Time to take a walk on the sweet side of wine. My selections range from barely sweet to super sweet, and include still, sparkling and port, which is classified as a fortified wine. (Fortified means higher than usual alcohol.)
Top of your shopping list should be KWV ’07 Chenin Blanc. It flirts between dry and slightly sweet and is a MUST for holiday entertaining because of its great drinkability and value. Another barely sweet white that will bring smiles is the spicy-flavoured Hardys Riesling-Gewurz. It has a nice hint of tropical fruit and zest.
Moving into sweetness proper, there’s no better value on the market than Colio Late Harvest Vidal. You get delicious peach and caramel flavours along with a refreshing tang. A little goes a long way.
Fizzy is festive and the new star is Fresita, a delicious strawberry flavoured sparkling wine from Chile. There’s nothing yukky or contrived about this. It tastes like it was made from Ontario fruit. The Italian sparkling Moscato is a joyful expression of tasty flavour, bubbles and a lighthearted feeling. At only 5 per cent alcohol it’s the perfect present opening tipple.
Southbrook’s Framboise, produced from raspberries, is the world’s best partner for anything chocolate. Port is the traditional winter wine — it feels warm and fiery. Graham’s Late Bottle Vintage Port (LBV) is a great late night companion. Chill all my recommendations except port.
Billy Munnelly has been writing about wine for 25 years and is the author of Canada’s largest selling wine book, Billy’s Best Bottles. Sign up for his free monthly e-letter at