Nothing says a lazy Sunday morning like spreading out your newspaper, choosing the perfect donut, and dunking it in a big mug of … wine? SCREEECH!
Okay, so wine and donuts may not be the most obvious pairing, but there’s no reason why two of the best substances on earth should remain apart. Especially these days, when donuts are becoming less a childhood treat, and more a wait-in-line-for-twenty-minutes-for-your-artisan-donut affair. And especially when — surprisingly — they can actually taste great together!
These wines will help turn your box of donuts into an elegant brunch for friends, or will give you an excuse to polish off that last donut while you sip your glass of wine after the kids are in bed.
So donut … meet wine.
Glazed Donut + Chardonnay
An oaky chardonnay can overpower a lot of sugary sweets, so it’s best when paired with something simple. The glazed donut, with its underlying hints of vanilla and toffee, go perfectly with the same flavors in the chardonnay. The wine manages to bring out these flavors in the donut, rather than mask them. And despite the sweetness of the donut, the chardonnay remains smooth.
Double Chocolate Donut + Syrah
In life, there are seldom two more perfect things than chocolate and wine. Well here you can do one better with chocolate, wine, and donuts! The bold double whammy of the chocolate cake donut plus the chocolate frosting pairs well with the dark jammy fruit-forward flavors of the syrah. It’s almost like drinking a chocolate-dipped strawberry. That happens to be laced with alcohol.
Jelly Filled Donut + Rosé
Rosés can have big fruit flavor, a delightfully tangy sparkle, and just a hint of bitterness. When paired with a raspberry jam-filled donut, the bitterness softens, giving the raspberry flavors in the wine center stage. At the same time, the wine mutes the sugary sweetness of the donut, morphing it from a children’s treat into an elegant brunch item. Well, elegant except for the jelly on your chin. Go for a sparkling rosé here if you can find one.
Chocolate Frosted Donut with Sprinkles + Prosecco
The airiness of the donut lurking underneath the chocolate frosting is a perfect match for a similarly airy, bubble-filled wine. The sugary frosting brings out the sweetness of the prosecco, so be sure to choose a dry wine to avoid being overpowered by the sugar — both in terms of taste and in the sugar crash that may follow.
Powdered Sugar Donut Hole + Riesling
Riesling is sweet, yes, but it also has quite a bit of acid in it. Pairing it with the donut mutes some of the acidity, while bringing forward the lemony accent of the wine. The real magic happens with the donut, though. The wine cuts through the powdered sugar that can sometimes overwhelm the donut, allowing the spice in the donut to shine through.
Strawberry Frosted Donut + Moscato
The slightly sparkly, more-than-slightly sweet moscato still has a good tang to it. Alone, the fruit tones in the wine can be hard to pick out, but when paired with the donut, the strawberry flavors really shine through. The sweetness in the wine and the donut get amped up when paired, but fall just short of cloying. Nonetheless, a definite dessert pair — almost like eating your donut and drinking it too. Although, you know, still healthy (because fruit).
Old-Fashioned Donut + Zinfandel
The old-fashioned donut is less sweet than most, allowing you to pair this with a drier wine. Try a zinfandel, with its smoky fruity flavor and spicy finish. It expertly brings out the surprisingly spicy flavors often masked in the misnamed “plain” donut, and sets your palate up perfectly for the next sip of wine. Ah, the circle of life.
Boston Cream Donut + Port
The port with its higher alcohol content and undeniable sweetness is made complex by its woody finish. This donut-port pairing causes some of the port’s complexity to vanish, leaving it eminently drinkable. Perhaps too eminent. Exercise caution with this pair!
Apple Cider Donut + Sherry
While sherry may evoke images of Mad Men or Columbo, this drink should not be relegated to 1960s nostalgia. It is reminiscent of caramel, with a high alcohol content that gives the back of your throat a bit of a kick. And what goes better with caramel than apples? The high fat content of the donut serves to deaden the alcohol taste, which allows the sherry to draw out the donut’s apple and cinnamon flavors. A delightful combination, no bell bottoms needed.
Maple Bacon Long John + Champagne
Bacon, when done right, should snap, crackle, and pop. So too should a delightfully bubbly champagne. The two together are a perfect match. The champagne bubbles away some of the saltiness of the bacon, and the sweetness of the maple brings out some of the sweetness of the champagne. Together, everything is just … more. Which is a very good thing when it comes to wine and donuts.