A Dessert Recipe to Go with Chenin Blanc 1

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Let’s talk about dessert wines. No, not wines that have loads of residual sugar or that are fortified with spirits, but dry wines that can go with dinner and still provide sipping pleasure when the dessert course comes out.

You see, the pour doesn’t have to be sweet – nor does the dish have to be that old standby of fruit and cheese – in order to make the wine-dessert connection.

In a post on StarChefs.com, Jeff Harding explored a trio of dry wine/dessert pairings offered by the Menlo Park, California, restaurant Madera and sommelier Paul Melkis, who matched a Rhone Syrah with plum and chocolate-themed desserts, a Kabinett Riesling with a parfait of sorts, and a Chenin Blanc with a fancy rice pudding.

As you might imagine, it was the Chenin Blanc that really caught our eye. And yep, we’ve got a recipe to go with it – one that plays off the protea Chenin Blanc’s citrus notes – courtesy our colleague Nita Lewis.

This recipe can be found on several websites, but seems to wind its way back to Rita’s Recipes, where it’s identified as a Lemon Brownie. Nita says a better name might be Citrus Shortbread Bars – in part because she didn’t find it to be very brownie-like, and because the recipe works great with a range of citrus. Such as orange or, as you see here, lime….


The zesting, by the way, is the hard part of the recipe. “It’s a good thing that grating fresh citrus peel is such a pain,” Nita says, “otherwise I’d be making these way too often.”

A few further notes on the recipe:

• Gluten-free flour works well in this recipe.
• The recipe doesn’t specify, but you’ll need two fairly large lemons or oranges, or three or four limes, to get enough zest (you will have juice left over).
• Go easy on the glaze – cut that part of the recipe in half and you’ll still have plenty.
• The bars are very delicate and can be difficult to get out of the pan without breaking. You can cut them while they’re warm, but definitely make sure they’re all the way cooled through the center before trying to take them out.


Need more pre-dessert recipes? Click below for more food and wine pairings:

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