The Dessert Wine Sommelier Doreen Winkler Says Skeptics Should Try

glasses of white wine
glasses of white wine - 5ph/Getty Images

As the name suggests, dessert wines are sweet selections that are often enjoyed at the end of a meal and paired with a decadent dessert. Because of their distinct flavor profile, a number of wine enthusiasts are put off by the concept of dessert wines. However, sommelier Doreen Winkler cautions against writing off dessert wines altogether, as certain selections can please even the most particular wine lover. As a highly sought-after consulting sommelier, Winkler is the person to ask when it comes to questions about wine selection. Consider that Winkler is in demand for curating stunning wine lists at top restaurants all over world, such as Mishik in New York City.

When it comes to dessert wines, Winkler recommends that skeptics seek out those with higher acidity levels, which is a great way to temper some of the sweetness. As for a specific recommendation, Winkler told Daily Meal: "They should try Michele Chiarlo Moscato d'Asti Nivole!" Winkler is certainly in good company when it comes to her suggestion, as this Moscato has received high scores from respected wine publications like Decanter and Wine Enthusiast.

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Dessert Selections For Wine Newbies

woman tasting white wine
woman tasting white wine - Ciricvelibor/Getty Images

People new to the world of wine may also struggle with finding a good dessert selection. In this case, Winkler offers some key characteristics to look for when seeking out a pleasing dessert wine. A good beginner dessert wine will be "light and aromatic and really delicious without being too sweet or syrupy," according to the sommelier. As a "lighter dessert wine," Moscato d'Asti is an excellent choice for those unfamiliar with wine in general.

According to Winkler, this wine features flavors like "ripe stone fruit, white fragrant flowers and tangerine." However, the sommelier offers a word of caution. Avoid conventional Moscato, which is bound to be a touch too sweet for many starter palates. Instead, look for Moscatos hailing from the Piedmont region of Italy, which offers the robust acidity necessary to reduce the sweet impact of dessert wines. Now that you have a better understanding of what characteristics to look for when buying a dessert wine, the next step is to consider optimal food pairings.

What To Serve With Winkler's Recommendations

creampuff on a plate
creampuff on a plate - natalija_mysticcakes/Shutterstock

To accommodate the fruit-forward flavors of Moscato d'Asti Nivole, consider serving the dessert wine alongside fresh fruit. Peaches and strawberries are a particularly good pairing, as they hew closely to the flavor notes found within the wine itself. Because this wine is known for having a somewhat creamy body, pastries like creampuffs and fruit-topped Danishes also pair nicely.

At the other end of the spectrum, Moscato d'Asti Nivole also melds beautifully with salty, savory foods. For example, this wine is an excellent addition to charcuterie boards featuring cured meats and dried figs. The sweetness of the wine perfectly offsets savory flavors, and can even be paired with spicy foods, such as seafood paella with just the right amount of heat. Doreen Winkler's unparalleled knowledge and expertise shows that even divisive dessert wines should have their moment in the sun. And with helpful wine pairing tips, you may find yourself frequently serving her excellent suggestions to friends and loved ones.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.