Desserts and fruits combine to best advantage with sweet white wines, fortified wines, sweet liqueurs or a little brandy.

The amount of wine used in cookery is surprisingly small. To benefit by this trifling quantity, the flavor must permeate each morsel of food. Several methods aid the cook to this end. "To marinate" the food in the wine, for an hour or so, is suitable to some recipes. "To burn" is the easy means to benefit from a small amount of brandy; simply pour the brandy over the food, touch it with a lighted match and shake the food until the flame dies out. To cook the food with wine for a considerable period of time is the third and usual method.

Remember, however, that wine should never cook at a high temperature. A dozen bubbles spell disaster. This is especially true in the case of dishes that combine cream and wine. They should be cooked over hot water to prevent curdling. Another trick is to heat the fish or meat with the wine and add the cream or cream-egg mixture just before serving. If the amount of cream is large, heat it separately so that it will not chill the hot mixture. Do not heat eggs for sauces; merely add after the sauce is removed from the fire, for the heat of the cooked food will coagulate the egg.

When browning the top of a platter filled with a wine sauce and fish combination - sole or lobster, for example - place it as close to the flame as possible and leave only a second or two.

Never keep it in the broiler long enough to raise the temperature of the entire sauce. In olden days, a red hot poker seared the top - a nearly perfect method.

Never allow the aroma of your wine to escape and be squandered on the air. This bouquet should be part of the food. So cover your cooking utensils closely; cooking parchments may be used. Likewise, desserts should be closely covered while they chill in the refrigerator.

Taste your foods as you assemble and cook them. The requisite amount of salt and of wine will vary because of the differences in the wines themselves. Some sorts - sherry is one - run the gamut from quite sweet to very dry and from a rich, heavy, tawny quality to a light, flavorsome one.

Remember in your tasting adventures that, in the finest cooking, the wine flavor does not dominate; it merely accents and adds subtlety to the basic food flavor.

Remember, too, that all punches, with or without wine, should stand for thirty minutes or more after they are mixed. This is called the ripening process. Ice is added at the time of service.