Tag Archives: dessert wine

Sunday Read: Sips Closest to Dessert

I’ll be participating in a #Winechat this Wednesday (9-10pm EST), a Twitter event hosted by @ProtocolWine (if all the wines make it here in time, the East Coast snowstorms have delayed some deliveries). The theme is “Ice Wine” and dessert wines in a nod to the Olympics (where all ice is fake, as we are being told). When I heard of the theme I immediately got in touch to see whether I could participate and was lucky to be chosen to receive some samples to talk about this Wednesday. Needless to say, I am super excited. Coming of (wine) age in the Mosel valley, I had ample exposure to its sweet wines and therefore feel particularly comfortable tasting these wines…

We’ll have a dinner party with friends that night because I don’t want to try the wines alone and so naturally my thinking has moved to what to pair dessert wines with. I am not a fan of sweet desserts and these wines, it is usually overkill. I am looking for ways to pair wine with savory dishes. Because for me either the wine IS the dessert or it should complement savory aromas.

I came across this article by Eric Asimov published in 2009 in which he looks at exactly that topic: pairing savory dishes with sweet wines (we’re on the same page regarding dessert and dessert wine). I found it an inspiring read!

Happy Sunday!

Eric Asimov: Sips Closest to Dessert

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2009 Macquariedale Hunter Valley Late Picked Semillon

The black pirate

The final wine and black pirate at our Michigan vs. Mosel Riesling Tasting came from Australia, and was brought by a friend who had just arrived from Australia. She knows Nina’s and my love for wine, and she pretty much nailed it earlier this year when she brought this wine for us…

It was only after the tasting that I dove a bit further into the winery. On its website, the owners state that Ross and Derice McDonald started planting some vines in 1993 as an escape out of Sydney’s corporate world…interesting. In 1998 they went in all the way by moving to their Hunter River property from Sydney. They now own 15 hectares of vineyards and claim to make biodynamic/organic wines. I know organic wine making is quite the rage for a lot of consumers these days. I am fine with drinking organic wines, but it would never be my main criterion in buying a wine. A wine has to taste good first and foremost. If that can be combined with less intrusive methods of growing, that is fine with me. What I do not like is that equation of organic = good. To their credit, Mcquariedale does not seem to push that point too hard.

They grow shiraz (it is an Australian winery after all!), cab sav, merlot, semillon, chardonnay and verdelho grapes.

The wine description on their homepage reads as follows: “Our late picked Semillon is produced in a light style with hints of citrus peel and marmalade on the palate.  The semillon grapes are left to ripen on the vine and then fermented briefly to retain all the natural acidity and sweetness.  The wine will age gracefully and deepen in colour and flavour with extended cellaring.”

Here are my tasting notes. The wine poured in a deep orange color, and was highly viscose, as was to be expected by a fortified dessert wine. The nose had prominent pumpkin and clove aromas, then dried apricots and overripe cantaloupe. On the palate, the first and slightly overwhelming note was honey. As the earlier detected pumpkin and clove came in, so did some hints of sweet potato. I hardly noticed any acidity at all. The finish had an interesting touch with slight salty notes in the end.

I have to say, this wine did not grow on me. It was just too sweet without redeeming acidity. The pumpkin and cloves aroma did not help, because I am not fond of pumpkin pie at all (hey, I am not American, I do not have to like pumpkin pie!). I think the craftsmanship is there, and I bet there are many that like this type of dessert wine, some of the vin santo I tried in Italy was of similar style. I am just spoiled by my riesling BA, TBA and ice wines…

Tagged , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: