Top pairings | The best wine and liqueur matches for a chocolate yule log

Top pairings

The best wine and liqueur matches for a chocolate yule log

A chocolate yule log or 'buche de Noël has become an increasingly popular dessert at Christmas but what kind of wine should you drink with it?

As usual with chocolate it depends how intense the flavour is and what the log is filled with. A simple shop-bought log filled with whipped cream or a light buttercream doesn’t need as powerful a wine as a rich home-made one with, say, a chestnut filling. You may of course feel that a sweet wine is over the top with something that’s already incredibly sweet and that you’d rather have a cup of black coffee or tea with it. But it is Christmas and I suspect most probably won’t ...

Here’s what I’d suggest:

* For a shop-bought log I’d go for a Brachetto d’Acqui - a sweet, gently fizzy Italian red wine that isn’t too high in alcohol. Sainsbury’s does a good one. If you’re serving it with fresh berries you could even serve a sparkling rosé or rosé champagne

* With a slightly richer homemade log with a chocolate cream filling you could try a stronger sweet red wine such as a recioto della Valpolicella, Maury or a black muscat like Elysium. If it’s flled with boozy cherries try a vintage character or late bottled vintage port or the delicious Adoro sweet mourvedre.

* With a log with orange in the sponge or filing like this chocolate and clementine log try an orange muscat, Passito di Pantelleria, a lovely marmaladey dessert wine from an island off the coast of Sicily or a South African straw wine. Or you could serve an iced shot of Cointreau

* With a rich chocolate and chestnut yule log like this one from Eric Lanlard or this rather delicious-sounding version from Felicity Cloake I’d go for a dark cream sherry or sweet oloroso sherry, sweet madeira or Australian liqueur muscat

* If there are nuts or Nutella on or in your log as in this recipe try a tawny port - or if it includes almonds, a glass of amaretto.

What I personally wouldn’t go for:

Sauternes or similarly citrussy dessert wines - simply because I’d rather have orange flavours than lemony ones with chocolate. Ordinary non-vintage champagne because it’s too dry (though a demi-sec champagne would be fine with lighter recipes) and Asti because it’s a bit too light. But if you disagree go for it!

What other drinks have you enjoyed with a Yule log?

You may also find these other suggestions for what to drink with Christmas desserts useful:

Wine matches for Christmas pudding

Wine matches for mince pies

Wine matches for trifle

Photo © noirchocolate - Fotolia.com

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