Cupcakes and wine together? It works better than you might think! To prove it, Binny’s is teaming up with Sugar Bliss Cake Boutique for a series of cupcake and wine tastings that might change the way you think about pairing. The first tasting was last night, with another tonight and more to come.
River North, 5:30-7:30
$28; a portion of proceeds go to The Anti-Cruelty Society
People are often hesitant to serve wine with desserts. Pour the wrong wine, and the sweetness can make even a fruity wine seem bitter in comparison. But Adam Nan, Binny’s wine manager, disagrees, so he hand-picked wines to work with these sweets.
“People wouldn’t think to pair wine with dessert,” says Adam, “and they are surprised at just how well the pairing works. Pair the sweetness of cupcakes with the acidity in the wines.”
A Raspberry lemonade cupcake, for example, works well with Lampo Prosecco, a clean and dry Italian bubbly. The clean focus and acidity in the wine pairs with the fruity zing of the lemonade in the same way that strawberries work with Champagne.
Or take cookies & cream cupcakes paired with Adesso Sweet Red. The Adesso is mostly dornfelder – a soft German grape reminiscent of a more plush gamay or softer port. Chocolate and berries work together famously, and a common pairing with chocolate is port. Adesso works because it has that a similar richness but less alcohol, so it doesn’t get too overbearing.
A pleasant surprise was how well a banana peanut butter cupcake pairs with Pichot Vouvray. The sweetness of the cupcakes worked well with the acidity and steely elegance of the Vouvray, plus Pichot offers a savory curveball that adds a level of complexity to the experience.
This tasting is happening again tonight (short notice, we know!) with another two-night tasting again June and more to come in the following months. Featured cupcakes in June include Key Lime, Chocolate Covered Strawberry, Root Beer… and even more. Check out Sugar Bliss Cake Boutique for more info.
If these keep going well, maybe we can even do a beer & cupcake pairing too! Oktoberfest and sweets. Mmmmm….