A member of the Court of Master Sommeliers chooses a bargain and a premium wine
In this recurring feature, members of the Court of Master Sommeliers, an international association of wine experts, suggest pairings for popular menu items. The sommeliers do not have a financial interest in any of their recommendations.
Here, Gillian Balance, beverage director of Cavallo Point in Sausalito, Calif., selects a bargain and premium wine to pair with desserts.
Bargain wine: 2011 Brachetto d’Acqui “Pineto” Marenco, Piedmont, Italy
Grape variety: Brachetto
Taste profile: Delicious frizzante wine bursting with berry and cherry aromas. It’s slightly sweet, fizzy and low in alcohol, which makes it a refreshing dessert beverage.
Pairings: A foolproof pairing with lighter chocolate desserts or anything with cherries or berries.
Average wholesale case price: $120
Premium wine: Perucchi Gran Reserva Red Vermouth, Catalonia, Spain
Grape varieties: n/a
Taste profile: Slightly bittersweet with hints of Christmas cookie, cloves and spice.
Pairings: Cabrales cheese with a nice bar of dark chocolate, or just some dark chocolate cookies.
Average wholesale case price: $180 for twelve 1-liter bottles