Recommended Dessert Wines For An All-Dessert Dinner

Posted on: October 9th, 2014 by


georgian room seattle

You ever have four desserts for dinner? No? Sure, probably two or three but four’s kinda crazy. Well, lock me up and throw away the key. Because I was recently invited to hang out in The Georgian Restaurant, a lovely dining room housed inside Seattle’s Fairmont Olympic Hotel, where I was treated to four sweet creations from the hotel’s talented and creative Pastry Chef, Chloe Lee.

What could make this even better? All four courses were paired with sweet wines selected by Master Sommelier Joseph Linder.

Ok, could it get even better? YES! Because my pal Denise Sakaki was able to join me. All the wonderful photos are courtesy of her. You should check out her fantastic blog Wasabi Prime. Denise is the undisputed queen of the roundup post. I mean, just look at this epic retelling of her eating and drinking adventures in Alsace. And besides writing and photography, Denise is also a talented graphic designer and illustrator. Hire her!

A few words from Chloe herself about the sweet items she prepared:

yuzu cream“The desserts for this tasting were all renditions of Georgian menu items. This summer I have been fortunate to have a lot of beautiful herbs and flowers to use, which was the inspiration behind the anise-hyssop sorbet. The flowers were candied in Sambuca sugar to enhance their natural flavor. I love the familiarity of the licorice and the bright green of the finished product.

“We use honey harvested from our rooftop apiary religiously in The Georgian, I can’t think of a dessert I make that doesn’t contain it in some capacity. The caramelized honey gelato is an ode to our dedicated beekeeping team who supply it for our every whim.

“I am a savory girl at heart, and I can never go without good salt and good fat, so those things carry me into a lot of salt-laced dessert components like the olive oil pudding (which I adore and eat by the spoonful), and the parsley-mint cake.

“Balancing color on my plates is so easy in the summer with all the amazing berries, herbs, flowers, and fruit we have in season. I am always motivated to stay true to Seattle’s culture and to utilizing Washington’s abundant produce. The chai pickled cherries are a nod to both those inspirations and are an item we use often in savory applications as well as dessert.”

So without further ado:

Dessert I: Yuzu Cream, Raspberry Jelly, Lemon Curd, Parsley-Mint Cake Crumble, Honey Veil

Wine Pairing: Mission Hill Riesling Icewine 2001

Notes on the wine: Joseph mentioned that the acidity of the wine is more pronounced when the wine is colder. It definitely changed as it warmed up. Also, I can’t say I’ve had an ice wine this old. Holding up very nicely.

Dessert II: Blackberry Mousse, Anise Hyssop Sorbet, Candied Anise Hyssop Flowers, Blackberry Sauce

blackberry mousse

Wine Pairing: Chartreuse de Coutet Sauternes 2004

Notes on the wine: This bottle laughs at a decade of age. A pittance of time!

Dessert III: Almond Granite, Caramelized Honey Gelato, Chai Pickled Cherries, Toasted Almond, Salted Caramel

Wine Pairing: Bodegas Hidalgo “Alameda” Cream Sherry

Notes on the wine: Sweet sherry is sooooo goooood. Do you want to learn more about Sherry, in all its forms? Have a look at these posts:

How I Overcame Sherry (Wine) Anxiety

The Versatility of Sherry With Master Sommelier Chris Tanghe

Halloween Candy and Dessert Wine Pairing on Serious Eats

10 Fascinating Things I Learned at a Sherry Seminar

Dessert IV: Dark Chocolate Cake, Olive Oil Pudding, Milk Chocolate Olive Oil Crunch

dark chocolate cake

Wine Pairing: Dow’s Vintage Port 1994

Notes on the wine: This is from a killer vintage and is a wine that will probably outlive us all. (Not to be morbid, just stating a fact.)

Finally, Denise and I were sent home with a jar of blackberry sambuca jam. Which Denise used to fill some tart shells. I, however, just spread it on toast. A dish I call the Bachelor Tart.

sambuca jam

Thanks to everyone at the hotel for providing all the food and wine and for hosting a most memorably sweet evening. See you next time…for some salad.

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18 Responses

  1. So don’t bother with the “Eat dessert first”—eat dessert only?

  2. An all-dessert dinner? Genius! Beautiful food and photography.

  3. Jackie says:

    Who needs a dinner entrée? This sounds like a fantastic idea. The real question is – do you pair the bachelor tart with the port?

  4. What an amazing experience!

  5. Love this. And as someone who is not a big dessert person in the first place, I always appreciate desserts that don’t ONLY rely on chocolate or other rich ingredients as the star of the dish. Love fruit used in such beautiful ways. And the wine pairings sound fantastic. I make a tiramisu with lemon zest and Vin Santo wine instead of the espresso and chocolate, and that is a match made in heaven. Thanks for the feast for the eyes!

  6. I’m not much into dessert wines, but I love sherry, so I’ll have to check out your post on sherry anxiety. The pics in this post are fabulous and I’m sure the desserts were too, but the best part is your recipe for bachelor tart:)

  7. bb says:

    Any tips on buying good sherry online? I live in Philly and it’s hard to get the good stuff because of our archaic laws.

    • Jameson Fink says:

      Hmm. One brand that makes high quality Sherry is Lustau and they have good distribution. There is an importer who also has excellent Sherry, too: DeMaison Selections. Maybe someone in your state liquor stores would be able to track down Sherry from that importer. You could call their PA distributor and they could find out who carries their wines in Philly. But check online for sure.

  8. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen more beautiful desserts. The one thing I recall from all of my wine classes is that your wine should be sweeter than the dessert itself; do you agree with that?

  9. Kirsten says:

    I could eat dessert for dinner, especially such a variety of thoughtfully prepared creations.

  10. The desserts, the port, the sherry, the sambuca jam? I want YOUR life!

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