Trivia: Vin de dessert, Burgundy style

I attended the Wine Media Guild lunch last week of the wines of Aloxe-Corton. Unfortunately I got there a little late, so I can’t offer a comprehensive roundup.

But Patrick Séré, the speaker and jolly etymologist, did have a bit of trivia. He said that in the 19th century in Burgundy that the best, dry white wines were called “vin de dessert.” Why? Comments are open.

UPDATE 11/19:
OK…I guess this wasn’t the most pressing thing that everyone had to work out last week. But for those inquiring minds, M. Séré, who is retiring this year from importer Dreyfus Ashby, told us that the finest dry white wine as vins de dessert, or wines with the clearing of the table (you see, desservir is the opposite of servir, to serve). When the main dishes were cleared, the cheeses were brought out along with their suitable wine pairing, fine dry wine. So there you have it: pair whites with cheese and call them vins de dessert and confuse the dickens out of everyone! (But I do prefer whites with cheese on the whole, so that’s really why I wanted to pass it on.)

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