Wine: Prince Stirbey 2007 Crâmposie Sparkling
Origin: Drăgășani, Romania
Taste: Dry, creamy attack with plentiful, tiny bubbles. Cream, peach and honeysuckle. Vivacious acidity, rather light body and medium finish.

Expectation: The classic “wedding cake and Champagne” fiasco, in which a richly sweet dessert creates dissonance with a dry sparkler.

Hit: Quince Purée with Fresh Whipped Cream
The key was the dry Tamâioasa Româneasca (a white wine with aromas akin to Gewürztraminer and Muscat) laced into the unsweetened quince purée. Both elements showed fruit impressions without sweetness. Also, textural resemblances also surfaced; each had some chunkiness – the wine its bubbles and the purée its fruit bits.

Miss: Milk Chocolate Nougat Wafer
“Atonal” on the palate! The wine’s brutish brute-ness provided reason enough not to reach again for the cookie tray. If you’ve not encountered this sweet-dry discord, the sensation is akin to drinking orange juice minutes after brushing your teeth!