Pairing wine and desserts is a great way to experience the flavors in wine in a completely new way. A merlot would pair beautifully with lamb, steak, or even eggplant, but being a former pastry chef, I love to bake whenever I possibly can. I decided to pair my home made Plum Tart Tatin with blackberry reduction with a 2008  Hogue Genesis Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington.

With aromas of cherry, vanilla, oak, and slight sweet baking spices I knew it would go very well with the tart tatin. I had to let this wine breathe for at least half an hour, but then it truly opened up beautifully. On the palate, smooth, dry, with notes of dark cherry, plum, cinnamon,and mint. The oak is noticable which adds some nice vanilla and spice, but once able to breathe for a while it rounded out very nicely and seemed to balance out very well.

The plum tart tatin was a fantastic choice because the flavors in this dish and the flavors in the wine really became harmonious when tasted together. This dish is so simple to make and pairs very well with a number of wines and can be made with many different kinds of fruit.

I decided to use plums not only because of the wine, but I wanted something that reminded me of fall. I made this dish by first peeling all red plums, then sauteeing them in butter, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. After they were slightly cooked, I rolled out puff pastry and cut it to the size of the saute pan and covered the top of the fruit mixture with the pastry. Once covered, put it in the oven, saute pan and all and let bake for 12-14 minutes until the top is a nice golden brown. Once done, immediately flip onto a large plate and let sit. While it was settling, I made the blackberry reduction using fresh blackberries, cognac, water, and sugar. I simply let the blackberries reduce with the sugar and cognac mixture until it became almost all liquid.

This dessert is so simple, and can be made with apples, peaches, plums, and even pears! The entire process took me about 35 minutes, and is a great dessert to make anytime…so try it with one of your favorite wines!