A good bottle of wine makes a wonderful gift for hard-to-shop-for friends and family members. But what if the recipient has a sweet tooth? Well Beltramo’s has a plethora of dessert wines for even the most discerning palate. Here are a few of my favorites to give you a helping hand.
The first time I ever tried Sauternes was the 2005 Chateau Guiraud Sauternes ($74.99) and I instantly fell in love. This wine has perfect balance so it isn’t too sweet. There are notes of golden raisin, stone fruit, and honey that dance back and forth along the palate. The nose is wonderful and opens up beautifully after a few minutes in the glass. For those who are priced out of Yquem but want something amazing, this is your wine.
Another first for me this year was Tokaji. The Beltramo’s staff was able to try the line-up from Royal Tokaji and the results were off the charts. Particularly for myself the Royal Tokaji Betsek Vineyard 6 Puttonyos ($99.99) is an experience unlike anything else. For those that don’t know, Tokaji is the original fine sweet wine. It hails from Hungary and is made the same way as Sauternes (grapes affected with botrytis). This particular offering has a golden raisin and apricot nose which carry over on the palate. This wine is silky smooth, plush, and refreshing. It is what I imagine ambrosia would taste like.
At a young age I was introduced to Tawny Port and have been infatuated ever since (I even named one of my dogs “Tawny” because of it). A good Tawny will last forever and we have one that is amazing. The Taylor Fladgate 30-Year Tawny ($99.99) is an incredible drink and a perfect way to end a meal. What makes Tawny Port special for me is the touch of nuttiness that contrasts with the sweetness of the wine to make a wonderfully balanced experience. Fladgate’s 30-Year is wonderfully smooth, with a silky and creamy texture and a finish that lingers for days. It would definitely be on my list to Santa.
If the 2011 Niepoort Vintage Port ($79.99) is any indication, the 2011 vintage will be one of those collectors and critics will be talking about for decades to come. The nose was spicy and woodsy with hints of pepper which is not something you would associate with vintage port. On the palate there are notes of chocolate, cassis, black fruit, and cherry that excites and entices. The texture is silky and creamy and oh so inviting. This is another wine that is delicious now, but will be legendary in 20+ years.
While some people live for cake and ice cream, a glass of an amazing dessert wine has always been my go-to for satisfying my sweet tooth. If I found any of these wines in my stocking it would be a very merry Christmas indeed. Happy Times and Happy Drinking! Cheers!
Rob R., Beltramo’s Wine Consultant