January is after dinner and aperitif wine month. Fantastic wines to cozy up by the fire with on sale all month long. Take 10% OFF 1-3 Bottles & 15% OFF 4+ Bottles!

Sweet wines often get a bad rap from many so called “wine connoisseurs,” but if you’ve been dismissing a whole class of wines because they contain some residual sugar, then you’re missing out on some of the world’s most complex, profound, sought after, sometimes expensive, and delicious wines. So skip the chocolate cake and finish your meal off with an after dinner wine instead. Just a little of these delicious nectars goes a long way (a 2-3oz pour is typical), and with a 2-3 week shelf life (after opening), it’s easy to finish off a bottle of your favorite before it goes bad.

We’ve also included aperitif and digestive wines in with this month’s sale of non-table-style wines, which includes sherries, vermouths and dry ports. The dry, briny minerality of many aperitif wines are perfect for getting the salivary glands primed for a good meal and many believe the botanicals used in digestif wines help aid the digestion process.

Ports also suffer somewhat of an image problem as many picture stodgy old guys sitting in their clubs with cigars when they think of port, but Port and Port style fortified wines are great with many cheeses, desserts, mixed to create a Port cocktail, or alone at the end of a meal or evening. Port is also a great base for many fantastic sauces.

The Most Common Types of Dessert Wines

The folks over at one of our favorite wine websites, WineFolly.com have done a great job with their infographic and article on the types of dessert wine, so I won’t duplicate their work here, simply click on the picture above to see a higher resolution version and read their informative article.  While you’re there feel free to poke around and enjoy some of their other great wine articles.

Some of our favorite dessert wines

Hardy’s – Whiskers Blake Classic Tawny $15.99
Being from Australia and not Portugal, it’s not a “true Port,” but not matter what you call it, this is a fantastic wine and incredible value that once received a whopping 94 points from Wine Spectator.  Established in the mid-1800’s Hardy’s has been around longer than many well know Portuguese producers of fortified, tawny style dessert wines.  A multi-vintage blend with an average of 8 years in barrel, it’s tremendously complex tawny is layered with caramel, walnut, coffee, almond and orange peel flavors, long, elegant and spicy in the mouth.

Andresen 10 year old White Tawny Port $23.99 (375ml)
We raved over this rare and unique wine during Portugal month in November, and we’re going to keep doing so until everyone has tried it! – It’s that good!

Many people don’t realize that there is such a thing as WHITE port and this is the first time we’ve come across a TAWNY version of one.  And it’s absolutely heavenly, the perfect way to finish a fantastic meal.  It shows the typical characteristics of 10 year old tawny, but with the delicacy which comes with white Porto. Ripe quince, a hint of honey and wild flower aromas spring to mind. Andresen is one of the last remaining family owned Port houses and one of the few producing this unique style.

Porto Kopke 20 Years Old Tawny $69.99
Established in 1638 by German diplomat Cristiano Kopke, the house of Kopke is universally recognized as the first Port wine export company in history. Their award winning wines are produced with grapes from their famous Quinta Sao Luiz, one of the most prestigious vineyards in the Douro region. Their traditional harvesting and production methods, along with their hand-stenciled bottles, express Kopke’s dedication to quality, craftsmanship and heritage. Aromas of maple syrup, honey, and mahogany. Full-bodied, very rich with a decadent butterscotch and nutty aftertaste.

Quinta do Noval 2011 LBV $21.99
Noval’s 2011 Late Bottled Vintage Port is a real stunner for the price.  Vintage and Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) Ports are only produced in the best vintages.  LBV’s see more time in oak barrels than Vintage Ports and thus mature a little faster, and are a wonderful style that shows the deep berry fruit flavors of Ruby and young Vintage Ports along with the complexity of ageing wine wood for a long time.  Rich, smooth and full bodied, Noval’s LBV is a little drier that many Ruby style ports and shows loads of dried red and purple fruit laced with chocolate and spice.

Quady Electra 2015 Orange Moscato $12.99
One of the best examples of the style and varietal at a fantastic price.

Confected, fruity floral aromas and flavors of white flowers, dried lavender, crystalized lime zest, and green apple skin with a slightly chewy, tangy, sweet medium-full body and a warming, delightful finish. A lightly and lively, sweet spritzy dessert wine that is sure to please.

Bonal Gentain Quina Aperitif $22.99
Bonal is known as ‘ouvre l’appétit’ – the key to the appetite.  It is made by an infusion of gentian, cinchona (quinine) and renown herbs of the Grand Chartreuse mountains in a Mistelle base. Traditionally enjoyed neat or with a twist, or use it in classic drinks in place of sweet red vermouth.