Some sweet wines are almost a dessert in themselves, but match them up with the right dish and you have a decadent treat.
You thought there was just sweet wine and sweet wine? Think again. Just as there's a big difference between a simple fruit salad and a wonderfully wicked Boston cream pie, there's also a difference in the types of wines that can accompany them.
There's nothing quite like a glass of heady sweet wine with the perfect dessert. Finding the right combination isn't too difficult, providing you stick to remember a couple of simple rules.
Remember two things when looking for a perfect dessert partner and you won't go wrong. First, just as desserts vary markedly in sweetness, so do sweet wines, and the ideal match for a dessert needs to be at least as sweet as the dish; otherwise it will be overwhelmed. Second, is the dessert tangy and fruity or rich and creamy? Tangier desserts call for a wine with fresh acidity, such as Riesling or Chenin Blanc, while richer ones prefer something softer, such as that chocolate-friendly grape Muscat or Sémillon.
Restaurants are a good place to experiment with different styles, as many offer a variety of stickies by the glass. And don't be afraid to try fortified wines, such as tawny ports and sweet sherries (chilled of course) with dessert.