May 1, 2011

Strawberry Tarts and a Late Harvest Viognier

I know you couldn't stand the suspense any longer, so here's the solution to what we had for dessert after our Easter dinner. I made some individual strawberry tarts, you know, the kind you find in the grocery store's display case, for about $5 a piece... As part of the recipe, I first made a pie crust, then a pastry cream, and finally topped the tarts with fresh strawberries and pistachio nuts. Strawberries are just another one of those signs that spring is here. If the recipe sounds like a lot of work, let me tell you, it is. But it's well worth it!

For the wine pairing, we picked the 2008 Hillsborough Vineyards Moonstone, which is a late harvest dessert wine, made from the viognier grape. (Important note: it's MoonSTONE, not MoonSHINE.) We had purchased this wine on a recent visit to the winery in Loudoun County, Virginia, and for my husband the motto usually is "It's a viognier? Wrap it up!"
The pairing was great, and it definitely kept the residual sugar of the wine in check. The wine itself had flavors of apricots, peaches, and honey, and that worked well with the apricot glaze I had brushed on the strawberries. As I have learned from various pairing seminars, the secret of pairing a dessert with wine, is to make sure that the wine is sweeter than the dessert. It was a lovely finish to a great meal. Have you ever had wine with dessert?

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