How to select Dessert wine

December 25, 2010
About Dessert Sweet Wine
Best wine supplier in Philippines discusses wine related topics

Desert Wine Tips
Dessert wine can stand alone, or complement your dessert
Choose a wine that’s sweeter than the dessert
Very sweet desserts tend to overwhelm any wine
Frozen desserts can dull the taste of wine
The flavors in dark chocolate can be greatly enhanced by wine

We typical North Americans have been eating dessert all our lives, but dessert wine remains a mystery, the realm of aristocrats and cultured Europeans. That’s unfortunate, because wine can heighten the flavors of dessert the same way that it can enhance the main course. The key, as with all wines, is knowing which one to serve.
Dessert wines aren’t just for impressing your friends. They can enhance your dessert, bringing out its inherent flavors. This guide will introduce you to the proper techniques for selecting a dessert wine to complement your after-dinner sweets.
Dessert Wines and Noble Rot
Step 1: Choose a Dessert
What would hit the spot?
This shouldn’t be tough to figure out: just use your imagination and draw on your experience.
Dessert tastes run from fruity confections, to nutty, chocolatey, caramelly, sweet’n’salty, lightly sweet… choose away.
If you’re drawing a blank, have a look at’s categorized dessert slideshows for something to make your sweet-tooth throb.
Don’t go too sweet.
Very sweet desserts can overwhelm the palate and make wine taste blunted or sour.
Consider avoiding, say, something from the esteemed confectioners at Hostess.
If you’re a chocolate nut, consider going with a darker chocolate (at least 60% cocoa-it will say on the package) to emphasize the sweetness of the wine, rather than compete with it.
Complement your meal.
If you’ve had a rich, heavy meal, consider something light. This should liven up your dinner guests, rather than drive them to an early bed.
If you’ve had a lighter meal, you might consider making dessert a rich, unforgetable highlight.
Don’t go frigid.
While ice cream or sorbet can be an element of dessert, avoid serving it on its own with wine.
Cold temperatures dull the palate and can effectively flatten the taste of wine.
Consider serving wine alone.
You could opt to serve dessert wine alone, without a complementary confection or fruit.

Step 2: Choose a Wine
Choose from the following varieties of dessert wines, using two main criteria:
Try to choose a wine that’s sweeter than your dessert.
Choose a wine whose flavor would seem to complement the dessert.
Port is bold red wine from Portugal, fortified with brandy. The fermentation process is halted early when brandy is added to the vats, preserving the natural sweetness of the grape, while artificially raising the alcohol level.
There are three varieties of Port:
Tawny ports are aged for an extended period in wooden barrels, leaving them smooth, with a “nutty” flavor.
Ruby Ports are younger wines, generally described as “fruity” and “fresh.”
Vintage Ports are aged for a long time in the bottle. They are usually spicy and full of deep, dark grape flavors.
What all ports have in common is high alcohol content and rich flavors.
Sweetness: generally high.
Suggested Pairings:
All ports can pair nicely with fruity desserts (including pumpkin pie and cobblers) and rich, creamy desserts (cheesecake, creme brulee).
Tawny ports, because of their nutty flavor and smooth texture, can pair well with milk chocolate.
Vintage ports, because of their heft, pair well with dark chocolate. Also, due to their high tannins (the astringent chemical compund that makes your mouth pucker), vintage ports can pair with walnuts, which have high tannins of their own; consider a dessert with walnuts, like banana cream pie.
Tawny ports may complement toffee and milk chocolate, due to their smooth, nutty characteristics.
Sauternes and Barsac
The “noble rot,” or “pourriture noble” in French, refers to a fungus known as botrytis cinerea that attacks grapes left on the vine, concentrating their sweetness beyond that of normal wine grapes. The classic result is the strong, sweet, French dessert wine known as Sauternes, from the Sauternes region of France, and Barsac, from the nearby enclave Barsac.
These wines, Sauternes in particular, can last a remarkably long time, with 19th Century vintages going for thousands of dollars at auction.
These wines are rich and powerful and include flavors like tropical fruit, honey, butterscotch, caramel and cream.
Sweetness: high.
Suggested Pairings:
Food writers often suggest fruit and cheese, particularly the classic pairing of Sauternes with blue cheese, such as Roquefort.
Also suggested are fruity desserts (tropical especially), creamy desserts (like cream pie or Creme Brulee) and fruity, creamy desserts (such as bananas with Dulce de Leche ice cream).
Ice Wine
Ice Wine refers to a variety of wines made from grapes that are frozen on the vine, then crushed in their frozen state. It’s made from a number of different grape varieties, including Riesling and Gewurztraminer, but will typically say “Ice Wine” (or the German “Eiswein”) on the label.
Icewine’s syrupy sweetness is balanced by high acidity, leaving a “clean” or “crisp” taste.
Its flavors are generally compared to light-flesh fruits, including pear, peach, apple and tropical fruits— also, hazelnuts.
Sweetness: high.
Suggested Pairings:
Good pairings include the fruits listed above and fruity desserts based on same; also, nutty and/or caramelly deserts.
Germany, known for its national sweet tooth, ranks its wines according to sweetness, the sweeter being the most prized. Auslese wines (pronounced “owss-leh-zeh” and meaning “selected harvest”) are harvested late in the season and are typically made with Riesling grapes.
Ausleses are generally described as very fruity, and while they can be very sweet as well, the high level of acidity (characteristic of Rieslings) can balance the sweetness and make it very palatable.
The classes of Auslese made from the ripest grapes—Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese—are often described as “unctuous” (oily) in texture.
Sweetness: varies according to rank.
Auslese picked very ripe and are at least moderately sweet.
Beerenauslese (meaning “selected berry harvest”, abbreviated to BA) are picked riper and are sweeter.
Trockenbeerenauslese (meaning “selected dry berry harvest”, abbreviated to TBA) are picked shriveled and are so remarkably sweet that New York Times wine writer Eric Asimov says they “must maintain teeth-jarring levels of acidity to keep them balanced.”
Suggested Pairings:
The less-sweet Auslese may complement lightly sweet peach or almond-based desserts.
Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese are so decadent that they can be drunk as desserts in themselves.
Muscats are made from the diverse white grape family of the same name, known for its strong fragrance and often used to make raisins.
Muscats don’t need much maturing to be good and can be drunk the same year as harvest.
Their flavors are often identified with apricot, peach and other mild fruits.
Sweetness: varies.
Suggested Pairings:
Muscats pair well with fruit and can bring out the fruity overtones of milk chocolate, white chocolate, Tiramisu and other confections on the lighter side of creamy.
Vin Santo
This traditional Italian dessert wine is known for its “nutty” taste, often identified as that of hazelnuts. Grapes are picked ripe and dried indoors, rather than shriveled on the vine.
Sweetness: light to moderate.
Suggested Pairings:
Traditional pairing is with biscotti, but other nutty desserts can work as well, including almond shortbread and almond cake.

Step 3: Hold a Preview
If you’re having guests over for a meal, consider trying out your wine/dessert combo prior to the event. Note that this isn’t always an affordable option, but if you can manage it, it won’t hurt.
Taste the dessert.
Make or buy your chosen dessert ahead of time.
Note your impressions of the dessert, including flavors, on a piece of paper.
Wait at least an hour before trying the wine.
Taste the wine.
Have a little bread and water to cleanse your palate, then taste the wine.
Take time to note the sweetness of the wine and the complexity of its flavors.
Note your impressions of the wine on a piece of paper.
Taste the dessert with the wine.
Note the following:
whether or not you find it to be a pleasing combination
how the flavors in the dessert may be affected by the wine.
how the flavors in the wine may be affected by the dessert.
If the taste of the wine is dulled by the combination, or the dessert seems to be somehow less delicious with the wine, consider switching one of them out for a different option.
The answer may be to go with a less-sweet dessert or a sweeter wine.


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Getting to this fine dining restaurant of Angeles City Clark Freeport Zone Pampanga Philippines
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