Filed under: Wine
Swanson has made my bottles to bring lists before, their dessert wines are some of the best produced in California and with names like Arsene, Minuit, Tardif and Luminous they are great conversation starters. The 2006 Arsene Fortified Petite Sirah which sells for $75 is a port-style desert wine that would pair terrifically with dark chocolate truffles. The 2004 Minuit Black Muscat, $65 (375 ml) is made entirely of black muscat grapes, vinified in a process developed by Spanish missionaries two hundred years ago, adding brandy to the just harvested juice. The wine's name, the French word for midnight, seems to suggest the ideal drinking time. The 2005 Tardif Late Harvest Chardonnay, $80 (375 ml), is golden wine with a honey nectar flavor, it would be all sorts of wonderful served with a creamy cheesecake. The 2006 Luminous Gewurztraminer Ice Wine, $85 (375 ml) has the classic piercing sweetness of ice wine and expresses the lychee and honeysuckle character of the grape.
For chocolate lovers, the Alexis bonbon, a collaboration between Alexis Swanson Traina and Katrina Markoff of Vosges Haut Chocolate is a must-try. It has a cocoa and cabernet sauvignon center, is dipped in Belgian chocolate and dusted with a delicate curry powder.