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Fall Fruit and Dessert Wine
By Kylene Keith

Dessert wines are a mystery to many, fueled by the myth that dry wines are the more sophisticated choice. In fact, dessert wines can be a treat on their own or they can enhance the enjoyment of what is arguably the best part of the meal. No, we're not talking about a glass of white zinfandel with your chocolate cake. We're talking about the quality dessert wines that are now being produced in large volume all over the world - wines that have the power to enhance the final course of a meal by adding new flavor elements just as a dry wine can "make" a savory dish. Delicious dessert wines have enough acidity to balance the sweetness. A dessert wine that is sweet with low acidity would seem cloying and almost syrupy, while a dessert wine that is sweet with high acid will be luscious, yet delicate on the palate. The fall season is a great time to experiment with dessert wines. Fall fruit and dessert wine is a match made in heaven:

Elizabeth Terry's Apple Pear Pie with Ginger
This dessert presents a challenge with the sweetness of cooked apples and pears playing against the zesty ginger flavors. Try late harvest Gewurztraminer. This spicy varietal can stand up to the cinnamon and ginger in this dish.

Daniel Boulud's Baked Apples with Cranberries
A sweet and warming dessert such as baked apples calls for a generous dessert wine. The honeyed flavors of a Sauternes make a satisfying complement to this dish. A late harvest Riesling with its typical upfront notes of ripe peaches, nectarines, and honey also complements the flavors of this recipe.

Roberto Donna's Rustic Apple Tart with Apple Gelato
This dish would benefit from the light, sweet flavor of a Moscato d'Asti from Italy or any other wine made from the Muscat grape. This light dessert could be suitably matched with any equally delicate dessert wine.

Barbara Goodman's Red Bartlett Pear Tart
This elegant recipe yearns for the ripe, fruity character of a young, Ruby Port. The raspberry jam drizzled over the tart harmonizes with the red fruit flavors typical of a Ruby Port.

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