Dessert wines: Drizzle, dab and lather them on

Chocolate hearts make for sedate seduction. This year, lubricate your Cupid menu with sweet wines that are so naughtily rich you can drizzle, dip, dab or lather them on just about anything.

Spike store-bought pound cake with Japanese plum sake, spice up andouille sausages with Spanish sherry or tease your chocolate sundae with black muscat raisins.

Here are five recipes for chocolate-heart heretics seeking to send messages in a bottle.

Wine: 2004 Ca ’ Togni Napa Valley Sweet Red Wine ($50).

Why it’s Cupid-worthy: Made with Black Hamburgh (also called Black Muscat) grapes, its warm, cherry-pie aromas literally tickle your nose. The wine’s velvety body hugs your palate with molasses, licorice and maple syrup flavors. The lengthy finish is a spicy kick of anise and cloves. Soak raisins in it for a rum and raisin ice cream experience.

Black Muscat Sundae Cocktail:

• Soak a handful of raisins in 1/2 cup of the wine (the longer the better).

• Place half the raisins in the bottom of flute or sundae glass.

• Add your favorite chocolate ice cream.

• Lather with whip cream.

• Sprinkle with remaining raisins.

• Dust with nutmeg.

Wine: Hakuryu Ume-shu Niigata Sake Selection ($30).

Why it’s Cupid-worthy: Made with rice, Niigata plums, fructose and water, this sake excites the senses with candied jackfruit and rice-pudding aromas. Pear-tart, ginger and honey flavors glide into a lemon-drop finish—a symphonic pairing for this apple dessert.

Japanese Sake Apple Dessert:

• Cut a Fuji apple into small slices.

• Squeeze on a little fresh lemon juice to keep slices from browning.

• Pour 1/3 cup sake over the apple slices and macerate overnight.

• Core a Granny Smith apple without removing the bottom and fill cavity with sake.

• Cut a small square slice of pound cake and place on top of apple.

• Place Fuji slices on top of pound cake. (Eat slices with chopsticks, cake and whole apple by hand.)

Wine: 1982 Don PX Pedro Ximenez Gran Reserva ($50 for 750 milliliter bottle).

Why it’s Cupid-worthy: The wine’s full body coats the glass like black gold, and its aromas and flavors are reminiscent of the Caribbean — overripe sweet plantain, coffee, sugarcane — making it a perfect glaze for smoked sausage.

Sherry Sausage Reserva

• Heat oven to 400 degrees.

• Cut 8 ounces of your favorite andouille sausage into cubes.

• Cut a red bell pepper into squares.

• Coat sausages with 1/3 cup sherry.

• Place in oven until sausage darkens, about 15 minutes.

• In a small pan, combine 1/4 cup sugar with remaining sherryand heat over high, stirring, until it starts to boil. Reduce temperature and simmer until sauce thickens.

• Add a dash of nutmeg and a tiny piece of Scotch bonnet pepper.

• Thread sausage and pepper pieces onto a skewer and drizzle with the sauce.

Wine: 2001 Samos Muscato Nectar ($25).

Why it’s Cupid-worthy: This Greek muscat blanc à petits grans has caramel and cola aromas that complement its brown sugar and candied orange peel flavors. Combined with a $10 sparkling wine, like cava, the flavors will remind you of an amber ale.

Muscato Ale:

• Pour 3 ounces of your favorite cheap sparkling wine into a flute.

• Finish with muscato.

Wine: 2008 Château du Grand Carretey ($13).

Why it’s Cupid-worthy: This golden wine’s Cinnabon and honey aromas and flavors will transplant you from Redenbacher to the morning after.

Popcorn du Sauternes:

Bring 1/2 cup wine and 1/2 cup sugar to a boil over high heat, whisking until sugar dissolves and syrup is transparent. Set aside to cool.

Drizzle a little syrup (less than a teaspoon) over a large bowl of popcorn and toss. Save the rest for another night.


Hakuryu Ume-shu Niigata Sake Selection and 2001 Samos Muscato Nectar from Sunset Corners Fine Wines & Spirits, 8701 SW 72nd St., Miami; 305-271-8492.

2004 Ca ’ Togni Napa Valley Sweet Red Wine and 2008 Château du Grand Carretey from Total Wine & More, 14750 Biscayne Blvd., North Miami; 305-354-3270.

1982 Don PX Pedro Ximenez Gran Reserva by special order from Wine Watch, 901 Progresso Dr., Fort Lauderdale; 954-523-9463.

Multicolored wine flute from Pier 1, 18681 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura; 305-935-1511.

Placemats, tray, coasters, bamboo bowls, plate and chopsticks from Bagua, 4736 NE Second Ave., Miami; 305-757-9857.


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