The one-minute lesson on dessert wines

A crash course in pairing wines with holiday sweets

Sara Schneider

Wine picks

Northwest Totem Cellars Elerding Vineyard Late Harvest Viognier 2006 (Columbia Valley; $28, 375 ml.). Rich, honeyed apricot nectar, with a very long finish.

Airfield Estates Riesling Ice Wine 2006 (Yakima Valley; $28, 375 ml.). Made from grapes that have been picked and pressed while frozen, ice wine ( eiswein, the Germans call it) is intense ― this one with floral aromas and minerally peach nectar flavors.

Covey Run Reserve Semillon Ice Wine 2005 (Yakima Valley; $22, 375 ml.). Concentrated peach, apricot, and pineapple flavors wrapped in aromatic honeysuckle.

Dry Creek Vineyard Late Harvest Zinfandel 2005 (Dry Creek Valley; $30, 375 ml.). The only red in our late-harvest lineup offers berries, minty herbs, and chocolate.

Greenwood Ridge Vineyards Late Harvest White Riesling 2006 (Mendocino Ridge; $25, 375 ml.). Honeyed evidence of botrytis, with great acidity holding the sweet apricot and melon flavors in balance.

Heaven's Cave Cellars Destiny Ridge Estate Vineyard "Make the Dash Count" "Icicles" Riesling Ice Wine 2005 (Horse Heaven Hills; $39, 375 ml.). Rich and honeyed but lively nectar of peaches, apricots, and tropicals balanced with a beautiful herbal minerality.

St. Supéry Moscato 2006 (California; $21, 750 ml.). A lovely light, refreshing wine, with juicy peaches and litchi fruit and touches of pineapple and orange zest.

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