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Just Desserts - The Ideal Dessert Wines

by Grape Expectations

Starting to feel a little full by now? Ready for just a small spoonful of Christmas pud or something equally rich and over-indulgent?

For the dessert course, you’re looking for a wine that’s easy going and not too overbearing. You may not be a big fan of sweet wines ordinarily, but have you ever had a swig of your usual dry wine with pudding? It tastes horrible. That’s because it just doesn’t have the sweetness to stand up to the sugars in your dessert. Choosing the right wine to have with pudding will allow you to push on through and continue to enjoy every last mouthful and every last drop of wine!

Minimal:

Asda Moscatel de Valencia, Spain, £3.98 at Asda. This is a bargain wine to enjoy with a fruity pudding. It’s incredibly sweet, but has a fresh, zesty finish that doesn’t make it overbearing.

Martini Asti, Italy, from £5.50, widely available. How very kitsch, but also very brilliant with Christmas pudding and trifle. It is fun and frothy and its lightness is its asset. With lovely peachy, tangerine aromas, it works beautifully with fruity desserts, pastry and trifle, but it’s light enough to ensure you’re still standing at the end of it!

Manageable:

Gran Barquero Pedro Ximenez, Spain, £8.99 at Waitrose. Sold by the half bottle (as most dessert wines are), this is treacly, sweet and oozing raisins, dates, prunes and cocoa. It’s not a surprise that it works with Christmas pudding, but it is also very good with chocolate desserts, and is rather lovely drizzled straight over vanilla ice cream.

Waitrose Seriously Plummy Maury, France, £9.99 at Waitrose. Plummy by name, plummy by nature - Maury is a sweet red wine from the South of France, with notes of plums, blackberries and forest fruits. A lighter alternative to Port and lovely with seasonal puddings rich in dried fruits.

Maxed:

De Bortoli Show Reserve Liqueur Muscat NV, Australia, £14.99 at Majestic Wine. Dried fruits, toffee apples and caramelised nuts – this is sticky, sweet and fabulous with Christmas pudding or mince pies.

Matusalem Oloroso Dulce Muy Viejo 30 Year Old Sherry, Spain, £15.99 at Majestic Wine (but widely available). Another Sherry, but that’s because they are truly brilliant and amazing value! This is rich, opulent, packed with dried fruits, caramel and nut brittle. Delicious!

Grape Expectations is a small wine tasting company, specialising in informal wine tasting events for friends and colleagues. Events are tailored to suit the requirements of the group and are designed to increase wine knowledge in an interesting and interactive way. The aim is to have fun and enjoy wine.

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European Crusaders brought the mince pie back to England in the 12th Century. It was filled with meat, as well as fruits and spices. Although it has kept the same name, there is no longer any meat in a British mince pie. Well not normally.

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