Dessert wines for the holidays, Part 2—gift-giving
For Foodcast, December 2006
Hello again, Tina here, eager to continue discussing dessert wines for the holidays. Last time I went over various types of dessert wines, and I hope you’ve had time to play a bit and see if you’ve found some you like.
Dessert wines make impressive holiday gifts, and so I hope you’ve also been thinking of who you know that might like the various kinds I mentioned. These wines are kind of comparable to appetizers in the best restaurants—they are small, delicious things, thoughtfully crafted, beautifully presented and packaged.
A bottle of dessert wine makes the ideal gift for the host or hostess of any holiday party you might be attending. If you intend for your hosts to stash it away for themselves for a later time, be sure to mention that when you present the wine to them. If you intended it to be consumed at the party, mention how you brought it to go with the delicious dessert you heard was being served. Or add some nuts or cheese to the dessert wine gift, and hand it all to your hostess with a mention of how you would love for everyone to try tasting the items together. We’ve often discussed on the Foodwine list, the fine art of presenting a bottle of wine at a gathering and how to make your intentions for it clear. It’s disappointing if you wanted to see how everyone might like the wine, only to have the host stash it away, and you never hear about it again.
Giving a bottle of dessert wine to your boss or colleague for Christmas is another great idea. If your office has a name exchange for gift-giving, a bottle of dessert wine is the perfect gift for any recipient except a teetotaler!
Another wonderful use for dessert wines as gifts, is to incorporate them into a larger basket of items. For instance, assemble a basket with some good nuts, a block of blue cheese, some sticks or a jar of good honey, and a bottle of dessert wine. You’ve assembled a marvelous treat.
Another great gift basket that I made just last year for a friend, contained a bottle of that Bonny Doon Framboise I mentioned last time, a raspberry wine. With it, I packed store-bought packaged shortcakes, a container of berries, and a pint of whipping cream. I had assembled a complete dessert for my friend, and she just loved it!
For the cook in your life, wrap up a bottle of tawny port with an attractive printout of the best recipe you know for a spice cake or a pumpkin pie. Or give them a selection of two or three very different dessert wines, and a good desserts cookbook.
So you see how dessert wines can so easily make delicious, attractive and impressive gifts for almost anyone. I hope you’ll have fun with these suggestions, or that they inspire all new ideas of your own. And we encourage you to visit our website, Cyberfeasts.com, and offer your feedback to the Foodwine list. Best wishes for delicious and happy holidays!
Dessert Wines, Part 1