Typically, foodies and wine connoisseurs suggest that you burn only unscented candles when you're hosting a dinner party so that the fragrance doesn't overpower the smells and flavors of the foods and drinks you're serving. But with the right pairings, you can actually light up a soy candle to work with those smells and flavors. This was very good news to me, because I have three cats and a dog and, therefore, I would never invite anyone to my apartment without burning at least 10 soy candles (for real). So which candles smell best with wine?
To find out, I traveled to Dallas for an event by Wines of Chile to lead a candle-making and wine-pairing DIY. I taught some bad-ass food and wine bloggers, including the immensely talented Brittany Wright from Wright Kitchen, how to make candles in cut wine bottles. And, of course, we sipped and learned about loads of delicious Chilean wines. (See a roundup of the event).
Because I knew absolutely nothing about wine before attending this event—other than the fact that I think it tastes good and it can get me drunk—I teamed up with Master Sommelier Fred Dexheimer to devise some dreamy candle and wine pairings. Here's what we came up with:
1. Vanilla Tobacco Candle and Chardonnay
Milton and Margie's Vanilla Tobacco scent is a rich blend of vanilla, tobacco, cedar, and sandalwood, which complements the smoothness and buttery flavor of chardonnay. Together, they make for a sensual duo that would be ideal for a date night. Fred hashtagged this pairing #smellthesexy, which is both uncomfortable and hilarious.
2. Deck the Halls Candle and Sauvignon Blanc
The Chilean sauvignon blanc we paired with the Deck the Halls features green flavors that almost taste like green peppers. The grassy, peppery flavors are balanced out by tropical and citrus fruits, which make it a natural fit for Deck the Halls, a blend of raspberry, grapefruit, lemon, clove, and pine. This citrus notes and pine scent really brought the zesty green pepper flavor to the forefront, which I might have otherwise missed.
3. Citrus Cranberry and Pais
Pais is basically packed with aromas of juicy red fruits, like raspberries, cherries, and other red berries, and a hint of orange peel, making this the obvious choice to pair with Citrus Cranberry, a blend of cranberry, pomegranate, and orange. Fred noted that pais, central to Chile's wine industry, is totally on-trend right now, so pick this pairing if you want to impress your friends with your hipster wine knowledge.