The one-minute lesson on dessert wines

A crash course in pairing wines with holiday sweets

The one-minute lesson on dessert wines
Photo: Annabelle Breakey

Here's our quickie guide to the three main dessert wines ( late-harvest, sweet sparklers, and port-style) and how they pair with holiday sweets.

Rule of thumb: The wine should be at least as sweet as the dessert, with enough acidity for balance.

LATE-HARVEST

Made from grapes left on the vine past normal picking times to build sugar levels.

Tastes like

Whites: nectarlike stone fruit, candied citrus, and baked apple flavors. If the grapes had botrytis, or "noble rot," expect honey.

Red (namely late-harvest Zinfandel): full of dried cherries and chocolate.

Great with

Cheesecake with berries, fruit tarts, apple pie, and carrot cake; late-harvest Zin is yummy with chocolate.

 

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