Dessert anyone?

Dessert wines are often over-looked, as many of us don’t bother with wine if we are having dessert, or find the challenge of pairing too complicated — but few simple guidelines should make it a fun exercise!

How to Choose Dessert Wines
Firstly, back to the golden rule for pairing wine with desserts – the wine should be sweeter than the dessert. Secondly, match the flavor intensity of the dessert with the flavor intensity of the wine. For example, a delicate fruit pavlova calls for a floral scented, fruity sweet wine with such as Moscato d’Asti, an German Auslese Riesling or even a Muscat de Beaumes de Venise. In contrast a rich chocolate pudding could handle a Banyuls.

Next in line are the very sweet wines made from grapes that have been affected by botrytis, also known as noble rot. Botrytis is a ‘good’ type of rot that attacks thin-skinned grapes and shrivels the grape. Given the right weather conditions, the grapes undergo a complex transformation to produce some of the world’s best and longest-living sweet wines. Famous wines of this genre include Sauternes from Bordeaux and Tokaji Aszu wines from Hungary.

Less expensive, but still very good examples to look for are the botrytized wines from the New World such as Semillon or Riesling from Australia or California; Montbazillac from South Western France, and Coteaux du Layon in the Loire Valley.

Sweet sparkling wines also work with lighter desserts. A favorite is probably the delightfully light Moscato d’Asti, which we love with a simple summer fruit salad or pavlova.

This week give a new dessert wine a try!

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