How to Serve Dessert Wine by the Ideal Wine Company

If you’re planning on hosting a dinner party this summer you’ll find this week’s article particularly helpful, as the Ideal Wine Company explain how to serve dessert wine.

What is a dessert wine?

There’s no singular definition that we can use to explain the term “dessert wine.” However, here in the UK we generally regard dessert wines as sweet wines that are traditionally served with dessert. Many would regard, for example, the Tokaji wines sold by the Ideal Wine Company as dessert wines.

Five tips for serving dessert wine

You should conform to certain rules if you want to ensure that you and your guests enjoy a well-made dessert wine. The Ideal Wine Company would suggest that whenever you serve dessert wine, you should:

  • Chill before serving: Dessert wines are like whites and roses; they taste better if they’ve been cooled for half an hour or so before serving. Even red dessert wines can be served slightly


  • Keep measures small: A little dessert wine goes a long way, because it boasts an array of powerful flavours that ensnare your taste buds with the smallest sip. That’s why we suggest you limit measures to no more than 100 millilitres per glass when you serve dessert wine.
  • Serve in certain glasses: As a rule of thumb, we would suggest that you serve dessert wine in a tall, wide-brimmed traditional wine glass. This promotes the oxidisation dessert wine needs to release its intoxicating mix of heady flavours. In contrast, you should serve sparkling dessert wines as you would Champagne; in a flute.


  • Let your dish be your guide: A dessert wine should always be sweeter than the food that it’s being served with to spark a pleasing contrast. This is why you should let your dish be your guide when serving dessert wine.


  • Decant your vintage: If you decant a quality dessert wine you can enhance its flavour. However we should note that decanting a wine often makes it warmer, so you should make sure you decant your vintage in the coolest part of your home.

Make the most of dessert wine

Social convention dictates that there is a good reason why you should adhere to these rules when you serve a dessert. They allow you to make the most of your dessert wine to ensure that you and your guests are provided with the perfect complement for your final dish.


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