The Wine About Virginia team had personally tasted each of these wines in the past and purchased most of them at their respective tasting rooms. We purchased two of the chocolate dessert wines, Horton Vineyards XOXO and Cooper Vineyards Noche, at the Olde Dominion Wine Shop in Occoquan. Jeff Sanders from Glass House Winery donated a bottle of their Meglio Del Sesso for our party.
We organized the the dessert wines by type and paired them with desserts we hoped would pair well with that particular dessert wine. Our groupings were Petit Manseng-based dessert wines, Vidal Blanc-based dessert wines, Viognier-based dessert wines, fruit-infused red wines, chocolate-infused red wines, and a couple specialty dessert style red wines. We asked our guests to designate their favorite in each group and to designate their favorite dessert wine of the evening.
Corcoran Vineyards RAZ, made with Merlot and a blend of raspberries received seven votes. Doukénie Winery Nichola’s wine, made from 50 percent blackberry and 50 percent aged red wine, received five votes. Fabbioli Raspberry Merlot received one vote. The Corcoran RAZ was the winning wine from this group.
Keswick's 2009 Nektar was chosen as the favorite dessert wine of the evening with five votes. Old House's Artica was voted second favorite with three votes. Three dessert wines, all whites, tied for third place for overall favorite. These were Gray Ghost Adieu, and both the Linden and Delaplane Late Harvest Petit Manseng.