Dessert Wines: Gifts to Impress Your Host and Hostess

by Jana Harvey on December 6, 2012

Anyone can bring a big name bottle of California wine to a dinner party, but bringing a special bottle of dessert wine for the finale will surely be remembered.  In addition, traditional holiday fare is always challenging to pair with wine.  But you can be sure of a hit with a dessert wine that enhances the dessert spread or sips well by itself. Because we grew up on Coca Cola, most of us have a sweet tooth. The right dessert wine is a finishing touch that even the infrequent drinkers at the party will enjoy.

Well made dessert wines that show outstanding balance will always find their way to the taste buds and warm the hearts of the guests.  I say well balanced, because for a dessert wine to be truly enjoyable it needs enough acidity to balance the residual sugar.  When you have this sweet and sour balance the wine warms the heart and is neither too tart or too cloying on the palate.  It’s the perfect accompaniment to the ubiquitous fruit and pumpkin pies served during the holidays.

Angel Eis - Ice Style WineAfter a sumptuous feast with a full belly, a small glass of liquid dessert might suffice. The 2010 Angel Eis is a low alcohol Ice Wine style that provides fresh rich Riesling essence with a low 7.6% alcohol giving the wine fresh nectar with a crisp twist. Enjoy with this festive lemon pound cake recipe that we paired especially for our Angel Eis.

Jana Wine ForteThe Scott Harvey 2006 Forte,  a California Port style wine made from Portuguese varietals from Amador County, has a rich full bodied warming effect on the palate with enough acidity that the wine is not overly sweet.  It slides down the throat warming you all the way down.  This is a wine that both port lovers and non-port lovers enjoy.  Chocolate is a great pairing as well as cheese or nuts.   This is an ideal way to spend the end of a holiday gathering just sipping with friends and family around a fire. Even if the wine is not imbibed that evening, the beautiful bottle will have a special place in your host’s wine cellar.

Staying with friends and family this season and wondering how you can show your appreciation? Similar to grappa, the packaging is usually unique and eye catching.  For instance, Scott Harvey Forte is bottled in an old Italian olive oil bottle–looking like a genie bottle.  For baby boomers, we always tell them if they rub hard enough, Barbara Eden with jump out.   As a thank you gift, we have many customers and friends that use this wine as their “go to” present.

What’s the best dessert wine you’ve ever tasted?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Connie & Bill Schlelein December 7, 2012 at 10:57 am

We LOVE giving our family and friends Scott Harvey’s Forte which we find to be an affordable “Wine Lovers” Port-style wine. It’s great for the holidays and we’ve discovered once we give it to someone one year – they ask for it again for the next. Easy solution!

It’s also our Go-To gift hostess gift for those dinner parties or overnight stays. It’s one wine we take to a party and it becomes a memorable group experience to share. The fact that it keeps for quite a while after opening is also really compelling and more user friendly.

And a bonus – it comes in a beautiful box making it easier to present as a box or mail. It makes us thirsty just talking about it!


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