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What are you're favorite dessert/sweet wines?

As I've been putting together my vision for my business, which initially was just desserts, I've added wines to my tasting events. I've never been much of a wine fan, but I realize now that's because I just can't acquire a taste for dry wines. I've always preferred Asti Spumante to Champagne. But sweet wines aren't as popular or plentiful and are usually more expensive.

Luckily, cake is my passion and I'm exploring the world of sweet wines. Any suggestions? So far, Bonny Doon's Muscat Vin de Glaciere is one of my favorites. There Bouteille Call port is my favorite port so far, especially since I've done some events focused on chocolate. And was also introduced to Rosa Regale a sparkling red wine with raspberry flavor. On the cheaper side, Sutter Home's Moscato is pretty good.

I usually rely on Jane Cahill who owns The Winery in Alexandria to help me with my picks to match my menu.

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It can be hard to find and I've never tasted a truly brilliant one, but Muscats from the Greek Island of Samos (Whole Foods on P Street carries one) taste as good as a lot of the Beaumes de Venise running around but at half to a quarter of the price. It's a great choice if you want to have a good, solid white dessert wine that you don't have to sell for $15/glass.

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Muscat de Beaume de Venise

Yalumba Victoria Museum Tawny

R. L. Buller's Premium Fine Muscat

The Muscat de Beaume de Venise was recommended to me to serve with my caramel cake, but I've yet to try it. The Tawny I've served a couple of times with chocolate desserts.

I am a huge fan of the Canadian ice wines. I think they pair nicely with chocolate but are great just to sip.

I want to try out some of the Canadian ice wines. I think ice wines are my favorite so far. Jackson Triggs was recommended to me when I was looking for something to pair with sweet potato desserts. I checked out their website and the look like they have several wines I would enjoy.

Muscat de Beaume de Venise

Yalumba Victoria Museum Tawny

R. L. Buller's Premium Fine Muscat

What is the Buller's Muscat like?

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I second the rec for Aged Tawny Ports above. 10 year olds are fine, but they hit their stride at 20.

LBV - Late Bottled Vintage - ports are a possibility with chocolate, too.

And don't forget sherries - amontillado is moderately sweet, oloroso more so. PX (Pedro Ximenez, the grape) is very sweet, and some dessert sherries are made with Moscatel, which can be luscious. Lustau is a high quality bodega.

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Also consider Madeira, either the Malmsey or Bual varieties. Luscious caramel flavors, and it never oxidizes--can keep an opened bottle almost forever.

In addition, of course Suternes. I find they pair amazingly well with creamy or cakey citrus desserts, like an orange or lemon cake with creamy frosting or lemon tart.

Also consider the German Ausleses, Beerenausleses, Eisweins, and Trockenbeerenausleses. Very good stuff, and like other German wines, underconsumed in the US, possibly due to the unaproachability of the names and the German wine lebelling system.

Also consider Demi-Sec (medium dry) and Doux (sweet) Champagne.

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Also consider Madeira, either the Malmsey or Bual varieties. Luscious caramel flavors, and it never oxidizes--can keep an opened bottle almost forever.

In addition, of course Suternes. I find they pair amazingly well with creamy or cakey citrus desserts, like an orange or lemon cake with creamy frosting or lemon tart.

Also consider the German Ausleses, Beerenausleses, Eisweins, and Trockenbeerenausleses. Very good stuff, and like other German wines, underconsumed in the US, possibly due to the unaproachability of the names and the German wine lebelling system.

Also consider Demi-Sec (medium dry) and Doux (sweet) Champagne.

Yes, I can never pronounce Gewurztraminer. ;) But I like the Eisweins.

And as an alternative to Champagne, I love Moscato D'Asti but I figured out the best brand.

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Can anyone recommend a good Tokaji? If I'm going to try the expensive stuff, I want to make sure it's good.

Oremus is fabulous. I prefer it to the Royal Tokaji Wine Company; it's a little less sweet, but still has great concentration of flavors.

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We were in Toronto last weekend and stopped off at the Henry of Pelham vineyard in Niagara to stock up on some wine. Among our loot were a couple of bottles of Botrytis affected Rieslings (2005). Henry of Pelham were the only Niagara area vineyard to be so affected that year. We tried a sip and it was delicious! Not quite as sweet as the famous Niagara icewines, which is perfect for me.

Anyone else a fan of this kind of dessert wine? Is it easy to find in regular wine stores?? The Henry of Pelham stuff is only being sold in the winery. At about $35/bottle, it seems like a reasonable deal (again, compared with icewines).

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What are you're favorite dessert/sweet wines?

As I've been putting together my vision for my business, which initially was just desserts, I've added wines to my tasting events. I've never been much of a wine fan, but I realize now that's because I just can't acquire a taste for dry wines. I've always preferred Asti Spumante to Champagne. But sweet wines aren't as popular or plentiful and are usually more expensive.

Luckily, cake is my passion and I'm exploring the world of sweet wines. Any suggestions? So far, Bonny Doon's Muscat Vin de Glaciere is one of my favorites. There Bouteille Call port is my favorite port so far, especially since I've done some events focused on chocolate. And was also introduced to Rosa Regale a sparkling red wine with raspberry flavor. On the cheaper side, Sutter Home's Moscato is pretty good.

I usually rely on Jane Cahill who owns The Winery in Alexandria to help me with my picks to match my menu.

At the Today's Bordeaux event last month, we tasted an amazing Sauternes from Castelnau de Suduiraut. The wine retails for $20 and is a bargain. I'm not sure where it is sold, but the Importer is Compagnie Medocaine des Grands Crus. I generally prefer Tokaji wines, but this was top notch. For a local alternative try Barbourville's Malvaxia Reserve Passito.

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I'd just like to go on record that I think the use of 'dessert wines' is just plain wrong. 'Sweet wines' is much more appropriate since these beverages can be enjoyed not just for desser or after dinner.

So there. ;)

Sorry to agree with you. But you're right, many of them do go well with spicy food especially. :P

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Sorry to agree with you. But you're right, many of them do go well with spicy food especially. ;)

And some are fine with just being themselves or with foie or other liver-based products. I love Roberto Zeni's Moscatos, particularly the rosas. Delicious on its own (the nose!) or with tiny liverwurst sandwiches.

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I'm putting together a wine list for my next tasting event and could use some input. This is a different approach to my events. Usually, I create the dessert menu based on whatever theme I'm going with and then select wines that best suites them. For my latest event, I want to introduce people to sweet wines since alot of people aren't as familiar with them. It's not an official wine tasting just some of the popular categories. After talking with Jane from The Winery (where I usually buy my wines), we came up with several vintages in 7 different categories - Tokaji (obviously the most expensive), late harvest riesling, late harvest vidal (Gray Ghost "Adieu" - would go nicely if I do a peach dessert), Muscat Beaumes de Venise, Madeira, ice wine and sauterne. Would like to get it down to 4. What do I eliminate? She thought the madeira, but the other wines are so similar. Which made her think I could do without the beaumes de venise if I'm doing a sauterne. Should I keep the Tokaji to as the wow wine or same the money? Will probably be serving a carrot cake, caramel cake and orange cake, cheese and fresh fruit. Any opinions?

Carla

The Cake Bar

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I'm putting together a wine list for my next tasting event and could use some input. This is a different approach to my events. Usually, I create the dessert menu based on whatever theme I'm going with and then select wines that best suites them. For my latest event, I want to introduce people to sweet wines since alot of people aren't as familiar with them. It's not an official wine tasting just some of the popular categories. After talking with Jane from The Winery (where I usually buy my wines), we came up with several vintages in 7 different categories - Tokaji (obviously the most expensive), late harvest riesling, late harvest vidal (Gray Ghost "Adieu" - would go nicely if I do a peach dessert), Muscat Beaumes de Venise, Madeira, ice wine and sauterne. Would like to get it down to 4. What do I eliminate? She thought the madeira, but the other wines are so similar. Which made her think I could do without the beaumes de venise if I'm doing a sauterne. Should I keep the Tokaji to as the wow wine or same the money? Will probably be serving a carrot cake, caramel cake and orange cake, cheese and fresh fruit. Any opinions?

Carla

The Cake Bar

Sauternes with the caramel cake. Tokaji with the carrot cake. Beaumes de Venise is fine with the cheese and fruit.

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I'm putting together a wine list for my next tasting event and could use some input. This is a different approach to my events. Usually, I create the dessert menu based on whatever theme I'm going with and then select wines that best suites them. For my latest event, I want to introduce people to sweet wines since alot of people aren't as familiar with them. It's not an official wine tasting just some of the popular categories.

Sounds fun. Is this for the September 9 event that is advertised on your website?

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Sauternes with the caramel cake. Tokaji with the carrot cake. Beaumes de Venise is fine with the cheese and fruit.
Mark, what are your current favorites of Tokaji (those being readily available today either as current release or recent but still available library releases)?
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Yes, that's the event I'm working on. I'm very excited about it. Although I usually serve some wines and cheeses at most of my events that compliment my desserts, they're still usually a bit of an afterthought. This is requiring me to give more thought to putting a "meal" together even if it mainly consists of desserts. :angry:

Sounds fun. Is this for the September 9 event that is advertised on your website?
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Red wines sometimes give me a headache not too long after I drink them. And Ports can often be so heavy, I usually reserve them for when I'm serving chocolate.

Sauternes. Everything else is in second place except for Port which, for some reason, gives me a terrible headache after only a glass or two so that option is ppretty much out.
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Mark, what are your current favorites of Tokaji (those being readily available today either as current release or recent but still available library releases)?

The Tokaji that I'm currently using and like very much is imported by Monarchia and called Tokaji Late Harvest Furmint, the producer is Zoltan Demeter. Very clean and tasty with great length. The local distributor is International Cellars. I also recently acquired some Arvay-Paul Hobbs Tokaji Essenzia, but at $500 a half bottle it's not for everyone.

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Thanks for the suggestions Mark. I realized I needed to think differently. Usually at my events I have a dessert table. Wines, cheeses etc. are on another table. Although they're chosen to compliment the flavors of the desserts, they're not the focus. I need to think of it as though I'm serving people courses of wines and match a pastry and cheese to each. I was up thinking about this at 2AM!

Sauternes with the caramel cake. Tokaji with the carrot cake. Beaumes de Venise is fine with the cheese and fruit.
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For me, there is no substitute for a TBA from a top German estate. Eisweins are nice, but a TBA (short for the room-clearing, "Trockenbeerenauslese") especially with some age on it is direct from the realms of the truly profound. I've had many other types of dessert wine, including Y'Quem from a great vintage, but nothing does it for me like TBA riesling from the cellar of a master. Proof of God, if you ask me.

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For me, there is no substitute for a TBA from a top German estate. Eisweins are nice, but a TBA (short for the room-clearing, "Trockenbeerenauslese") especially with some age on it is direct from the realms of the truly profound. I've had many other types of dessert wine, including Y'Quem from a great vintage, but nothing does it for me like TBA riesling from the cellar of a master. Proof of God, if you ask me.

You're right, Joe. The best one I ever had was Eitelsbacherkarhauserhofberger Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese 1959, a famous year from a famous winery. Try saying that one 5 times fast. :angry:

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You're right, Joe. The best one I ever had was Eitelsbacherkarhauserhofberger Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese 1959, a famous year from a famous winery. Try saying that one 5 times fast. :angry:

Mark, what's it worth to you to try it again?

I have one, and only one, bottle of this.

Auction value trumps drinkability.

Sucks when that happens.

Bought them to drink.

Prices went up.

Sucketh.

Moi.

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Mark, what's it worth to you to try it again?

I have one, and only one, bottle of this.

Auction value trumps drinkability.

Sucks when that happens.

Bought them to drink.

Prices went up.

Sucketh.

Moi.

Sell.

Auction wins.

There are other things to drink.

It was a knockout when I tried it 18 years ago.

Leave it up to you to have something so obscure and delicious in your cellar.

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