How to Choose Dessert Wines

A dessert wine makes a great meal even better. Follow these tips to top off your menu with flair.

You will need

  • A variety of desserts
  • A supply of dessert wines

Step 1 Know your dessert wines Learn the different types of dessert wines, including fortified wines, such as port and sherry, and late harvest wines, made from mature, sweet grapes.

Step 2 Choose a dessert Decide what to serve for dessert and choose a wine to complement it. Cake or cookies, fruit and cheese, and chocolate are good choices.

Step 3 Drink port with hearty desserts Serve port, a red wine fortified with brandy, with rich desserts. Pair lighter ruby ports with fruit pies, tawny ports with milk chocolate, and vintage ports with dark chocolate.

Step 4 Muscat wine Drink Muscat wine with fruit. Muscat grapes produce a sweet, light, fruity wine.

Step 5 Noble rot Indulge in a bottle of Sauternes, a wine made from grapes infected by “noble rot,” a fungus that concentrates their sugars. Serve with fruit and Roquefort cheese.

Step 6 Serve wine Serve very sweet dessert wines, such as ice wine or German Ausele, on their own. These are a dessert in themselves!