On Wine

The holiday season-or any wintry evening-is ideal for lingering meals, and to cap them off, pour a delicate dessert wine. Muscats are wonderful, grapey wines perfect for such occasions, and they come from all over the world in a variety of styles. Look around for the intense, amber-to-mahogany-hued fortified wines from Victoria, Australia, and from South Africa. One of my favorites is the Yalumba Barossa Valley Museum Release Muscat ($16; 375 ml.), a nonvintage wine about eight years old with a beguiling raisin and caramel perfume and rich finish. And the 1999 Weltevrede Estate South African Muscat de Hambourg Robertson ($11; 750 ml.) delights with its honeylike flavors and its low price. Or go to a lighter, more floral, nonfortified style with the 2004 Vin de Glacière Muscat from Bonny Doon Vineyard in California ($15; 375 ml.) made from post-harvest frozen grapes. Any of them will leave you feeling cozy and warm inside.

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