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7 decadent B.C. dessert wines to end the year on a sweet note

Quails' Gate's Botrytis Affected Optima
Quails' Gate's Botrytis Affected Optima
Image Credit: Quails' Gate Winery

Sweet love… Every holiday meal deserves a sexy ending and a nip of luxurious B.C. dessert wine is the perfect closer. Sweet pairs with sweet too my friends, making these rich and delicious wine babes the perfect date for your cakes and puddings. Lucky us, B.C. wine country keeps us local with a lineup of decadent fortified wines or a port-style wine – not just icewines.

Here are 7 stunners that will make your holiday guests gush.

La Frenz Winery
La Frenz Winery's Liqueur Muscat
Image Credit: La Frenz Winery

1. La Frenz Winery in Naramata makes 100% excellent wines. Owner, Aussie Jeff Martin’s talent extends to an expertise in fortified wines that he brought with him to our wine country. La Frenz makes two stunning Port-style wines as well as this glorious nectar.

2019 Liqueur Muscat $21.65
Modelled after the enticing and well-known fortified Muscats of the Rutherglen region in Australia, the alluring and concentrated aromatics of dried apricots and steeped Earl Grey tea with a hint of vanilla. Pure hedonism. Oh yes you should.

CedarCreek's Platinum M
Image Credit: CedarCreek Estate Winery


2. CedarCreek Estate Winery in Kelowna creates a classic Riesling Icewine but their Platinum M is a dynamo you will want to dive into. Like magic, this wine was actually created by the love of the Okanagan Sun and it is the only Madeira-style wine made in the Okanagan Valley.

2013 Platinum M $79.99
CedarCreek fortified their intensely bright Chardonnay with alcohol distilled from wine lees that they collected in the winery. For five years thereafter, they allowed the small casks to sit in the summer sun and reduce and concentrate. With notes of Brazil nuts on the nose and ripe apricots on the palate, the result is pure pleasure and one to get hygge with.

Venturi-Schulze Brandenberg #3
Venturi-Schulze Brandenberg #3
Image Credit: Venturi-Schultze


3. In Cowichan Bay on Vancouver Island, celebrated Venturi-Schultze Winery creates Brandenburg No. 3, a beautiful wine that will promise a full concerto of flavours on your palate. Giordano Venturi, his wife Marilyn Schultze and her daughter Michelle have earned a very distinct place in the B.C. wine world. Not only are they true caretakers of the land, practicing ‘beyond organic’ farming techniques, they make celebrated wines as well as old world style balsamic vinegar that will blow your mind.

2013 Brandenburg No. 3 $36.60
This sweet amber organic wine is named for the No. 3 Brandenburg concerto. Its rich, earthy, smoky, caramel-coffee notes pair wonderfully with foie gras, charcuterie, a cheese and hazelnut platter or any other rich decadent dessert you can find. Feel free to dance.

Kalala's Zweigelt Icewine
Image Credit: Kalala Organic Winery


4. Kalala is a lovely family run winery in West Kelowna with a big heart. Here they grow and create beautiful certified organic wines. Their 2016 Chardonnay Icewine was awarded one of the “Best Chardonnays in the World” at the esteemed 2018 Chardonnay du Monde Competition in France. It is sold out, but the Zweigelt is just as special.

2016 Kalala Zweigelt Icewine

This Port-like icewine has a velvety texture and wonderfully balanced acidity. Hazelnut, dried cherry and butterscotch come through and linger on the palate. Certified-organic growing and winemaking add another layer of magic to this delicious nectar. Pour on top of waffles too.

Desert Hills - The Ambassador Port
Desert Hills - The Ambassador Port
Image Credit: Desert Hills Estate Winery


5. Baby it’s cold outside (sorry had to) and a glass of Port by the fireside is in hot order. Desert Hills Estate Winery in Oliver are superstars in our red wine universe but did you know they also make this opulent port-style wine?

2015 The Ambassador Port $24.90
Aged for 5 years in French oak, this Port-style babe offers flavours of dark berry, coffee and dark chocolate. Bring this to me with a chocolate cake now.

Cipes Ice - Bubbles
Cipes Ice - Bubbles
Image Credit: Summerhill Pyramid Organic Winery


6. Summerhill Organic Pyramid Winery in Kelowna covers your every want with this choice of dessert wine. Another example of their mastery of the art of sparkling wine, this darling is both sparkly and sweet.

Cipes Ice N/V $45.00
This sparkling wine displays a very active and festive play of bubbles and delivers mouth-filling flavours of intense strawberry and long lasting raspberry. The unique use of organic icewine as a dosage increases the residual sugar to balance the acidity and enhance the fruit flavors. The wine is harmoniously balanced with clean, lingering fruitiness. A beauty to get hygge with after a snowshoe.

Quails' Gate's Botrytis Affected Optima
Image Credit: Quails' Gate Winery


7. Quails’ Gate Estate Winery in West Kelowna is a pioneer in the dessert wine world and have been a go-to for lovers of complex sweet wine for over 25 years. Shining the spotlight on the mold that winemakers adore, Botrytis is also known as "noble rot” and it is a beneficial mold that grows on ripe wine grapes in the vineyard under specific climatic conditions that causes the grapes to raisin and therefore concentrate flavours into a beautiful rich, honeyed bomb.

2017 Optima Late Harvest Totally Botrytis Affected $28.99 for 375mL
This unique Sauterne-style wine is decadent and complex. With a pronounced intensity on the nose, expect bright notes of peach, apricot, summer blossoms and almonds. On the palate, the wine is lusciously sweet with notes of orange zest and stone fruit that are beautifully balanced with vibrant acidity and a long, citrus finish. Sip, freak out, repeat.

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