Too often we think of sweet wines as being only for desserts. But as a matter of fact, even many producers of sweet wines agree that the wines don’t go as well with something sweet as they do with something rich and savory, such as blue cheese or foie gras.
Two of the best of these are Port and Tokaji, the signature sweet wines of Portugal and Hungary, respectively. One could write volumes (and many people have) about how these wines are made and of their many variations. But let’s for the moment keep it simple, using one wine from each country to speak for their genres.
As you read the following, think of how well either of these wines would go with a cheese course between the turkey and the pumpkin pie at your Thanksgiving meal.
Graham’s Six Grapes “Special Old Vines Edition” Porto ($40)
Most Ports fall into one of two categories: the ruby reds, which include vintage, and the aged tawnies. Six Grapes is one of several brands of reserve rubies that have a fresher, fruitier taste than the tawnies, and this special release is rich in ripe, red-grape flavors with cedary spices and notes of tobacco in the finish. Traditionally, Port is served with Stilton, and this Six Grapes would be a perfect match.
2007 Disznókő Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos ($69)
While Port has all the robustness of a fortified red, Tokaji is a late-harvest wine that goes to the white spectrum and has less alcohol. This one is a combination of stone fruit flavors — ripe peaches, apricot — and citrus flavors — orange, grapefruit — put together in a luscious body with a lean finish of cleansing acidity. Delicious and very lively, it can also stand up to the blue cheeses, perhaps a Roquefort.