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Throughout the season we'll be adding the dishes, pairings, and restaurants you see on the show. Be sure to check frequently for all the exciting additions!

Featured Dessert


Muscadine


Duplin - Scuppernong
This is Aris' pairing for Carribean Bananas Foster with Toasted Coconut-Rum Ice Cream from The Speedway Club
Producer: Duplin Wine Cellars Country: USA State: NC Region: North Carolina
Major Grape: Muscadine
Duplin is the oldest and largest winery in the Southeast. Scuppernong is the oldest and most famous variety of the grape species Vitis Rotundifolia, commonly called Muscadine. To the uninitiated, these Scuppernong wines can taste quite pungent and exotic. The flavors are overtly fruity and have a unique pungent flavor often described as "foxy". Although as a dessert wine it is not overly sweet. All the disparate flavors in the wine and dessert magically worked together for a satisfying and interesting match.

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Muscat


2004 Robert Mondavi - Moscato d'Oro
This is Aris' pairing for Raspberry Soufflé with Whipped Cream from Grape Escape Wine Bar and Grill
Producer: Robert Mondavi Country: United States State: CA Region: Napa Valley
Major Grape: Muscat
Appellation: Napa Valley
Predicate: Moscato d'Oro
A seductive floral perfume of honeysuckle and lusciously sweet palate loaded with tropical fruit, ripe peach and citrus is a delight to both nose and palate. Pairing this with a raspberry dessert proved to be a great synergistic match.

Adding raspberry to the amalgam of fruits also provided a needed dose of tartness to help cut through the sweetness and rich cream. What a great finale this would make to any special dinner.

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Mionetto - Moscato della Venezia
This is Aris' pairing for Banana Rama and Turtle Kraals Mud Pie from Key West Grill
Producer: Mionetto Country: Italy Region: Veneto
Major Grape: Muscat
Appellation: Veneto
Anyone who has not tried an Italian Moscato is missing out on one of the most delightful, fun-loving and reasonably priced dessert wines you'll find anywhere. Its low alcohol and light carbonation, what the Italians call "Frizzante", yields a soft, creamy palate which accentuates its sweetness and carries the delightful tropical fruit flavors to every corner of the palate.

You might think a chocolate dish might call for something stronger, Port maybe, or Madeira, but those fine 'scrubbing bubbles' refreshed the palate and the wine acted like an exotic fruit topping for the pie.


Muscat Canelli


2004 Robert Mondavi - Moscato d'Oro
This is Aris' pairing for Vanilla Cream with Fresh Berries from Fenwick's On Providence
Producer: Robert Mondavi Country: USA State: CA Region: Napa Valley
Major Grape: Muscat Canelli
Appellation: Stags Leap
Vineyard: Wappo Hill
Predicate: Moscato d'Oro
With such a sinfully sweet and luscious wine paired with a decadently rich dessert, why bother with the main course. Actually the main course does serve to suppress your appetite enough so you don't go totally overboard because relying on will power is futile. The wine is densely packed with a super-ripe medley of tropical fruits, peaches, citrus and apricot with a honeysuckle perfume. The vanilla cream adds another dimension of flavor and richness while the acidity in the fresh berries helps cleanse the palate. The wine actually has a surprisingly good acidity to help the fruits along.

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Riesling


2004 Biltmore Estate - Century White
This is Aris' pairing for Blackberry Confit With Peppermint And Estate Honey Whipped Cream from The Dining Room at the Inn at Biltmore Estate
Producer: Biltmore Estate Winery Country: USA State: CA Region:
Major Grape: Riesling
Grape Blend: 34% Riesling + 29%Muscat Canelli + 27%Gewurztraminer + 10% Malvesia
Predicate: Century
What an interesting blend of grapes. The Riesling offers floral aromas and citrus fruits and the Muscat adds tropical fruits to the mix while the Gewurztraminer chimes in with roses and lychee.

The wine is on the delicate side and only mildly sweet, which is just fine here because this dessert is not very sweet and already has acidity from the blackberries. Overall, the match worked well and yielded an interesting new set of flavors.

Click here to visit their website.


Semillon


1999 Chateau Rieussec - Sauternes
This is Aris' pairing for Sweet Crepes from 700 Drayton Restaurant at the Mansion on Forsyth Park
Producer: Chateau Rieussec Country: France Region: Bordeaux
Major Grape: Semillon
Appellation: Sauternes
Chateau Rieussec is one of the world's great wines. An incredibly luscious dessert wine whose flavors of ripe figs, tropical fruits and citrus zest combined with with honey and apricot notes is exquisite. The palate is unctuous yet the structure is firm enough for balance. The aging potential for this wine is 50 years, and anyone with that kind of patience deserves the awards to be reaped.

The dessert was not as sweet as the wine, which is as it should be, but was very flavorful and textured. The best any dessert can do with a superstar like Rieussec is to be a great supporting actor and these Bananas Foster Crepes did an admirable job.


Viognier


2002 RagApple Lassie Boonville Blanc
Producer: RagApple Lassie Country: United States State: NC Region:
Major Grape: Viognier
Grape Blend: Viognier with 5% sugar
What an elegant wine for light desserts RagApple has crafted. Viognier's lovely floral and tropical fruit character is enhanced bu the light sweetness and balanced by fresh acidity. Crafted, by the way, is a term that should be used for all their wines. RagApple, along with nine other wineries, and more coming soon, have exhibited a level of quality and individuality high enough to prompt the BATF to grant AVA (American Viticultural Area) status to the Yadkin Valley. These are very exiting times for our fledgling wine industry and it will be fun watching them evolve.

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