Text Size:-+

~ Recently in Dessert Wine Category ~



The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines

It's hard to imagine an age when wine might have literally been seen as treasure. Certainly those of us with the privilege of living in first-world countries take the idea of drinking wine for granted as an everyday pleasure. There was a time, however, that wine, especially the good stuff, was more valuable than gold in some places in this world. So valuable, in fact, that it could be used to buy your way out from underneath the control of an empire. With a mouthful of the finest Ruster Ausbruch swirling around your tongue, it's not difficult to accept the... continue reading


Weinlaubenhof Kracher, Burgenland, Austria: Current Releases

When it comes to dessert wines, most people have heard of Sauternes or ice wine (location unspecific). Perhaps some have heard of Tokaji, the sweet wines of Hungary. But few have heard of the sweet wines of Austria's Burgenland region. There are several reasons for this. Dessert wine isn't all that popular, Burgenland doesn't make all that much of it to begin with, and those who actually do know about these wines tend to buy as many as they can afford and guard them like buried treasure. The sweet wines of Burgenland are one of Austria's best kept secrets, and... continue reading


1988 Chateau Climens Sauternes-Barsac, Bordeaux, France

There are an endless number of formative wine experiences to provide enthusiastic wine lovers with memorable introductions to new levels of wine appreciation or knowledge. These moments, which are so easily to forget in a lifetime of serious wine drinking, should definitely be cherished in the same way we might hang onto the infant drawings of our children. Most wine lovers don't remember their first taste of Cabernet or Merlot. These early introductions to different varietals are best forgotten anyway, coming as they often do in bottles that could charitably be called "value priced." There is one type of wine,... continue reading


2001 Weinrieder "Poysdorfer Schneiderberg" Riesling Eiswein, Weinviertel, Austria

Winemaking can be a nerve-wracking business. A lot of things can go wrong in the fermentation process, strange things happen in barrel sometimes, and there's always a bit of nervousness when the wine goes into the bottle and suffers a condition known as "bottle shock" where it usually tastes lousy for several weeks to several months until it settles down in its new home. But perhaps the most nerve-wracking aspect of winemaking for most winemakers, one that can never be completely erased no matter how many years of experience they possess, is the day and time of picking. A lot... continue reading


2004 Kiona Vineyards Late Harvest Riesling, Red Mountain, Washington

Frequent readers know that I'm not the greatest fan of dessert wines. Most sweet wines just don't have enough acidity to keep me from feeling like I'm drinking syrup, and many are just too sweet for me to take. Even though I had a huge sweet tooth as a kid, these days it's pretty easy for less than stellar dessert wine to push me into the zone where I feel like I ought to be taking insulin pills along with each sip. Dessert wines, however, are certainly one of the wine world's most hedonistic pleasures. When they are good, I... continue reading


1996 Stony Hill Semillon de Soleil, Napa

OK. I admit it. I really don't like dessert wines. Eiswein? Forget it. Muscat? Ick. Even many Sauternes just are overkill on the sweetness. I really need a wine to have enough acidity to cut through the sweetness before I will pay attention. Too many dessert wines are cloying and sticky, basically as appealing to me as drinking a mouthful of maple syrup. So when a dessert wine has the right balance of sugar, acid, and alcohol, when there is more than one dominant flavor in the wine, I tend to sit up and take notice. I don't know how... continue reading


Weinbau Wenzel, Neusiedlersee, Austria: Current Releases

When Michael Wenzel says his family is in the wine business, he means it. Every bottle that comes out of his small operation in the (perhaps aptly named) town of Rust where his family cellars are is stamped with the phrase: "since 1647." But that doesn't quite begin to tell the history of this family's relationship with wine in a single spot for over 500 years. Some of the things that might are the stone wall that still stands which was erected to keep out the Turks; or the 100+ year old wooden wine press which was just put out... continue reading


The 2004 Vintage in Germany and Austria: An Idiots Point of View

Before you read any further, you should know that I'm the idiot. I know next to nothing about German and Austrian wines. Before last week I had tasted probably thirty of them in my life. Maybe fifty. They'd just never been a real source of interest. Sure I'd had a lovely Gewurztraminer here and there, a gorgeous dry Riesling over Thai food, but honestly I never really made a serious study. This, of course, is problematic when you hang out with people who are convinced that German and Austrian wines are the best wines on the planet. And I do... continue reading


2002 Samos Grand Cru Vin Doux (Muscat), Samos, Greece

It's not everyone that can claim they've been making quality wine pretty much continuously since at least the twelfth century B.C. Most people also can't say with authority that their wines were the favorites of people like Hippocrates. You know, that greek guy who invented, um, well. At least I know they named the Hippocratic Oath after him. In any case, very few places in the world have a winemaking pedigree like the people of the island of Samos. A thumbnail sized, green mountainous island that pokes up out of the eastern Agean sea, the name Samos comes from... continue reading


1994 Zind Humbrecht "Heimbourg" Gewurztraminer Vendange Tardive, Turkheim, Alsace

Today we are exploring off-dry wines as part of the monthly virtual tasting event known as Wine Blogging Wednesday. This month's tasting is hosted by Beau over at Basic Juice. My entry in this category is an Alsatian wine from one of the most famous producers in the region, Domaine Zind Humbrecht. The father and son operation has been in existence since 1959 when the marriage of the Zind and Humbrecht families brought together a passion for winemaking and some of the best land in Alsace under one roof. Leonard Humbrecht and his son Olivier (notable for being France's first... continue reading


1997 Dolce, Napa

This wine may, in fact, be the strangest wine produced in California (especially if you leave out all those people making blueberry wine). Its strangeness has nothing to do with any qualities of the wine itself (if you continue reading you'll see that it's pretty good) but instead comes from the fact that there was someone crazy enough to attempt to make a wine like this in California. You see, Dolce is basically a Sauternes, but made in California. It doesn't sound so strange on the face of it, after all Napa makes Cabernet and so does Bordeaux. Bordeaux makes... continue reading


1996 Domaine Pichot Vouvray "Moelleux," Vouvray (Loire), France

The Pichot family is one of the oldest in Vouvray and can trace its members (mostly restauranteurs and viticulturists) back as far as 1739. The family estate is located inside the city limits of the town of Vouvray, and both the cellars as well as part of the family home are located in caves hewn from the rocky hillsides. The domaine combines two sets of properties "Coteau de la Biche," owned and managed at one time by the family patriarch Jean-Claude, and "Peu de la Moriette" owned and operated by his son, Christophe, who has recently taken over management of... continue reading


NV Azienda Ag. Malvira "Birbet" Brachetto, Roero (Piemonte), Italy

Sparkling red wine? Sacre Bleu! Or in this case I guess you'd say Mizzica! or some other Italian equivalent. Yes, this really is a sparkling red wine and quite an interesting one at that. It's made by a small producer in Piemonte, Azienda Agricola Malvira. I love the name of the winery, which literally translates to "Situated Wrong," because the winery's original courtyard faced North instead of to the South as popular wisdom dictated it should. Even though the winery is in its new location along the banks of the Tanaro river in the small village of Canova, the name... continue reading


2000 Ferrari-Carano "Eldorado Noir" Black Muscat, Sonoma

I've mentioned before that I'm not a fan of dessert wines. I find the majority of them far too sweet and cloying " small syrup bombs that are the last thing I need after, let alone during, a nicely prepared dessert. However, after the recent discovery of dessert wines made from Jurancon, I'm holding a out a little hope that I may occasionally find one which does what its supposed to " make me enjoy dessert even more. It was with that small hope that I ordered Ferrari-Carano's "Eldorado Noir" Black Muscat the other night after dinner. I had never... continue reading

But Wait, There's More!

This page only has the last sixty entries in this category. If you're interested in digging farther into my archives, you'll want to use the complete list of archives to access my articles by month.

Calendar of Postings

April 2016

          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Most Recent Entries

The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines Weinlaubenhof Kracher, Burgenland, Austria: Current Releases 1988 Chateau Climens Sauternes-Barsac, Bordeaux, France 2001 Weinrieder "Poysdorfer Schneiderberg" Riesling Eiswein, Weinviertel, Austria 2004 Kiona Vineyards Late Harvest Riesling, Red Mountain, Washington 1996 Stony Hill Semillon de Soleil, Napa Weinbau Wenzel, Neusiedlersee, Austria: Current Releases The 2004 Vintage in Germany and Austria: An Idiots Point of View 2002 Samos Grand Cru Vin Doux (Muscat), Samos, Greece 1994 Zind Humbrecht "Heimbourg" Gewurztraminer Vendange Tardive, Turkheim, Alsace

Favorite Posts From the Archives

Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune

Archives by Month


Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud