Sweet Wines, First and Foremost, Are Wines

I’d like to point out the obvious: sweet wines are wines, too. I had this brilliant thought while attending Wine & Spirits “Top of the List” event. I tasted a breadth of excellent wines from all over the globe, but a sample of the Domaine des Baumard Quarts du Chaume stood out. It’s a Loire Valley wine made from Chenin Blanc and has a noble sweetness to it as well as a refreshing finish that keeps you going back for more…and more.

Sweet Wines Beyond “Dessert” Wines

It’s unfortunate enough sweet wines are often called “dessert” wines as it relegates them to single-tasker status. (Channeling Alton Brown and his loathing of “unitaskers.”) Try a wine like the Baumard with blue cheese, or anything similarly pungent, at any time of the day and get that “wow” feeling. It’s a nice wine to sip in the evening as you read a book. Or with a fruit-based pastry for brunch or, hell, breakfast if your day is one of leisure.

My point is, enjoy drinking sweet wine beyond the constrictive window of time between after your entrée and before you leave the restaurant.

When I think about the best wines I’ve ever had, I am transported back to the first (and only) time I tasted the Dal Forno Romano Recioto di Valpolicella. This was in Seattle. My first thought was, “Damn, this is the best sweet wine I’ve ever had.” But why compartmentalize it? On further contemplation, I concluded, “This is one of the best WINES I’ve ever had, PERIOD.”

Then I Gronk-spiked the blue cheese onto a baguette, and everyone rejoiced. TRUE STORY.


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The New Best $15 Pinot Noir

Probably/definitely blasphemous, but I liken the task of finding a Pinot Noir 15 bucks or less to that of the quest for the Holy Grail. So when I picked up a bottle of Les Deux Moulins Pinot from the Loire Valley, I had a bit of trepidation.

Though I was cautiously optimistic, because I had enjoyed the Sauv Blanc from this producer. And, I like the label. Which is important to me. Not gonna lie.

Les Deux Moulins Pinot Noir (2016)

This is definitely everything I want in an inexpensive Pinot Noir. I got it from my close-by shop, Grapepoint Wines, for $15. (Wine-Searcher shows it for $12, but with only one seller I imagine there will be some fluctuation between the two prices.)

Since it’s fermented and aged in stainless steel,  this is a Pinot Noir that’s a fresh, easy-drinking delight. If you need a red wine to chill down for the summer, this would fit the bill mightily. (Though you’ll find me drinking it in the shade.) Very tasty stuff.


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