We love a great sweet wine at Vintage Roots. Also known as dessert or pudding wines, they offer a thrilling drinking experience. The popularity of sweet wines has been steadily rising in recent times with an increasing audience understanding that the broad range of styles within the category means that there’s a sweet wine out there for everyone. It’s a little frustrating to use the dessert and pudding wine labels as these wines can be enjoyed just as much as a digestive or aperitif… some can even be drunk with a savoury main course! Fans will sometimes skip a baked pudding altogether and just pour themselves a glass of Sauternes (or other) instead! More versatile than many people realise, we have a handful of outstanding organic sweet wines on our list, for you to include in the festivities.
Best dessert wine for the Christmas pud?
Let’s be honest, there’s nothing subtle about the British Christmas pudding; it’s rich, sticky and brilliantly delicious.
The knack to finding the right wine is not to overwhelm it with something equally rich; we like to serve ours with a wine that has some of the citrus qualities that you’d find in the pudding; citrus peel, lemon zest and orange and refreshing acidity too.
Our choice: Château Dudon Sauternes or Pievalta Curina Verdicchio
Serve both of these wines, really nicely chilled (longer in the fridge than Champagne or white wine) at about 10 C
If you would like to take a breather from alcohol at this stage, we suggest you share and enjoy a superb glass of chilled Pri Secco Cuvee 25 alcohol free this sparkling fruit, herb and spice drink with its attractive crimson colour is intensely uplifting and refreshing, with zesty acidity to offset all that sweetness.
Wines for my Christmas cake
Okay, it’s not sweet but honestly, there’s not much that beats a full-on Christmas cake with a splash of quality whisky. You can take your pick from our selection from Scotland and Wales. A favourite would be the rich and complex Highland Harvest Sauternes Cask Finished Single Malt. Aged in the same casks from Chateau Dudon, whose organic Sauternes is just so good.
Beautiful Single Malt whisky aged in Sauternes barrels. Best Lowland Single Malt – World Whiskies Awards 2018
Whisky not your thing? An equally good option would be the Chilean Domaine Bousquet Fortified Malbec that has the heft, the chocolate-soaked, dried black and blue fruits and all-important acidity to drink very nicely with the cake.
Top choices to match a lightly sweet sparkling?
The Brits have happily adopted sweet fruit breads like Panettone into our Christmas food shop. They are an absolute treat served with the gently frizzante, low-alcohol (a mere 5%!) wine known as Moscato d’Asti.
The Moscato also works well with creamier puddings; perhaps a Christmas cheesecake or even trifle…
A great lower alcohol alternative we can thoroughly recommend, pretty much at anytime morning till night, is the sparkling pear or Poire Cuveé Aus Weinbirnen 2% Soft, aromatic with soft mousse, the flavours of delicate pear persist on the palate.
Sweet wines and blue cheese, what are the best cheese and wine pairings?
When yet another meal is too much there is nothing more decadent than some time a good book, a generous piece of cheese and a glass of something toothsome.
Can I skip the dessert and just have the wine?
Absolutely! In fact, having a bottle or two of sweet wine on the rack and some vanilla ice cream in the freezer is a great way to save yourself time when you are surprised by those last-minute or unexpected guests.
The delicious apricot-driven and nutty Recioto di Soave trickled over some organic vanilla ice cream is a star dessert… only problem, your guests may never leave!!
Can you serve a sweet wine with a savoury dish?
Perhaps not for everyday but if you want to have some fun with your sweet wines you could pull out the cookbook from the 1960s, whip up a duck a l’orange and pour a glass of the sweet, tangy, Pievalta Passito…
Don’t forget the Port…
First of all, a lightly warmed mince pie with a glass of Tawny Port is one of life’s great treats!
We know the shops are full of gift packs of Stilton and Port at this time of year and whilst it is indeed a match made in heaven, often the scale of both is so great that people simply run out of steam, the cheese dries out and the Port gets abandoned…
Here are some delicious ways to maximise the Port experience this Christmas
- It doesn’t have to be Stilton … Port goes very well with our wonderful British cheddar! A bottle of the Casal Jordoes Finest Reserve Port and a round of organic cheddar would make for a five star gift for someone…
- Brie de Meaux with the Maynards Late Bottled Vintage 2013 – yum!
- Do you have a sticky toffee pudding on the go? Think about serving it with a glass of Tawny
- Chocolate truffles with our Fonseca Terra Prima Organic Reserve Port is another treat
- Enjoy your cocktails? A quick online search will reveal any number of magical Port cocktails, not least the Oaxaca Coffee Cocktail, devised by Vivek Singh and which includes tawny port, tequila, egg yolk, agave syrup and orange bitters… Can you think of anything more festive?!