Articles on Fortified Wine, Late Harvest Wine, & Dessert Wine

Vin Santo: A Truly Great Dessert Wine from Tuscany, Fit for Saints

Italy is known for many unique and delicious wines. This column has examined many of them. Up until now, however, we have ignored the topic of dessert wines.

Charming Ice Wines: Cold Never Tasted So Good

December, what do we do with you? So full of merriment, yet so manic. Emotions bubble to the surface like corks, dredging up memories of past joys, pains, laughter and tears just in time for you to tie a nice bow around them all and start anew in January. And what better tumultuous time of year to give yourself a kick in the pants and try something new, like ice wine?

Contrary to what you might think, ice wine is not a Cabernet Sauvignon-flavored popsicle (although, that’s a great idea….)

Wine and Cheese Pas de Deux

Last month, we touched on some basics around dessert wines and their terminology. This month – as dinner party season fast approaches with the holidays – let’s wow your guests with some basics around dessert wine and cheese pairings.

I recently spoke to a well-traveled epicurean friend of mine, Carrie Voorhis, who used to manage a cheese and wine shop in Indianapolis, Indiana. Every day she’d help folks like us find the perfect compliments to wines from all over the world.

Grgich Hills Estate

The Vibe: 

One of the most familiar names in Napa, Mike Grgich enjoys the status of Croatian immigrant turned celebrity after the coup he scored as winemaker of the winning California chardonnay in the Paris Tasting of 1976. Visitors to the homey Napa tasting space can enjoy a warm reception in a barrel-flanked room, or a tour of the facility during one of their daily, by-appointment-only tours.

Particularly good if you are seeking: 
  • Small groups
  • Tours (offered daily; by appt)
  • Private tastings
Not good for: 
  • Large groups
  • Picnics
  • Shoppers
Known For: 
Chardonnay, Fume Blanc, Dessert Wine
Pictures: 

Locations

1829 St. Helena Hwy.
Rutherford, CA 94573
United States
38° 26' 51.0864" N, 122° 24' 44.6652" W
1829 St. Helena Hwy.
Rutherford, CA 94573
United States
38° 26' 51.0864" N, 122° 24' 44.6652" W
Phone Number: 
8005323057

Decadent Dessert Wines: The Language of Labels

As we roll into fall and winter, thoughts of roaring fires, cashmere sweaters, and elegant dinner parties are filling my head. And with this in mind, “Red on Reds” is taking a slight detour into the sumptuous world of dessert wines: What are they, what do they pair well with, and how sweet is sweet?

Dessert Wines "California Style" - A Discussion with Andrew Quady

Much is written about the celebrated wines and terroir of Napa Valley and Sonoma County. Travel southeast from California’s “wine country” through the Central Valley and you will find a unique gem of a winery nestled in Madera County. Quady Winery has spent the past 30 years refining the art of dessert wines. IntoWine.com caught up with co-founder Andrew Quady (his wife Laurel is the other brain behind it) to talk about Quady’s California style dessert wines.

Chocolate: A Dessert Wine’s Best Friend

 

“I’ll try the Madeira” I said to the sommelier. After retrieving a new bottle from the back of the wine bar, she poured a glass of the deep red wine and set it down. As I made a motion to begin my first sip, I heard: “wait a second; I have something for you to try.” A small dish was placed in front of me, filled with brownish-black disks. “Its chocolate,” she said in a matter-of-fact tone. “Oh, of course,” I responded, not totally understanding the pair of wine and plain pieces of chocolate. Then, as I tasted the bitterness of the chocolate combined with the smooth sweetness of the Madeira, I began to appreciate the origin of the slight smirk flashed by the sommelier. What a perfect match.

An Introduction to the Most Quotable Wines on Earth

“You know the old caution: Champagne after sherry makes tummy grow wary.”
-Niles Crane

I’ve always wondered what Niles and Frasier Crane were talking about. They walked around espousing obscure French literary references, in Italian suits, while holding those tiny wine glasses. And from those glasses they sipped this caramel-colored, somewhat translucent beverage that provoked the haughtiest of behavioral patterns. I knew it had to be something special.

Fortified Wines

Born of the need to protect wines on long sea voyages, fortified wines were created. As trade expanded in the 16th and 17th Centuries to finally encompass the whole globe, many of the wines from Europe became spoiled on their long journeys across the oceans. To counteract this problem, wine makers took up the practice of adding measures of brandy to stabilize the wine.

Port Wine: Portugal's Douro Valley, Making Port Wine & the History of Port

Port is a fortified wine from the remote vineyards in Portugal's Douro Valley. Here, in the Douro Valley, time has almost stood still. You will not find the latest wine making techniques and fancy equipment. Instead, you will find a wine industry much the way it was over a hundred years ago. Yet, in spite of it, or because of it, vintage Port is one of the world's greatest wines.

Port takes its name from the city of Oporto that is situated at the mouth of the 560-mile long Rio Douro or River of Gold. Although many port-style wines are made around the world – most notably Australia, South Africa and the United States – the strict usage of the terms Port or Porto refer only to wines produced in Portugal. It is these wines that we will explore here.

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