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By Lisa Airey, thewinekey@aol.com | August 25, 2011
The hunt for the sweet things in life dates back to antiquity. Mankind has used honey and tree syrups and dried fruits to boost the flavor and caloric value of their foodstuffs for millennia. Sweet dessert wines were once all the rage for a European population unaccustomed to sugary desserts. Bordeaux's sticky Sauternes rose to world prominence during the 15th century, sweet Port from the Douro Valley of Portugal after that. "Pudding" champagnes, clocking in at well over 5 percent residual sugar, were the favorite libations of the Russian czar until the collapse of that empire in the 19th century.
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By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | February 15, 2013
This is a dry white wine made from the same grape that produces the luscious Hungarian dessert wines known as Tokay. It shows the power and complexity of the grape do not depend on its sugar content. It's lush, full-bodied, herbal and a bit exotic - with a distinct touch of pine that I happen to like (maybe not for everyone). At almost four years old it shows no sign of fading. This is an excellent choice when you want the weight of a chardonnay but a different flavor. From: Hungary Price: $12 Serve with: Oyster stew, salmon
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By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,SUN WINE CRITIC | January 4, 1998
The only true ports come from the Oporto region of Portugal. Any wine that comes from somewhere else and purports to be a port is a fake, a phony and a fraud.Of course, some of those fakes, phonies and frauds are mighty fine wines.From Australia to South Africa, from the Finger Lakes of New York to the Sonoma Valley of California, wine producers are making fortified dessert wines and labeling them as ports.Some of these wines are barely a step above Skid Row quality, while others are worthy rivals to the Portuguese originals.
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May 7, 2012
From: Elqui Valley, Chile Price: $13 Serve with: Seafood, salads Find it at: i.m. Wine, 8180 Maple Lawn Blvd, Fulton, and other local wine shops Pedro Ximenez is a white wine grape varietal best known for its role in producing dessert wines in Spain's sherry region and in Australia. But this version from Chile shows it can also produce a compelling dry white table wine. The 2010 Falernia Pedro Ximenez Reserva shows a bright range of flavors: mint and other herbs, lime, grapefruit, pear and minerals.
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May 7, 2012
From: Elqui Valley, Chile Price: $13 Serve with: Seafood, salads Find it at: i.m. Wine, 8180 Maple Lawn Blvd, Fulton, and other local wine shops Pedro Ximenez is a white wine grape varietal best known for its role in producing dessert wines in Spain's sherry region and in Australia. But this version from Chile shows it can also produce a compelling dry white table wine. The 2010 Falernia Pedro Ximenez Reserva shows a bright range of flavors: mint and other herbs, lime, grapefruit, pear and minerals.
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By Michael Dresser | April 6, 1997
1995 Chateau Pajzos Tokaji Furmint ($10).Every once in a while you get to taste something distinctively different. This dry Hungarian white wine from the famed Tokay region (best known for dessert wines) fits the bill. It's an engagingly fruity wine with a penetrating peach flavor, zingy acidity and nuances of pineapple, honey and herbs. It's a lively wine that would probably work best with light but spicy seafood.Pub Date: 4/06/97@
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | February 15, 2013
This is a dry white wine made from the same grape that produces the luscious Hungarian dessert wines known as Tokay. It shows the power and complexity of the grape do not depend on its sugar content. It's lush, full-bodied, herbal and a bit exotic - with a distinct touch of pine that I happen to like (maybe not for everyone). At almost four years old it shows no sign of fading. This is an excellent choice when you want the weight of a chardonnay but a different flavor. From: Hungary Price: $12 Serve with: Oyster stew, salmon
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By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,Sun Staff Writer | March 8, 1995
Sweet wines have a bad reputation in this country, and no wonder.For many Americans, their first taste of alcohol came in the form of a cheap, sugary "soda pop" wine such as Annie Green Spring -- most likely guzzled illicitly as a teen-ager and promptly regurgitated.There was no sophistication about such wines. That came when one learned to enjoy the subtle nuances of dry wines and the way they enhanced the taste of food. Once the wine bug bites, it's not unusual for an aspiring connoisseur to shun the sweet stuff entirely for years.
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By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,SUN WINE CRITIC | August 31, 1997
For more than 40 years, Tokaji Aszu was a great wine in chains.When Hungary came under Communist rule after World War II, the individual wine estates that produced one of the world's classic dessert wines were absorbed into a vast state monopoly.Competition ceased, and standards plunged. Winemaking decisions were made by bureaucrats rather than artisans. Tokaji Aszu -- known in English-speaking countries as Tokay -- all but disappeared from the world's finest tables.But the 1989 collapse of the Berlin Wall sent ripples through every wine cask in the ancient wine-growing region of Tokaji.
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By Liz Atwood and Liz Atwood,Sun Food Editor | July 7, 2004
They're back. Although most fruit these days can be found in grocery stores year-round, cherries remain seasonal supermarket displays. So enjoy them while you can. Here's a quick, elegant dessert idea from the Washington State Fruit Commission: Mix 2 cups pitted, halved cherries, 1/4 cup almond liqueur and 2 teaspoons sugar; marinate 1 hour or longer. Arrange 12 ladyfingers, split in half lengthwise, against sides of 4 martini glasses. Just before serving, spoon 1/2 cup cherries over ladyfingers in each glass.
EXPLORE
By Lisa Airey, thewinekey@aol.com | August 25, 2011
The hunt for the sweet things in life dates back to antiquity. Mankind has used honey and tree syrups and dried fruits to boost the flavor and caloric value of their foodstuffs for millennia. Sweet dessert wines were once all the rage for a European population unaccustomed to sugary desserts. Bordeaux's sticky Sauternes rose to world prominence during the 15th century, sweet Port from the Douro Valley of Portugal after that. "Pudding" champagnes, clocking in at well over 5 percent residual sugar, were the favorite libations of the Russian czar until the collapse of that empire in the 19th century.
NEWS
By Kate Shatzkin and Kate Shatzkin,Sun Reporter | December 5, 2007
EAT Kitchen treasures WITH GOURMET FOOD AVAILABLE TO BUY AROUND EVERY corner and on thousands of Web sites these days, you have to admire the folks who still go to the trouble to make gifts from their own kitchens. When we asked readers for their best recipes for gifts, we learned that despite the popularity of celebrity chefs and specialty ingredients, when it comes to the holidays, tradition still has a powerful hold. We picked seven reader recipes to share with you. Barbara Weitzel of Ocean Pines has been making the Black Walnut Cake recipe she sent us for more than a quarter-century.
ENTERTAINMENT
By SAM SESSA and SAM SESSA,SUN REPORTER | May 18, 2006
In a word, this weekend's Wine in the Woods is relaxing. Though thousands will slip into the wooded area near Merriweather Post Pavilion, sip wine from 15 Maryland vineyards and listen to live music, the event usually stays as calm as a picnic trip or mini-retreat. "I just think it's the ambience of the location," said organizer Barbara Lett of Howard County Recreation and Parks. "[It] gives an opportunity to step back and relax and amble through the woods and listen to the music and talk to your friends and be entertained and sample wines.
NEWS
By Liz Atwood and Liz Atwood,Sun Food Editor | July 7, 2004
They're back. Although most fruit these days can be found in grocery stores year-round, cherries remain seasonal supermarket displays. So enjoy them while you can. Here's a quick, elegant dessert idea from the Washington State Fruit Commission: Mix 2 cups pitted, halved cherries, 1/4 cup almond liqueur and 2 teaspoons sugar; marinate 1 hour or longer. Arrange 12 ladyfingers, split in half lengthwise, against sides of 4 martini glasses. Just before serving, spoon 1/2 cup cherries over ladyfingers in each glass.
FEATURES
By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,Sun Wine Critic | May 5, 1999
Fine German riesling is perhaps best explained as one of God's little jokes. Here you have some of the world's most crystalline, delicate, sprightly wines, and most of them are sporting names that sound as if they were lifted straight out of one of the kaiser's more belligerent military directives. Can you imagine going into a wine store and casually asking a clerk to bring you a case of Adolf Weingart Ohlenberg Bopparder Hamm Riesling Spatlese? Say it again, faster this time.
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By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,Sun Wine Critic | February 3, 1999
There comes a time in the life of many white-wine drinkers when oak is not enough. Bold fruit flavor is required -- fruit of the type you don't find in chardonnay.Gewurztraminer might just be what you're looking for. From France to Oregon to Australia, the hard-to-pronounce grape has been planted with high hopes -- and widely scattered results. But when a Gewurztraminer is truly on target, it can be one of the most fascinating of white wines.The "gewurz" in Gewurztraminer (guh-VERTZ-truh-meener)
ENTERTAINMENT
By SAM SESSA and SAM SESSA,SUN REPORTER | May 18, 2006
In a word, this weekend's Wine in the Woods is relaxing. Though thousands will slip into the wooded area near Merriweather Post Pavilion, sip wine from 15 Maryland vineyards and listen to live music, the event usually stays as calm as a picnic trip or mini-retreat. "I just think it's the ambience of the location," said organizer Barbara Lett of Howard County Recreation and Parks. "[It] gives an opportunity to step back and relax and amble through the woods and listen to the music and talk to your friends and be entertained and sample wines.
FEATURES
By Michael Dresser | November 25, 1990
The 1980s were a decade of decadennce. Greed was good -- and the wines were even better.Region after region enjoyed delightful streaks of good luck. Bordeaux bloomed and Burgundy blossomed. California coasted through four consecutive vintages of exceptional cabernet, 1984 to 1987. The Rhone and Alsace emerged from obscurity. And all the while, the thirsty throng grew -- flush with profits of honest entrepreneurship (in some cases, at least).Still, with all its riches, there was one vinous experience the 1980s lacked -- a truly decadent vintage of German wines.
FEATURES
By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,SUN WINE CRITIC | January 4, 1998
The only true ports come from the Oporto region of Portugal. Any wine that comes from somewhere else and purports to be a port is a fake, a phony and a fraud.Of course, some of those fakes, phonies and frauds are mighty fine wines.From Australia to South Africa, from the Finger Lakes of New York to the Sonoma Valley of California, wine producers are making fortified dessert wines and labeling them as ports.Some of these wines are barely a step above Skid Row quality, while others are worthy rivals to the Portuguese originals.
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