Wine and Caramel Pairing

We are so excited about our guest blogger today! Stephanie Robinson is a friend of Dallas Caramel Company. Stephanie is a marketing coordinator for Maggiano’s Little Italy. In her spare time she enjoys good food and great wine! We invited her to find wine and caramel pairings, and we ended up getting a whole guide for each of our flavors. We are so thrilled to share this post with you today. Enjoy! 

I am a huge fan of wine and a bigger fan of Dallas Caramel Company caramels. When Rain approached some to pair her caramels with my favorite wines, I knew I had to consult my friends – most of whom are certified sommeliers – to bring the best pairings to the table…literally. We sat around my table with all 12 deliciously diverse flavors and over 2 dozen bottles of wine and shared our thoughts and opinions to find the perfect pairings. Tough job, but we were up to the challenge – and we recommend you host your own pairing party with your favorite people! I listened to my experts, took thorough notes, so from our table to yours, please enjoy this guide to pairing wine with Dallas Caramel Company caramels:

Amaretto Caramel (discontinued)
If you love that sweet, Italian almond liqueur with a splash of heavy cream (and I do, since I work for an Italian restaurant), then you’ll want to pair this sweet with a crispy Riesling like, Wagner Vineyards Riesling Ice.

Why Riesling? It’s a floral, aromatic, zesty complement to the amaretto’s sweetness, and a natural pair with nuts, soft cheeses and fresh fruit. Taste notes: citrus, peach, pear, apple, and tropical hints.

Bacon Caramel
It’s true. Everything really is better with bacon, and this caramel does not disappoint. Pair this delight with 2011 Nebbiolo d’Alba Valmaggiore DOC.

Why Nebbiolo? Nebbiolo wines are characterized by their ample amounts of acidity and tannin to balance the bacon fat. Taste notes: ripe strawberries, licorice, tobacco, chocolate, roses, asian spice.

Chai Caramel
It’s the cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and black pepper spices that evoke warmth and comfort. That’s why we’re pairing it with Duckhorn Decoy Zinfandel 2010.

Why Red Zinfandel? Of the three distinct styles of red zins, we opted for the more complex flavor with noticeable spiciness and ripe tannins with a longer finish to match the caramel’s spice. Taste notes: black currant, raisin, pepper, vanilla, spice, chocolate, coffee, tobacco.

Chipotle Caramel
This sweet, smoky and spicy confection is just right for the adventurous sweet tooth. This calls for a wine with succulent dark fruit that has the same lasting and smoky qualities like 2010 Ninety Plus Cellars Lot 23 Old Vine Malbec.

Why Malbec? The balance of structure and tannins makes this a great foundation for the heat you get from the chipotle. Taste notes: blackberries, ripe plum, spice, wood smoke.

Cinnamon Caramel
The creamy richness of this particular caramel lead us right to Winking Owl Shiraz.

Why Shiraz? Though it pairs well with pastas, and roasted or grilled red meats, it’s also a great pair with the cinnamon because of its earthy notes of licorice, espresso and chocolate – and any of those flavors and cinnamon are a plus. Taste notes: plums, black pepper, espresso, chocolate, leather.

Coconut Caramel
Tis the season to be on a beach and this coconut milk infused caramel took us there! That’s why we paired it with Domaine Salliès 2007 Viognier.

Why Viognier? We tried an oaked Chardonnay, but we thought it was too rich. The tropical fruit meets the caramel’s creamy texture with a long finish. Taste notes: tropical fruits, peach, pear, violet.

Texas Drunken Nut Caramel
Texas whiskey and pecans. Need I say more than cheers?! We ventured into the world of port wines and the unanimous decision was Warre’s Otima 10 year Tawny Port.

Why Port? This dessert calls for a dessert wine with nutty aromas. Taste notes: brandy, sweet fruit, nuts.

Espresso Caramel
The bold flavors of coffee paired with the creaminess of caramel is a delight for the coffee lover.  I patiently waited for us to break out the bubbly, and this was the one! We paired the Espresso Caramelwith 2010 Saracco Moscato d’Asti.

Why Moscato d’Asti? The acidity matches what you would find your morning espresso, but balances it all with a sweet, medium finish. Taste notes: tart fruit, nectarine, peach.

Orange Caramel
The first thing that comes to mind is freshly squeezed orange juice. It’s a fresh and crisp caramel which makes it the perfect candidate for a cold flute of Casa Dora Cava Brut Sparkling – more bubbly!

Why Cava? It’s Spanish champagne, but made with different grapes. Just like you would cleanse your palate with citrus between meals, this aperitif is a refreshing match for the orange flavors.

Original Caramel
With classic notes of vanilla, there’s no question why this is the one that put Dallas Caramel Company on the map. Because of the rich buttery flavor, we wanted to pair this with a late harvest Pinot Noir like La Mision Pinot Noir.

Why Pinot Noir? The overripe aromas and lacy texture are great for the palate. Taste notes: violet, forest fruits, strawberry, raspberry, cherry.

Pumpkin Caramel
Fall and caramel fell in love when this indulgence came into existence, and if you can get your hands on Grey Sands Pinot Gris 2000, you’ll be so glad you did.

Why Pinot Gris? It’s full bodied and aromatic, spicy and floral, just like pumpkin pie spices. This white wine is phenomenal in cooler seasons. Tasting notes: quince, butter, almond, spice, flowers.

Sea Salt Caramel
For the sweet and savory dessert lover, always pair your salty with Champagne.

Why Champagne? Most dry sparkling wines like brut Champagne have a little bit of sweetness that makes them super refreshing when served with salty delicacies. Taste notes:  apple, pear, citrus, strawberry, vanilla, cream.

Cheers, prost, salud, and salute! Host your own pairing party and tell us what wines you enjoy with your Dallas Caramel Company caramels. We invite you to join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook. We also invite you to join our email list for delicious deals you won’t want to miss.

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