Tiramisu pairs best with sweet and dessert-style wines such as Port, Ice Wine, Moscato Rosa, Marsala, Vin Santo and Cream Sherry. For the wine to work best, it always needs to taste sweeter, otherwise, the Tiramisu’s sweetness will make the beverage taste like water. The sweetness of wine also balances out the bitter coffee and powdered cocoa notes of Tiramisu. If you are unsure how sweet your Tiramisu will be, order up an Irish Coffee, an Oatmeal Stout, or perhaps a coffee with a little Baileys in it for a reliable pairing.
Tiramisu is Italy’s most famous dessert and is layers of biscuits soaked in coffee, covered with a mascarpone-based cream, and sprinkled with unsweetened cocoa powder. The cocoa powder always finds its way into my nose as I greedily inhale my first bite of this wonderful dessert.
Best wine with Tiramisu
|Passito (straw wine)||Sagrantino Passito||Tiramisu|
|Passito (straw wine)||Moscato Rosa||Tiramisu|
|Sparkling Red Wine||Sangue di Giuda||Tiramisu|
|Dessert Wine||Muscat, Sweet||Tiramisu|
|Fortified Wine||Sweet Marsala||Tiramisu|
|Beer||Sweet Fruit Beer||Tiramisu|
|Dessert Wine||Vin Santo||Tiramisu|
|Dessert Wine||Moscato d'Asti||Tiramisu|
|Dessert Wine||Late Harvest Vidal||Tiramisu|
|Dessert Wine||Ice Wine||Tiramisu|
|Sparkling Wine||Champagne, Demi-Sec||Tiramisu|
|Sherry||Sherry, Pale Cream||Tiramisu|
|Liquor||Cream Liqueurs (ie Baileys)||Tiramisu|
|Fortified Wine||Madeira, Malmsey||Tiramisu|
Moscato Rosa Passito & Tiramisu Pairing
Moscato Rosa, when produced in a sweet style, has incredible aromas of red berries, spice, and a hint of rosewater. Slightly spritzy, Moscato Rosa has plenty of sweetness to hold up to the Tiramisu along with some lovely bubbles to help cleanse your palate in between bites. While Moscato Rosa is sweet, it doesn’t overpower the coffee soaked biscuits of the Tiramisu, so you enjoy both the wine and dessert with every bite.
I give Moscato Rosa a high rating, however, this “straw wine” may be challenging to find outside of Italy. Passito is a wine style where the grapes are air-dried first on straw maps, so when pressed, you get a concentrated flavour. While searching for this wine, you might find something called Moscato Rosé – which tends to be a light sparkling Rosé wine. This style of wine won’t be sweet enough to pair up with Tiramisu. You want something much sweeter in this instance.
Sparkling Sangue di Giuda & Tiramisu Pairing
Sparkling Sangue di Giuda or “Blood Wine” is a sweet and sparkling red wine that translates to Judas’ Blood due to its ruby colour. This will be another difficult wine to hunt down, however, it is incredibly delicious with Tiramisu if you can find it. The sweet berry notes of the wine bury themselves deep within the creamy layers of the Tiramisu, making each bite a joy.
If you can’t find Sangue di Giuda, many other sparkling red wines will work as well, provided they are sweet. In essence, you want something sweet and fruit-forward and sparkly to provide refreshment in between bites yet still hold up to the sweetness of the dessert. Peller Estates Ice Cuvée is a prime example of this, as they infuse the wine with Ice Wine, so it is not overpowered by the Tiramisu.
Sweet Marsala & Tiramisu Pairing
Marsala is a fortified wine from Sicily and features notes of walnuts, vanilla, brown sugar and dried fruit. Many Tiramisu recipes might call for Marsala to be used in the cream layers, and if this applies to your Tiramisu, Marsala makes for a wonderful wine to pair up with it as it will complement the dessert.
You’ll have to be careful when purchasing your Marsala as they come in various styles that range from dry to sweet. On the bottle, you’ll want to see the word Dolce. If you see the word Secco, this means dry, and this style of Marsala is meant more for cooking up dishes like Chicken Marsala. While sweet, Marsala is also high in alcohol, so only pour yourself an ounce or two, and sip to enjoy its sweet viscosity alongside your Tiramisu.
Vin Santo & Tiramisu Pairing
Vin Santo is an Italian Dessert wine with beautiful notes of caramel, cinnamon, raisin and honey. As it’s both sweet and flavourful, Vin Santo is delicious with Tiramisu as the caramel, cinnamon and nutmeg notes are right at home with the coffee flavours of Tiramisu. The Italian’s like their kooky nicknames (see blood wine above) , and Vin Santo translates to ‘Holy Wine’ as it was historically served at the end of Catholic Mass.
Vin Santo is meant to be sipped slowly, and it is quite high in alcohol, so you only want to pour yourself an ounce or two. Traditionally, people often dip their biscotti into the wine as the cookie flavours soften this wine’s sweet slap. The coffee-soaked biscuits of Tiramisu have the same effect as they will mellow out Vin Santos intense left hook.
Tawny Port & Tiramisu Pairing
Tawny Port is very sweet and has classic oxidative nut and caramel flavours, along with raspberry, raisin, and chocolate. The nutty and caramel flavours of tawny port are right at home with the coffee soaked flavours of the Tiramisu biscuits, while the raspberry and raisin notes serve up plenty of refreshing flavours to keep this pairing interesting.
A young tawny port of about ten years will suffice. As you age port you’ll get more and more complexity, but these additional flavours are not necessary with Tiramisu as the dessert has enough going on as is.