Your InstaPot roast turned out better than you could have ever imagined, the conversation was perfect and the two friends you just knew would hit it off seem to be laughing at each other’s jokes – mission accomplished. BUT WAIT! How much longer can you awkwardly linger over empty plates and dwindling glasses? It’s time for dessert and everyone is stuffed – this is where dessert wine comes in. Not too filling and unlike coffee, won’t keep you up all night.
Dessert wine is sweet due to fermentation being interrupted before all the sugar is converted to alcohol, either through exposure to cold (36°-50°), heat (104°+) or by simply adding alcohol to bring the ABV above 16%, resulting in a lovely wine sweetened with natural sugars from the grapes.
Here are some ideas:
Sparkling Wines – Moscato D’Asti and Asti Spumante are great sweet options for before or after a meal. For something mid-level sweet, a Demi-Sec will do the job!
Anything labeled ‘Late Harvest’ - these grapes, often Riesling or Muscat but there are red varieties as well, are harvested later in the season, thereby giving the grapes time to develop more sugar. If you are in the French section, you may see ‘Vendage Tardive’ and if you are browsing the German aisle, look for ‘Auslese’ (select piking,) 'Beerenauslese' (berries select picking,) or 'Eiswein' (ice wine,) on the label.
Fortified wines - Ruby, Vintage & Tawny Port are all sweet, with Tawny being the sweetest. These can be served as dessert by themselves or paired with a delicious Chocolove bar as we do on Mines & Wines! Cream Sherry and Pedro Ximenez (extremely sweet!) are also good options for dessert.
If you are pairing wine with dessert, rather than just drinking dessert, the wine should be slightly sweeter than the food. I like to think, as the food gets darker, the wine gets darker. So, sparkling or late harvest white wines go well with custard, crème brûlée, pies and other light pastries, while port, sherry and late harvest red wines will pair well with chocolate and caramel based desserts. See here for serving temps!
Penny, a SAVVY Staffer
P.S. Thirsty for more?
Live Wine Classes and Tours: Check out our upcoming Fox School of Wine classes, tours and tastings
SAVVY Online Courses: From our Wine Diva course that gives beginners a foundation to shop for wines, to our upcoming Giving Wine Gifts to Today's Value Regions and others, we've got fun wine courses available wherever you are.
Online Events: Once a month, join all the Fox School of Wine students on the second Wednesday at 6 p.m. MT to participate in our Facebook Live experience! Follow here...