Being a restaurant reviewer, I have had the luxury of being able to eat way beyond my means.
I have also been able to compare the good with the bad, the mediocre with the sublime.
Though I am in no way a sommelier or wine afficiendo, I have learned through many a tasting how to identify a well-crafted dessert wine.
A bad dessert wine is bracing, acidic and achingly sweet.
A great dessert wine is warm and slightly sweet. Quady Winery has been making wine since 1975 and their Essensia (2007 World Wine Championship) is one of the best I've ever had.
I like the unexpected aroma of orange blossom and apricots. Made with 100% Orange Muscat grape from California, it is fruity, but subtle. There is no sickly sweetness or stickiness that I've found with lesser wines, and the finish is just as exquisite as when it first reached your taste buds.
Aged in 3 months in French Oak, there is a richness that I haven't experienced before in dessert wine. So pair it with chocolate, fruit, dessert or serve it on its own after dinner.
If I could choose only one dessert wine, I would choose Essensia.
And with Thanksgiving,Christmas coming up and all of the dinners and gathering in between, don't you want a wine you can absolutely count on?