Vino: Pedro Ximenez

The color of coffee, with a distinct smell of molasses and raisins. This thick, unctuous wine is dessert in a glass.

Produced throughout Spain's Andalucia, Pedro Ximenez, or PX as it is often called, is a raisin wine made from grapes of the same name.

After harvest, grapes are left on straw mats to shrivel, a process that concentrates the sugars before fermentation. This contributes to the wine's thick and delicious final state. This drying technique also darkens the color, which turns this white grape (yep, white!) into a dark coffee-like color.

PX is a fortified wine, meaning alcohol is added to interrupt fermentation. Fermentation is the process of yeast eating sugar to create alcohol. If alcohol is added during this process, the yeasts shut down which results in an increased level of alcohol and residual sugar.

If you don't like sweet wine, this is not the wine for you. It is sweeter than the sweetest desert wine you have ever tried. Fortunately, a little bit will go a long a way. Just a small glass is enough to end a meal and the opened bottle will last longer than a regular wine bottle.

The following quality producers are available in Manhattan:

Sherry Lehmann has the Osborne Pedro Ximenez, 1827, for $14.95.

Astor Wines & Spirits carries the 2004 Alvear Pedro Ximenez de AƱada, at $18.99 for a half bottle.

By mail order, Sokolin & Co. has the 1927 Alvear Pedro Ximenez Solera for $19.95. The Solera on this wine dates back to 1927!

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