscotti|
|Dessert Wine||Late Harvest Zinfandel||Biscotti|
|Dessert Wine||Sweet Marsala||Biscotti|
|Dessert Wine||Muscat, Orange||Biscotti|
|Red Wine||Rhone, Red Wine||Biscotti|
|W Wine Brand||Choya Silver White Wine||Biscotti Nutty|
Vin Santo and Biscotti Pairing
Vin Santo is a sweet Italian wine (off-dry and semi-sweet variants also exist but are less popular) that is produced in Tuscany and is adored for its intense flavours of hazelnut, raisin, and caramel. Vin Santo translates to Saint Wine (Holy Wine) because it, or a variant of it, was popularly served at Catholic Mass. In modern Italy, Vin Santo is served as a digestive at the end of a meal after Espresso and considered a vini da meditazioni (meditation wine), meaning Vin Santo is meant to be sipped slowly where you reflect on the day.
Vin Santo is often paired with a Biscotti as it is an amazing pairing. When the Biscotti and Vin Santo merge, the wine softens to cookie and the cookie cushions the intense sweetness of the fortified wine. Meanwhile, the cookie absorbs the caramel and hazelnut flavours of the wine, saturating your taste buds with their delicious flavours.
Pedro Ximenez (PX) Sherry and Biscotti
PX sherry is a very sweet wine featuring flavours of caramel, figs, raisin, brown sugar, chocolate, figs, molasses and cherries. From the description of flavours, you can instantly tell this will merge perfectly with a nutty bite of Biscotti. As Biscotti is less sweet than Pedro Ximenez Sherry, the cookie will absorb all these delicious flavours when dipped and spread them evenly across your tongue where you can indulge in all their glory.
While popular in Europe, Sherry does not seem to be that popular in North America. In my decades as a wine Sommelier, Sherry was typically only asked for by women in their late 80s. But let me tell you something, they were on to something as Sherry is undervalued, delicious, versatile and well worth your time and effort to understand and enjoy.
For Biscotti pairing, make sure you pick up a sweeter styled Sherry, as most Sherry on the shelves are incredibly dry and will not pair with Biscotti at all.
Ice Wine and Biscotti Pairing
In Canada, where I live, we love our Ice Wine, and there’s nothing I love more than settling down for the evening with a small glass of Ice Wine, some Biscotti, and the Hockey Game. When pairing wine with a dessert, you always want the wine to be sweeter than the dessert. And boy, is Ice Wine ever sweet. When paired with the Biscotti, the sweetness of the ice wine is absorbed by the cookie, and the delightful flavours of apple, apricot, honey and peach shine through. If you find an ice wine made from the Cab Franc grape, you’ll get lush flavours of raspberry and strawberry, which are just as delicious with Biscotti.
Ice Wine certainly won’t complement Biscotti, however, the biscuit and wine improve one another in that all their individual flavours shine on the finish.
Espresso & Biscotti Pairing
If it’s too early to enjoy the benefits of a glass of wine, try biscotti with a shot of Espresso. The caffeine in the Espresso gives you a nice jolt of energy, while the Biscotti absorbs the Espresso’s kick so you don’t have a direct mainline of energy going straight to your heart.
An Italian rule is to never dip your Biscotti into your Espresso, and maybe that’s why those Espresso cups are so small. However, if you take a sip of Espresso, and follow it up with a bite of Biscotti, the nutty flavours of the cookie mingle perfectly with the bitter coffee flavours creating a wonderful sense of harmony in your mouth.