If you ever entertain, or even might entertain, here’s a tip for dessert: keep some sweet wine around so you don’t have to actually exert yourself. Just drizzle one of these “stickies” over vanilla ice cream and you are done. If you wanna get fancy, serve it in a martini glass. Or even make it just for yourself. Usually one scoop is all you need… Usually.
Probably the easiest to find, this sherry is very inexpensive and I haven’t ever really had a bad one. Grapes are sun-dried, wine is fortified, aged in solera,…yada yada yada. What’s really important is that it lasts for a long time after you open it, as the high sugar content keeps it from going bad. This little guy, a half bottle of Alexandro Pedro Ximenez, got me through last month’s blizzard; I had opened it six months ago and had forgotten about it. A little nutty, a little raisin-y, but still bright and refreshing. A seriously elegant finish to a meal, with hardly any work other than scooping and pouring.
Nocino, or Vin de Noix
This one you might have to look for a little, or make your own if you’re adventurous and know how to Google. Green walnuts soaked in neutral spirits, with various recipes of sugar and spices added. But again, hardly a bad one out there, but taste a few to see which is your favorite. It’s not officially a wine, but a great sipper after dinner, and sincerely, this is amazing poured over ice cream. Just the essence of black walnuts concentrated in a glass. You could probably pour it over more than just vanilla, but that would be showing off.
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I recently tried some old vin doux from Maury from Domaine de la Coume du Roy and let me tell you, we all could use more of this stuff in our lives. The young ones from 2007 were bright and fruity, the older ones from 1998 were more complex and layered in flavors. Kind of like strawberry jam versus toffee syrup for your frozen delights. This is also fortified, made from Grenache grapes, and a classic from southwest France. They might be insulted that you are pouring their gem on ice cream, but I won’t tell.
Banana split with all three. Mic drop.