Simply Sweet Saturday: Dessert Wines

Tonight I hosted another Wine & Dine event for my cooking group. This month we focused on Dessert Wines. Dessert wines (or pudding wines) are sweet wines typically served with dessert, such as Sauternes and Tokaji AszĂș. Despite the name, they are often best appreciated alone, or with fruit or bakery sweets.

There is no simple definition of a dessert wine. In the UK, a dessert wine is considered to be any sweet wine drunk with a meal, as opposed to the white fortified wines (fino and amontillado sherry) drunk before the meal, and the red fortified wines (port and madeira) drunk after it. Thus most fortified wines are regarded as distinct from dessert wines, but some of the less strong fortified white wines, such as Pedro Ximenez sherry and Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise, are regarded as honorary dessert wines. In the United States, by contrast, a dessert wine is legally defined as any wine over 14% alcohol by volume, which includes all fortified wines - and is taxed more highly as a result.

For tonight I offered the following dessert wines:

10 year Tawny Port:
Taylor Fladgate 10 Year Old Tawny

Ruby Port:
Jonesy Port

2001 Chateau Rabaud Promis, Sauternes

Ice Wine:
2004 Jackson Triggs Vidal Ice Wine

1927 Alvear Pedro Ximenez (PX) Solera

Late Harvest Riesling:
2004 Kiona Red Mountain Late Harvest White Riesling

To go with the wines I've chosen, here is the dinner I prepared:

Port glazed lamb chops & chicken thighs

Sweet potato croquettes

Fig Trio:
Grilled Prosciutto Wrapped Figs

Mint & Feta Stuffed Figs
Nutella Topped Figs

Spring salad with blue cheese, cranberries,
pears, walnuts & cherry balsamic dressing

Caramelized onion tartletts

Portabello mushrooms stuffed w/leeks & goat cheese

Minibaked cheese souffles - packaged/prepared

Cheese & cracker boards
Roquefort, Blue cheese, Boursin, Brie,
Chevre (goat cheese), Marscapone, Provolone , Swiss

Fruit platter

Nectarines, Grapes, Apples, Pears, Dried Apricots

Flourless chocolate cake (packaged/purchased)
with Raspberry Coulis (made):
1/2 bag frozen raspberries
1 cup water
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice

In a small pot, combine all the ingredients and boil.
Stir occassionally and cook to reduce until a thick syrup.
Strain the mixture to rid of seeds. You may have to strain it a few times.
I served this as a sauce on the bottom of the serving plate for the flourless chocolate cake to sit on.

Carrot cake cheesecake (packaged/purchased)

Chocolate covered pretzels (packaged/purchased)

Mixed nuts (packaged/purchased)

Cashew marizpan (packaged/purchased)

Mini Almond Biscotti (packaged/purchased)

Fresh Lemon/Lime & Cucumber Water
Grape & Peach Spritzer (recipe follows)
1 frozen cylinder of grape & peach punch concentrate
1- 2 liter bottle of lemon lime soda
1 liter of water
1 to fill

Combine above ingredients in a one gallon pitcher; stir.

The final table setting shots:
Desserts Table Shots:

Here are candids from the event:
(It was a full house with over 20 people attending! I
was pretty busy entertaining & playing hostess
that I was unable to get too many pictures this time around...)


  1. WOW! That looks fantastic! I have to try those figs! :)

  2. once again, everything loolks absolutely amazing! i am definitely trying those chicken thighs with port and the portobellos. mmm.

  3. Everything looks delish and fun, as usual. I'm craving figs now!

  4. Aren't you just the hostess with the mostess!! Everything looks wonderful, great job.

  5. Joelen, this looks incredible! Wish I could have been there!