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Category Archives: Sweet Wine

The Sweet Nectar of the Gods

2007 Château de Rayne-Vigneau, Sauternes, France LCBO# 98236 $31.00 (375ml btl)

The sweet wines of Sauternes are probably one of the most difficult wines to make. The growing conditions need to have the perfect combination of moist morning fogs and hot afternoon sun to allow for the onset of that magical fungus call botrytis. Botrytis, otherwise know as “noble rot” is what gives Sauternes its intense sweetness. The botrytis fungus literally feasts on the grape’s water content leaving a slightly shrivelled but insanely sweet grape. The winemakers then hand pick each individual berry in successive passes through the vineyard so each grape is at its optimal ripeness. To say that this is a labour intensive wine to make is a bit of an understatement, but the results can be earth-shattering. I have seen grown men cry…seriously…weep like small children. Sauternes is that good.

The question most people have about Sauternes is when would I ever drink such a sweet wine? The most immediate answer has always been with dessert. While this is obviously correct, there are so many other ways to enjoy Sauternes. Sauternes has been traditionally paired with foie gras, but frankly too much foie gras is just gross. Plus, I think it’s just a matter of time before foie gras is banned everywhere. Some exotic pairing for a Sauternes are with cured ham, steamed lobster, oysters or even spicy dishes like pad thai or jerk chicken. It’s Sauternes balance of sweetness and high acidity that allows for such food versatility.

This week’s wine gives you all that versatility plus is a great value. The 2007 Château de Rayne-Vigneau has beautifully integrated flavours of honeycomb, apricot, mushroom and a slight earthiness. This wine’s high acidity gives it a beautiful balance and a long finish. Beyond the above mentioned food matches, I would recommend pairing it with a Roquefort or another strong blue cheese. The smellier the better.

At $31.00, 2007 Château de Rayne-Vigneau is not an inexpensive wine, but for Sauternes, it is a definite value. I would highly recommend picking up this wine for the upcoming holidays…but that’s just my opinion. Let me know what you think by commenting below.

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Posted by on November 19, 2011 in France, Semillon, Sweet Wine

 

Another sweet fizzy for summer

2007 Cristina Ascheri, Moscato d’Asti, Piedmont, Italy $17.95 LCBO #746479

So picture this. As the long weekend quickly slips away, I am sitting in the backyard under a clear blue sky sipping this week’s Wine of the Week. I am totally convinced that this is the only way to enjoy this week’s wine. The 2007 Cristina Ascheri Moscato d’Asti is a slightly sparkling classic Italian white that you need to try.

This sweet fizzy white is jam packed with flavours of citrus and floral notes with a beautiful lychee finish. In the immortal words of Frank the Tank, “once it hits your lips, it’s so good!” The Cristina Ascheri Moscato d’Asti make a perfect aperitif or can be paired with a wide range of desserts (except for chocolate). As for cheese, I would recommend trying it with Gorgonzola.

The best part about this is wine is that not only is it a great deal at $17.95, but at 5.1% alcohol you can indulge and still be the consummate host. Please…Please…Please…try this wine. You won’t be disappointed…but that’s just my opinion. Let me know what you think.

 

A little sweet Italian fizz

2007 Patrizi Moscato d’Asti, Piedmont, Italy $14.95 LCBO #101766

I am not sure where in the world you are sitting when you read this, but here in Toronto, it seems like it won’t ever stop snowing! This week’s wine might just give you that ray of summer sunshine that you are looking for.

If you have never tried a Moscato d’Asti, you are in for sweet fizzy treat. The 2007 Patrizi Moscato d’Asti is a very slightly fizzy wine with sweet flavours of apricots and honey. For a wine with only 5.5% alcohol it has amazing acidity and length to balance out the sweetness. This is great aperitif but can be easily served with a fruit tart or biscotti. As for cheese, I would recommend trying it with Stilton or another blue-veined cheese.

At $14.95, this wine can bring a lot of happiness this winter for not a lot of money. I would strongly recommend getting out the dog sled and the snowshoes and picking up a couple of bottles of this treat…but that’s just my opinion. Let me know what you think.

 
 

I am “Hungary” for some sweet wine….(God, that was an awful pun!)

2000 Château Dereszla Tokaji Aszu 5 Puttonyos, Tokaji, Hungary $38.95 LCBO #012203

Ok…so I am going to break one of my own rules for Adam’s wine of the Week by recommending a wine that is slightly over $30. It was an honest mistake…I promise. There were two versions of the wine (side by side). One was $24.95…the other…$38.95. Guess which one I accidentally picked up? Despite this, when I tried this wine it blew me away!

This week’s pick is a desert wine from the famous Tokaji region in Hungary. It is a wonderful sweet wine that has the right balance of sugar and acidity. This balance keeps this wine from tasting so sweet that it hurts your throat. The 2000 Château Dereszla Tokaji Aszu 5 Puttonyos has this great balance. It also has elegant flavours of apricots, oranges, and rose pedals.

The secret to enjoying Tokaji is to match it with something equally as sweet. So look at pairing this amazing wine with a lemon tart or chocolate. If you have never tried a sweet desert wine before I strongly recommend that you try this one. Even at $38.95, this is a huge value for what you are getting in the bottle…but that’s just my opinion. Let me know what you think.

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2008 in Hungary, Sweet Wine

 
 
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