I explained that I had tasted other wines first but I felt a bit of censure. When I went to the tasting booths people often looked a bit surprised when I informed them I was there for the Port or the late harvest Zinfandel. In general people tend to stay away from these wines at tastings perhaps in order to not get too tipsy, perhaps because they think the sugar might mute the palate. I think they are really missing out. The chance to taste a wide variety of dessert wines is a rare and precious experience.
One of my favorite things in the world is to bring my deep dark chocolate cake and a Port-style dessert wine to a dinner party, I always delight in finding new sweet wines that are not just a big dose of sugar but also capture the complexities of the grapes used. I've heard the argument befofre that most dessert wines are all alike but I disagree.
My favorite of the day has to be the Matzin from Vino Con Brio because to me it represents the quailities I associate with zin, the big blackberry and pepper notes, the sense of brambly wildness, while still having sensuous sweetness that makes it a great dessert wine. If I were showing up somewhere with a bottle, I might spring for the EOS Port which has a lovely pewter label and is just as lovely on the inside. After the jump, my favorites of the sweet stuff.