In the Sept. 30, 2014 Issue

Desserts and Sweet Wines

In this issue, you'll find desserts chosen by celebrated pastry chefs matched with sweet wine classics such as Vintage Port and Sauternes, a sparkling pink Moscato from Australia, a Maury vin doux naturel from France and even a cocktail. The wine and food worlds are ever more inclusive. We celebrate that here.

FREE Wine Charts:

White Burgundy: A free chart offers an alphabetical list of all white Burgundy wines reviewed for the tasting report in this issue.

California Pinot Noir: A free chart offers an alphabetical list of all California Pinot Noir wines reviewed for the tasting report in this issue.

Cover Story

Desserts and Sweet Wines - In this special issue, we focus on that time of relaxation and sweet meditation we call "after dinner." We chose six classic desserts, each paired with a wine that matches its flavor and character. Then we asked six pastry chefs to get creative. The results are delicious.

Sweet Fundamentals - The role of dessert in fine cuisine, and how wine and spirits complete the picture

    Mixed Berry Tart With Oatmeal Streusel - The Match: Sweet Sparkling wines — Baruch Ellsworth, Canlis, Seattle

    Linden Créme Brûlée With Crumble and Pear Sorbet - The Match: Sauternes and Botrytized Whites — Miroslav Uskokovic, Gramercy Tavern, New York

    Apple Crumble Pie With Caramel Ice Cream - The Match: Dessert-Style Rieslings — Sarah Koob, Canoe, Atlanta

    Cornbread Pain Perdu With Poached Apricots and Lemon Verbena Ice Cream - The Match: Sherry and Oxidized Wines — Tony Maws, Craigie on Main, Cambridge, Mass.

    Chocolate Layer Cake With Bittersweet Ganache - The match: Spirits and cocktails — Meg Galus, NoMi Kitchen, Chicago

    Cheeses With Mostarda, Marmalada and Chutney - The Match: Ports — Lindsay Tusk, Quince, San Francisco Find hundreds more wine-friendly recipes, with suggested wine matches, in our online Recipe Search.


    Tasting Reports

    White Burgundy Surprise - The 2011 vintage delivers impressive structure, appealing richness and vibrant acidity

    Mixed Blessing - California Pinot Noir experienced an ideal growing season in 2012, but a bumper crop yields an uneven batch of wines


    Mastering Chassagne-Montrachet - Pierre-Yves Colin chose to leave his family’s estate to make world-class white wines of his own



    Renovating California Icon Mayacamas Vineyards Keep up with breaking news as well as the people, places and happenings that wine lovers are talking about.


    Hail Batters Burgundy


    Finger Lakes Winemaker Fred Merwarth

    The Environment

    A to Z Wineworks Paves a Path to Sustainability in Oregon

    Savvy Shopper

    World Rosé, Argentine Malbec and Bottlings from Languedoc and Rioja


    New Jersey's Cherry Grove Farm BONUS VIDEO: How to Buy Cheese: Learn how to buy, store and serve cheese as features editor Owen Dugan takes you on a shopping expedition to Murray's, where he meets up with cheese guru and owner Rob Kaufelt.

    Cellars / Collections

    Chef Michelle Bernstein's Family-Friendly Kitchen

    Cellar Designer Jay Rosen FREE Collecting & Auctions Newsletter: A new collectible wine pick in each biweekly e-mail, plus expert tips on collecting, auction news and analysis.


    This Issue/Marvin R. Shanken

    This Issue - Marvin R. Shanken




    James Laube - The battle for balance In his blogs, James Laube shares updates from his recent tastings and visits with winemakers, and discusses hot-button issues in the wine industry. Join the conversation with other members.

    A Perfect Match

    Jason Fox's Sturgeon with Spätburgunder

The Buying Guide

For more than 306,000 tasting notes, use's Wine Ratings Search, where you can sort by region, variety, vintage, price, score and tasting date.

2014 VIDEO CONTEST—CHOOSE THE WINNER Original wine video shorts have been pouring into Wine Spectator's 8th annual contest. (Entries accepted until Sept. 1.) Finalists will be posted on on Sept. 8, and you can vote for your favorite. The first-place winner will receive a pair of tickets to the Wine Experience. The top video will be revealed on Sept. 16.

LABOR DAY ENTERTAINING Coming soon: Don't work too hard to throw a great party; Wine Spectator picks affordable, well-scoring wines to pair with a delectable recipe for the long weekend.

NEW ON WINE SPECTATOR VIDEO Tune in each week for a new video. Don't miss these recent additions:

  • Oyster Pairings—Traditional and Surprising: James Molesworth and John Dory Oyster Bar sommelier Jessica Brown pair oysters with dry white and sweet Bordeaux.
  • Oregon's Pinot Noir Diversity: Learn why wines from the neighboring Willamette Valley AVAs of Dundee Hills and Ribbon Ridge are so different with Archery Summit winemaker Chris Mazepink.
  • South Africa's Calling Card: Chenin Blanc produces a wine with both lively acidity and richness. Senior editor James Molesworth and Johan Reyneke, owner of Reyneke Wines in Stellenbosch, talk biodynamics and South Africa.

BACK TO (WINE) SCHOOL Get more out of each sip with one of our online wine courses, from the ABCs of Wine Tasting to an in-depth seminar on wine and food pairing. Or explore the wines of top regions such as Bordeaux, California and Tuscany. Start whenever you want, and share the tastings with family and friends. All courses are free with a membership, only $49 per year.

WHAT'S YOUR WINE WORTH? The fall auctions are starting soon, but before you consign part of your cellar or bid on a special bottle, check current prices for more than 10,000 collectible wines in our Auction Price database.

WINE-FRIENDLY RECIPES From appetizers to dessert, we've got what you need to impress your dinner guests and keep your daily meals enticing. Find hundreds of recipes, with suggested wine pairings, in our online Recipe Search.


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