By Meg Barkley


You’ve arrived at the end of dinner. Dessert is done but you aren’t. What’s next? A glass of Clif Family Arriva Petite Sirah Dessert Wine is what we pour.

Inspired by the fortified wines of Portugal (or Port) that are full of harmonious flavors and decadent layers, our winemaker, Laura Barrett created the Clif Family Petite Sirah Dessert wine, Arriva.

Arriva is the Italian translation of “arriving.” And we find it fitting to pour this wine when we have arrived at the time of the evening where we want to keep the conversation flowing and the dinner party is not yet ready to end.

There are many ways to enjoy dessert wine, whether at the start or the end of your meal. Here are a few suggestions from Executive Chef John McConnell.

Cheeses like Bellwether Farm’s Pepato or those that have black pepper on the rind are well matched for a sweeter wine. Start off your meal with a selection of cheeses, Clif Family preserves and our Savory Nut Mixes and surprise your guests by serving a glass of Arriva.

Chef John suggests you order the Carni Bruschetta the next time it’s on the Clif Family Bruschetteria Food Truck menu. The slow-roasted beef and rich Gruyere cheese is a perfect match for a splash of rich Port-styled wine.

At home, whip up a pasta dish like “Cacio e Pepe” highlighting Pecorino cheese and black pepper to provide a delicious foundation to highlight with a glass of the dessert wine.

Or if you would like a true dessert pairing, serve alongside a chocolate torte dolloped with crème Fraiche and a hint of Clif Family Blackberry Preserves.

The beauty of the Petite Sirah Dessert wine is that once opened the wine if corked and kept at cellar temp can last up to two weeks. Winemaker Laura Barrett says that all wine begins to oxidize with exposure to air, but Port has a bit more resilience due to the higher alcohol.

That’s just more time for you to explore and experiment with the Petite Sirah Dessert Wine well beyond the dessert course.