One of my stock rants or hobby-horses is the UK’s wine trade’s absurd practice of calling sweet wines – dessert wines. Not only does this quite unnecessarily restrict the occasions that people consider opening a bottle of sweet wine but also they often don’t match desserts well – often they can be a disaster. A sweet dessert accentuates the wine’s acidity and sharply reduces a wine’s sweetness.
Take this fine 1993 Vouvray moelleux from Bernard Fouquet, which we drunk this August with some cheese. 1993 is an unheralded vintage but Bernard’s moelleux is now showing very well – honeyed and delicately sweet it is ideal with cheese especially various blues – that classic combination of sweet and salty. It would probably also worked well with pork noisettes with prunes and a cream sauce – a typical Touraine dish. Equally well I suspect with a rich poulet à la crème and probably magret de canard with a sweet sauce, whose sweetness often clashes with a red.
I did once serve a straight 1994 Coteaux du Layon from Patrick Baudouin with pheasant à la Normande. It was a delicious combination with the cream apple and Calvados.
Bernard's 1993 would not have worked with a dessert – so why continue to use the term dessert wine? Do we have sausage wines?