- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Royal Tokaji, Tokaji Aszu, 5 Puttonyos, Tokaj-Hegyalja, 2000, (500 ml), $32

This decadently rich but beautifully balanced elixir demonstrates why Tokaji, from Hungary, is one of the world’s great dessert wines. It would make a wonderful end to a romantic Valentine’s Day supper.

Tokaji is made from late-harvested grapes infected with Botrytis cinerea, the so-called “noble rot” that concentrates sugar and acidity, resulting in wines that can be both sumptuous and structured. This rendition smells and tastes opulent, with fruit flavors reminiscent of ripe apricots and secondary notes that echo sweet spice. At the same time, it displays beautiful harmony and never seems cloying or heavy.

A lush wine like this pairs best with fruit, cheese or nuts. It also can be delicious all by itself. Whether drunk on its own or alongside a dessert, it’s romance in a glass — a delectable sweet for the sweet. (Imported by Wilson Daniels.)

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