Cheer-up combos: 12 wine and cake pairings to get you through the week

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Amy Swales
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There’s little more comforting than a massive slice of your favourite cake.

Except, perhaps, a massive slice of your favourite cake with a glass of wine specially chosen to match.

As award-winning wine journalist Alice Feiring demonstrates with her 12 expert tips, wine pairing is definitely not just for the savoury. Did you know, for instance, that a sparkling white dessert wine is an excellent partner to coconut cake? Or that a dry amber wine is perfect for a chocolate orange cake?

The list, from, takes in bubbly whites, deep reds and even sneaks in a couple of posh ciders.

So if the week is dragging its heels and you’re in search of a pick-me-up, browse our gallery below for the best wine styles to match with different cakes (plus shopping recommendations if you get stuck) and set yourself up with our food-booze pairings.

Bag yourself a bake and a bottle, hole up indoors and forget about the rest of the world. We won’t tell anyone...

  • Cheesecake

    Wine: Aromatic

    “Aromatic wine can stand up to dense cheesecakes without being dense itself”

    Try: Domaine Piere Frick Gerwuztraminer Steinert, Grand Cru, £17.99

  • Flourless Chocolate Cake

    Wine: Oxidised, fortified

    “Fortified wines that have been exposed to hear and air develop a complex, muted, caramel-like saltiness, which echoes the flourless chocolate cake’s savoury ground nuts.”

    Try: Barbeito Boal Reserva Madeira, £13.99

  • Coconut Cake

    Wine: Sparkling white dessert

    “The gentle sweetness of a sparkling dessert wine pairs up with the delicate not-so-sweet coconut cake.”

    Try: Cantina Bera Moscato d’Asti, £15

  • Carrot Cake

    Wine: Ice cider

    “Carrot cake has strong sweet and creamy elements. A good iced cider can slight right through it.”

    Try: Somerset Cider Brandy Ice Cider, £12.65

  • Apple Cake

    Wine: Off-dry sparkling

    “Off-dry sparkling wines with a hint of apple matched with an apple cake make for a gorgeous apple-y delight.”

    Try: Domaine Huet Demi-Sec, £32.80

  • Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

    Wine: Sweet white

    “The tropical flavour from the grape, Petit Manseng, especially from the Jurancon, marries the syrupy fruit. Its extreme acidity keeps the match fresh.”

    Try: Camin Larredya Au Capceu Jurancon Moelleux, £25.75

  • Cardamom Cake

    Wine: Pear cider

    “Pears and cardamom so often show up in recipes as they accent each other so well. Try sipping some delicious pear along with a cardamom cake.”

    Try: Eric Bordelet Poire Granit, £17.50

  • Olive Oil Cake

    Wine: Sparkling white

    “The aromatic lightness of a sparkling wine matches the dense olive oil without being overpowering.”

    Try: Arndorfer Riesling Strasser Weinberg, £19.98

  • Chocolate Orange Cake

    Wine: Dry amber (also known as ‘orange wine’)

    “The juicy, slightly tannic wine supports the strong cake flavours without undoing the power of the chocolate orange.”

    Try: Pheasant’s Tears Rkatsitelli, £17

  • Lemon Poppy Cake

    Wine: Bitter aperitif

    “The bitter from an aperitif such as vermouth accents the almost fruity snap of the poppy seed.”

    Try: Mauro Vergano Chinato Americano, £33

  • Strawberry Shortcake

    Wine: Sparkling rosé

    “From Gamay and Poulsard grapes, the berry fruitiness of this wine echoes the fragrant strawberries in the cake. The match is wonderfully light-hearted and fun.”

    Try: Domaine Renardat-Fâche Bugey Cerdon, £23

  • Savoury Cheese

    Wine: Deep red

    “Deep red wines are a great match to the sharp cheese in this cake, because they have this ability to synergise the saltiness into sweet accents.”

    Try: Domaine Léon Barral Jadis Faugères, £25


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Amy Swales

Amy Swales is a freelance writer who likes to eat, drink and talk about her dog. She will continue to plunder her own life and the lives of her loved ones for material in the name of comedy, catharsis and getting pictures of her dog on the internet.