Great chieftains o the pudding (wine) race: Drink with Gerard Richardson

WHEN was the last time you had a pudding wine? It seems like a description from the days of Downton Abbey doesn’t it? This is probably why most vineyards and wine merchants now refer to them as dessert wines. To be honest, though, that still doesn’t do them justice because this gorgeous style can be enjoyed at any time, with or without spotted Dick.

The description covers a whole range of styles by the way and it varies around the world. In the States, for example, any high alcohol wine, even ports and sherries, tend to be classed as pudding wines but, for me, the style should be reserved for the late harvest or botrytised whites.

In a nutshell, late harvest wines are created from grapes that have been allowed to naturally dehydrate on the vine. Botrytis or noble rot is a mould that develops and causes the grapes to lose nearly all their water content, leaving them naturally incredibly sweet. The production method results in low yields which is one of a number of reasons why the wines are so expensive but don’t let that put you off a rare treat.

Despite being so sweet, these wines retain a level of acidity that makes them refreshing and it’s that balance that means these wines are not one-trick ponies. Yes, they are at home when paired with sweet puds but if you chill them to the bone, they also make cracking aperitif wines on a hot summer’s day.

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Royal Tokaji Late Harvest 2017

Floral nose with ripe peaches and tropical fruits on the palate. There’s a lovely crispness to the finish which makes this as good with blue cheese as it is with sticky toffee pudding.

Majestic £10.99 mixed six or £12.99 per 50cl bottle

Tesco Finest Sauterne

I tried this a year ago and was taken aback. Sauterne at this price? It has to be rubbish right? How wrong was I. Citrus and floral aromas on the nose with peaches and sweet apricots on the palate. Serve chilled to the bone for a real treat.

Tesco £12 per 37.5cl

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992