Dessert Wine Developments

Dessert wine is rarely a first choice of after dinner beverages.  Scotch, brandy, or a few different digestifs are more commonly selected.  However on those rare occasions – prodded on by the wife, mind you – a chilled dessert wine is opened and enjoyed following a special meal.

Traditionally this has been an Italian muscato or French or Australian muscat.  Sparkling or not these terribly sweet whites usually compel one to pucker their lips at the candy-like flavor of the first sip.  This is not enjoyed.  Some bottlings however, employ savory flavors of oak, butter, raisins, and apricots to balance and compliment the grapes’ sweetness; the first impression is tempered by the complexity of its second, third, and fourth notes.

But for special evenings and to earn true ingratiation from any dessert wine enthusiast, try a different selection – ice wine.

Comparatively speaking, ice wine is a new arrival and is mostly produced in small, cold-temperature-prone regions of Germany and Canada.  And surprisingly enough, upstate New York’s Finger Lakes region.  Friends who recently returned from the Empire State raved at the vintner’s ability to balance the wine’s complex flavor against its higher alcohol content.  Encouraged by their enthusiasm and the novelty of wine from frozen grapes, an afternoon search was made to find a bottle.

Ice wine’s lack of mainstream popularity produced limited results and an unfortunately high price tag.  And although still a dessert wine – thus much too sweet for regular drinking – ice wine is surprisingly crisp and light for a category of wine so usually round and full.

So next time a special dinner needs a special finish, consider a bottle of ice wine instead of your usual cocktail or coffee.  Perhaps it will add the perfect ending to dinner; or maybe provide the perfect excuse for a nightcap.

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Published in: on August 19, 2010 at 9:50 pm  Comments Off on Dessert Wine Developments  
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