Wines of Spain: Dessert!

IMG_3615The color: upon the first pour the color of this Ocho Tumbado De Málaga al Infinito has me hooked. Dried grape aromas leap out of the glass. I haven’t seen this color in a dessert wine since I tried the 1996 Chateau St. Michelle Riesling I opened at Thanksgiving, so I was instantly in love. I tried this particular sweet wine at Christmas, after a nice family dinner of Roasted Beef Fillet, Bacon Brussels Sprouts, Whipped Mashed Potatoes, and Maple Glazed Carrots.

This wine is special, and one I was saving for an occasion such as Christmas. While in Spain, I had the fortune of meeting an incredible female winemaker: Beatriz Heredia. She is from a family of winemakers: 3rd generation at Winery Sanz Muñoz. Beatirz is sweet, and even with my broken Spanish, we had a lovely conversation about her career in wine and her passion for the industry. She is young and fearless and making her mark in the winemaking world and I am incredibly proud of her.

When I tasted this wine, I was instantly transported back to Spain. This wine represents all of the beauty and uniqueness you find in the wines of Spain. The wine is made from the Muscatel and Pedro Ximén grape varieties. The grapes are left to dry in the sun until they reach the necessary sugar concentration. Only the free-run must is taken from the berries to produce the wine base. The wine then moves on to an oxidation and aging process in American oak barrels.

Back to the color: This wine is very dark with great depth in which the fine edge offers iodine tones (my golden hues). When swirled around a bit in the glass it appears as if it is oily, with thick, dense and colored legs; absolutely beautiful. The aromas are very intense and clean, with that nice dried fruit character I mentioned. Other aromas I noticed were complex, sweet coffee, cocoa, fresh figs, sugar-coated fruit, citric notes, orange blossom, and more. The taste is long-lasting, silky and succulent with a soft texture. The sweetness is well balanced by the acidity and has a long finish.

The Pairing: Although upon my first sip I wanted to just pour this wine over vanilla or cinnamon ice cream, I resisted and whipped up a delicious pairing. Red Wine Poached Pears with “Snow” (over crystalized crunchy sugar) over Vanilla Ice Cream. The poached pears complimented the fresh figs and orange blossom notes in this wine, while the lasting finish kept going even after the entire dessert consumption. I will however next time I have the wine again save some to strictly pour over ice cream, as this also would be ideal!

It’s the new year and it’s time to try some new wines!

Sara Lehman

About Sara Lehman

Sommelier, Private Chef, & Food and Wine Pairing Expert in NYC! Sara is a Wine Writer, Wine Ambassador, and Wine Consultant specializing in pairings, parties, entertaining and education.

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