Dessert Wine: Why It’s Different From Other Wines and How to Pair It
In the minds of many, the word “dessert wine” conjures up images of syrupy concoctions that leave a bitter taste in the mouth. For after all, in today’s health-conscious age of low-sugar wines, keto diets, and carb-free living, who wants to drink a cloyinglysweet wine that may send your insulin levels skyrocketing and leave a sticky feeling on your tongue for hours after you’ve finished your glass? (It’s possible that there are a handful of you out there.) While the increasing popularity of dry wines (that is, wines that are not sweet) might appear to spell the end of sweet wines, this is not necessarily the case.
To that end, please allow us to provide you with some background information about dessert wine and how it differs from other types of wines.
What IsDessert Wine?
Dessert wine may be defined as any wine that is consumed during or after dessert in its broadest meaning. Dessert wine, to be more exact, is often sweet, has a distinct taste, and has a higher alcohol concentration. For example, Port, Madeira, Sherry, and late-harvest wines are all examples of late-harvest wines. Traditionnal dessert wines having an alcohol content of more than 15 percent by volume (ABV). Nonetheless, low-alcoholdessert wines with less than 10% alcohol by volume (ABV) are available, such Muscadet, Moscato d’Asti, and Brachetto d’Acqui.
- In other words, the amount of sugar that is left over after the fermentation process has taken place.
- A variety of methods were used by winemakers to create essert wines.
- It might be created from late-harvest grapes that have been allowed to raisinate and increase in sugar content as a result of being kept on the vine for a longer period of time.
- Alternatively, it may be sweetened by fortification, resulting in the production of fortified wines.
- While most dessert wines are on the sweeter side, there is a wide range of styles available under the category of dessert wines.
To be clear, dessert wines are not merely sweet, one-trick ponies, as you may have previously believed. They are deserving of a lot more recognition than that.
What to Look for inDessert Wine
Dessert wines, as previously said, are available in a variety of sweetness levels and are available in both red and white wines. Enjoying these mouthwatering sippers with dessert or as dessert in and of itself is recommended. Furthermore, it’s important to note that dessert wines are designed to be served in little wine glasses, similar to the way you’d sip on a snifter of whiskey or bourbon. (Although we must admit that we are great supporters of single-serve wine bottles that eliminate the need for a glass entirely.) If you desire a sweet dessert wine, you will get a sweet dessert wine.
Keep an eye out for the following descriptors:
Different Types ofDessert Winesand Food Pairings
While there are a plethora of wines that may be enjoyed with dessert, the ones that are featured below are the best examples of the genre. In order to avoid any unpleasant aftertaste when matching wine with sweet dessert, it’s recommended to pick a wine that is sweeter than the dessert itself. According to our enthralling guide on acidity in wine, sugar increases acidity, which is why dry wines taste harsh and sharp when served with sweet meals. With that in mind, here are many varieties of dessert wines, as well as delectable food combinations, that may enhance the flavor and overall experience of your dessert.
Despite the fact that it is best known as a sweet red wine, this fortified wine from Portugal is available in a variety of flavors ranging from deep reds to dry white and dry rosé varieties. Chocolate cake, chocolate truffles, and salted caramel desserts are all wonderful pairings for the sweetly complex redtawny port and ruby port. Serve the white or roséport wines with stone fruit, strawberry angel food cake, or lemon meringue pie to complement the flavors of the wine.
This fortified wine from Portugal, although best known for its sweet red varieties, comes in a variety of styles, from rich reds to dry white and dry rosé variants. Redtawny port and ruby port, both with a sweet, rich flavor, are good with chocolate cake, chocolate truffles, or salted caramelized almonds. Serve the white or roséport wines with stone fruit, strawberry angel food cake, or lemon meringue pie to complement the flavors of the wines.
Known for its honeyed aromas of apricot, peach, butterscotch, and caramel, this cherished (and frequently expensive)sweet wine from France’s Sauternais area inBordeaux is much sought after. Sauternesis one of the “noble rot wines,” which include TokajiAszu wine from Hungary and SpätleseRieslings from Germany. It is prepared from grapes that have been damaged by the botrytis cinereafungus.
(This fungus, which sounds disgusting, increases the sweetness of grapes while also imparting a honeyed flavor and aromatic quality.) Served with fresh and dried fruit, as well as heavier sweets such as crème brulee, cheesecake, and custards, Sauternes is a fantastic dessert option.
This fortified wine comes from the country of Spain. Sherry is often served as an aperitif before a meal; however, why not try it after a hearty dinner when you’re looking to wind down? Fruit sweets like Pedro Ximénez are great accompaniments to crème brulee, vanilla ice cream, dark chocolate anything, or just enjoyed on their own as an after dinner treat.
This delicious sparkling wine from Germany is available in a variety of sweetness levels. Its inherent acidity helps to cut through the sweetness of the dish, making it a wonderful companion to a cheese course or cheesecake after dinner. Serve a sweeter Spätlese with citrus-based sweets such as lemon pound cake or lemon cream pie if you have a sweeter Spätlese on hand. Pear tarts and sorbet are also delicious desserts that go together like peanut butter and jelly.
Another rot wine of distinction, the tongue-twisting Gewürztraminer is a sweet, fragrant wine from the Alsace region of France that has a pleasant sweetness to it. With its lovely floral and lychee overtones, this exquisite white wine pairs perfectly with any dessert that has lychee, pear, or peach as one of the major components, such as ice cream.
In addition to being known as Muscat Blanc in its native country of Italy, Moscato is an extremely popular white wine that has built a name for itself owing to the three F’s that best characterize its character: fizzy, fruity, and flowery. This dessert wine is perfect for enjoying on a spring day or a late summer evening. It is also incredibly flexible. You might serve it with poached pears, grilled peaches, fruit tarts, nutty treats such as biscotti, or whatever else you choose.
Ice wine, also known as Eiswein in German, is a particular sort of wine that is made from grapes that have been frozen while still on the vine. Due to the frigid environment required for the production of this dessert wine, it can only be produced in Germany and Canada. (It’s also one of the reasons why it’s a somewhat expensive wine.) Consider matching the red grape type with chocolate desserts and the white grape variety with blue cheeses and cheesecake if you have the choice between the two.
It’s Time for Dessert in a Glass
Following your education on dessert wines, it’s time to put your newfound knowledge to use in a variety of real-world scenarios. Dessert wines, like any other type of wine, are characterized by a wide range of tastes and characteristics. Despite the fact that there are several “rules” associated with wine consumption, the basic line is that you are free to set your own guidelines. Don’t be afraid to experiment with a bottle of dry sparkling Brut or wonderfully crisp rosé to accompany those funfetti cupcakes you just brought out of the oven.
Who knows what will happen? It’s possible that you’ll enjoy it. That’s the beauty of wine: no matter how you enjoy it, it is one of life’s joys that makes everything else a little bit easier to swallow.
A Beginner’s Guide To Dessert Wine
Non-fortification procedures include the addition of sugar to the wine or the naturally occurring concentration of sugars in the grapes before they are picked, among other possibilities. Unfortified wines are available in a variety of varieties, the most prevalent and widely consumed of which being ice wines and botrytis cinerea wine. Ice Wine is a type of wine that is served chilled. History of Ice Wine – Ice wine (or Eiswein, as it is known in Germany and Austria) is typically produced in wine-producing regions that are subjected to predictable cold periods.
- When a cold spell hits, the grapes begin to shrivel and freeze.
- Ice wine is particularly popular in Canada and Germany, however it is also produced in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and New Zealand, among other places.
- Ice wine is a very sweet, extremely fruity, but also rather acidic wine that is perfect for pairing.
- Ice wine is also one of the few wines that may be served with a chocolate dessert, which is rare in the wine world.
- Botrytis cinerea wine (also known as “Noble Rot” wine) was named after a fungus that kills grapes under particular climatic circumstances, which may surprise some people.
How to serve fortified and sweet wines
Although we are all familiar with the many types of white, red, rosé, and sparkling wines, we are less familiar with sweet and fortified wines. It’s easy to ignore these unparalleled, flavor-packed classics – because that’s exactly what they are – simply because we’re not sure how, when, or with what to serve them. As a result, we turned to the professionals for practical advice as well as some intriguing culinary combinations. The discovery of other worlds beyond the exquisite but cliched Port-Stilton and Sauternes-foie gras pairings of old .
Nobly sweet wines
Winemaker Heidi Schröck from Rust in Austria’s Burgenland area prefers to serve her wines between 12°C and 14°C. She makes a nobly sweet Ruster Ausbruch as well as auslese, beerenauslese (BA), and trockenbeerenauslese (TBA) wines. She like ‘unexpected and innovative flavor combinations,’ and she makes this evident on her packaging and labelling. she says, but she also offers pairing prosciutto with spätlese or aged Gouda with BA, chili-cheese sausages with Ausbruch, or a lamb tagine with Ausbruch if you’re looking for something different.
- Chef Aline Baly of Château Coutet in the Bordeaux region has mastered the art of presenting sweet wines with each meal at her establishment.
- So don’t limit yourself to an aperitif or a dessert wine when it comes to these powerful, golden wines.
- “A colder temperature when wines are served with a hot entrée or a sweet dessert,” she says, referring to the recommended serving temperature of 9°C to 10°C.
- It is possible to serve middle-aged wines a couple of degrees warmer in order to enable the warm baking spices to manifest themselves.
‘These wines have a lot of character,’ Baly explains. “The idea that you can keep a bottle open for more than a week is something that many people are unaware of.” ‘ Schröck concurs, saying that Auslesen can endure for up to ten days and intense Ausbruch can last for up to three weeks. .
Matching Sauternes and Barsac with food
Only vintage Ports, according to Anthony Symington, brand manager for Symington Family Estates (which produces the Port labels Graham’s, Warre’s, Dow’s, and Cockburn’s), should be decanted before serving. He distinguishes between the ‘robust, youthful aromas of red fruits’ of bottle-aged ruby and reserve Ports and the ‘greater complexity, nut and raisin characteristics’ of barrel-aged tawny Ports. He also makes a distinction between the ‘robust, youthful aromas of red fruits’ of bottle-aged ruby and reserve Ports.
A bottle that has been opened for three to four weeks will last you three to four weeks.
A 10-year-old tawny port, on the other hand, is a good match for foie gras, according to the expert: ‘The acidity cuts through the richness and the sweetness compliments it well.’ Tawny may be stored in the refrigerator for up to six weeks.
In addition, fresh fruit is an excellent accompaniment.’ Vintage is the only type you have to consume quickly, as it fades after three days of purchase.
Tim Holt, the area director for Bodegas Barbadillo in the United Kingdom, lifts the lid on sweet Sherry types such as sweet oloroso and tooth-breakingly sweet Pedro Ximénez, or PX, and even brings back the much-maligned cream Sherry from the dead in this article. He recommends serving cream and oloroso cold in a tulip-shaped wine glass, although any wine glass would do for the occasion. When it comes to PX, he recommends the following: ‘Pour it over vanilla ice cream or try it in a tumbler glass over crushed ice.’ It works really well in this manner.’ PX is very wonderful when served with Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream.
Hot Mexican habanero and Sichuan foods are also recommended: ‘Because of the high sugar content, it has a balsamic effect, which makes it ideal for these highly hot recipes.’ You’ll know what to do with all of that leftover turkey from Thanksgiving.
While sweet oloroso may be stored in the refrigerator for up to three months, PX does not require refrigeration and is so sweet that it can be stored for “up to a year at a time.”
Sherry and chocolate pairing ideas
Because even ‘dry’ Madeira has a rounded sweetness to it, Chris Blandy of Blandy’s Madeira recommends serving it at 12°C, while medium-rich and rich types (such as Bual and Malmsey) should be served at 15°C-16°C, according to Blandy’s Madeira. There is no need to decant any of the wines, and a tulip-shaped Port glass or a slim white wine glass is recommended. The good news is that ‘Madeira is almost indestructible,’ according to Blandy, who recommends just putting a cork back in, standing the bottle straight, and storing it in a cold, dark cabinet.
In Blandy’s opinion, “Comté with Sercial, roast chicken with Verdelho, foie gras with Bual” are all excellent pairings.
But who’s to say that Christmas cake, Lebkuchen, or mince pies won’t work just as well, if not better than this?
Leftover lusciousness: use every drop
Even ‘dry’ Madeira has a rounded sweetness to it, according to Chris Blandy of Blandy’s Madeira, who recommends serving dry and medium-dry types (such as Sercial and Verdelho) at 12°C and medium-rich and rich styles (such as Bual and Malmsey) at 15°C-16°C. A tulip-shaped Port or a long white wine glass are the finest glasses for this wine because none of the wines require decanting before to drinking. “The good news is that Madeira is very indestructible,” Blandy explains. “All you have to do is put the stopper back in, position the bottle straight, and keep it in a cold, dark place.” In contrast, when paired with certain food pairings, it will be difficult to turn away from these incredibly nuanced and even otherworldly wines, particularly when given the opportunity to appreciate them carefully.
When combined with Madeiran honey cake or bolo de mel (a rich, dark, spiced molasses cake), the sweetest of the styles is a marriage made in heaven.
What can I do with leftover wine? Ask Decanter
RJS Craft Winemaking | November 23, 2017 | RJS Craft Winemaking As you prepare for all of the sweet treats, after dinner desserts, and celebrations that will be taking place this holiday season, we wanted to provide you with a crash course in dessert wines 101 to not only help you understand wines better – but also to provide you with some tips for serving and enjoying these rich, decadent beverages. What are Dessert Wines and How Do They Work? In the context of wine genres, a dessert wine is characterized as being sweet and lush, with flavors that are intense and concentrated.
- Dessert wines, such as Port and Vins Doux Naturels, can also be fortified wines, as can be found in some dessert wines.
- For your convenience, we’ve included some more information on them: Vidal, Riesling, and Cabernet Franc are examples of ice wines.
- Sugars and other dissolved substances do not freeze, but water does, allowing a more concentrated grape must to be pressed from the frozen grapes, resulting in a lesser volume of more concentrated, extremely sweet, viscous wine than would otherwise be produced from the grapes.
- Having experienced three consecutive days of temperatures below -10 degrees, the grapes are ready for harvest.
- Germany and Canada are the two countries that manufacture the most Ice Wines.
- The Nobel Prize for Rot: ‘Nobel rot,’ also known as Botrytis, is a form of fungus that shrivels and decays wine grapes that can arise in the course of ice winemaking on extremely rare instances.
- It has two effects on wine: it increases the sweetness level while also increasing the flavor richness.
Temperature for service: 6 to 9 degrees The following foods go well together: blue cheese with dried apricots, crème brûlée, and apple strudel.
Cru is a specialty.
Sherry, Port, and Madeira are examples of fortified wines.
In spite of the high brix, this results in an alcohol level of around 18 percent.
There are three different styles: Ruby, Vintage, and Tawny.
Red berries, raisins, chocolate, and spices make up the majority of the flavor profile.
Special Crafting Tip: You may also add Brandy to your handmade dessert wine before bottling to further customize it!
Serving Dessert Wines According to the Rules of Thumb Is it better to have it chilled or room temperature?
Red wines should be served at room temperature or slightly chilled.
Simple dessert combinations, such as Port with warm chocolate torte or Ice Wine with handmade vanilla ice cream, are the most successful, according to the experts.
Aside from that, these wines pair well with saltier dishes (think blue cheese!).
One common misperception regarding dessert wines is that they must be paired with a sweet dish.
While there are some incredible dessert combinations to go with these wines, the wine itself is also a fantastic treat on its own. Consider serving a handcrafted, luscious dessert wine as part of your holiday meal dessert this year to mix things up a bit.
How Sweet It Is: A Guide to Dessert Wine
An absolutely beautiful way to conclude a dinner. Because dessert wines are such a broad category, it is likely that you haven’t yet discovered the kind that suits your tastes and preferences. Sipping a dessert wine while enjoying a creamy flan, a slice of dark chocolate cake, or a cheese board is a fantastic way to end a dinner in the evening. Alternatively, skip dessert altogether and close the dinner on a sweet note with glasses of sauternes, ice wine, or port instead.
Dessert Wine Basics
It should come as no surprise that all dessert wines begin with grapes that have a high concentration of natural sugar. When that natural sugar is transformed into alcohol during the fermentation process, the wine is referred to be “dry.” Wines that have had all of the natural sugar fermented out of them are referred to as “sweet.” In the case of dessert wines, winemakers halt the fermentation process early in order to preserve the natural sweetness. Depending on the grape variety, dessert wines can range from a little hint of sweetness to a full-on sugar-bomb in terms of sweetness.
Sparkling Dessert Wine
If you’re looking for something light, sweet, and delicate, sparkling dessert wines are the way to go. The bubbles in these wines, which are light, effervescent, and often low in alcohol, make them joyful and enjoyable to drink at any time of day. Look for sweet sparkling wines derived from grapes such as muscat, brachetto, riesling, or torrontes. When served with fresh fruit desserts such as an Orange and Yogurt Tart or a simple Fruit Platter with Whipped Ricotta, these wines are perfect for brunch.
Concentrated, Rich Dessert Wine
There are a few of different techniques for creating these exceptionally rich wines. Prior to crushing the grapes, procedures are performed to concentrate the sugar content of the grapes using any of the several ways. One method is to create a late-harvest wine, which involves keeping the grapes on the vine for as long as possible into the growing season in order to get maximum sugar levels, sometimes even until the first frost has arrived (known as ice wine). It is also possible to make wine using the passito process, in which grapes are dried on straw mats, resulting in delicious raisins that are then fermented into wine.
Toutes of these exquisite dessert wines have an opulent, thick texture with complex aromas of honey, marmalade, and spices to complement them.
Dried Dates and Blue Cheese or Blue Cheese Gougeres with Caramel and Salt are two traditional pairings that you should try out.
Fortified wines are typically between 18 and 20 percent alcohol by volume, making them ideal for keeping warm throughout the harsh winter months.
Ruby port, which has more dark, rich fruit to it and is a popular combination with chocolate truffles, whereas tawny port, which has more butterscotch, caramel, and nutty overtones, is a more recent addition to the family of port varieties. Try pairing a tawny port with a cheese plate for an after-dinner feast that will be remembered!
Sherry is a fortified wine produced in the Spanish region of Andaluca, on the country’s southern coast. The first crucial thing to know about sherry is that it ranges from bone-dry and delicate to crazily rich and syrupy, depending on the variety. For dessert, search for sherries in the following three types: cream, moscatel, and Pedro Ximenez. While dry varieties like as fino and Amontillado are popular as aperitifs and are making a reappearance on bar menus as the foundation for cocktails, dessert sherries should be sweet (PX).
PX sherry may be served over ice cream, and cream style sherries pair well with custard-based sweets such as flan or crème caramel, which are both popular in Spain.
Madeira is a fortified wine that was called for the island where it was produced, which is approximately four hundred kilometers off the coast of North Africa. From the fifteenth through the seventeenth century, the island of Madeira served as a port of call for ships sailing to the New World and the East Indian Ocean. The early Madeiras were produced as a wine that could withstand travel: brandy was frequently added to the barrels to keep the wine from deteriorating during the journey. The tremendous heat from travelling around the equator, along with the continual movement of the ships, resulted in the wine becoming organically concentrated and oxidized.
The fact that Madeira has previously been effectively “cooked” means that it is famed for never spoiling: there is Madeira from the late 18th century that is still wonderfully palatable today.
Dessert Wine Pairing 101: How to Serve Wine with Sweet Holiday Treats
To select the perfect dessert wine combination, look for varietals that have a sweetness level that matches the sweetness of the dessert. Delicious sweets are abundant throughout the holiday season, ranging from nutty and caramelized pecan pie to spicy gingerbread cookies and more. When you select the appropriate dessert wine combination for each of these traditional delicacies, you make the experience seem even more delicious. An earthy, honey-likeRiesling may bring out the nutmeg and cinnamon flavors in a slice of pumpkin pie, while a rich, fruityvintage port can lend a sophisticated layer of fruitiness to a cup of creamy chocolate mousse.
Finding the ideal dessert wine combination, on the other hand, might be difficult, especially if you, like the majority of people, plan on serving more than one dessert this season.
This year, you’ll be able to conclude all of your Christmas gatherings on a high note by investing in the correct bottles and selecting wines that suit the tastes of each dessert.
Serve True Dessert Wines with Dessert
When it comes to matching wine with dessert, one of the most common mistakes wine enthusiasts make is concentrating too much on the flavor of the wine itself rather than thinking how the wine will interact with the food. Even if a bottle of 2005 Château Pontet-Canetis is uncommon and of high quality, if you serve this wine together with a sweet dessert, the wine may appear overly acidic and tannic in contrast. The combination does this great wine absolutely no honor at all, in my opinion. When your taste receptors are exposed to high-sugar meals such as pie or cheesecake, they get momentarily acclimated to the high quantities of sugar.
- This is true whether you’re pouring a $20 bottle of table wine or a $5,000 bottle of Pétrus, among other things.
- For one thing, it allows you to commemorate a particular event by sharing your wine with friends and family, or simply enjoy the wine that you have carefully selected.
- A proper dessert wine is either extremely sweet or fortified with distilled spirits, such as brandy, to make it more robust.
- Tokaji, Viognier, and some varieties ofRiesling are among of the other popular and valued sweet wines produced.
- When purchasing a high-quality dessert wine collection, there are a few aspects that you should keep in mind.
Getting Creative with Dessert Wine Pairings
It’s not necessary to restrict yourself to vintageTaylor Fladgate orChâteau d’Yquem when looking for the perfect dessert wine to complement your meal (although these are foolproof selections). There is no restriction on the type of wine you may serve with your dessert, as long as the wine is on the sweeter side of the spectrum and fits the flavor of your dessert. For example, fruit-based sweets that are lower in sugar content can be combined with wines that are lower in sugar content. Desserts that are more indulgent and rich (such as chocolate pots de crème) will combine better with wines that are sweeter in flavor.
In order to select the best wine for any dessert, one of the simplest strategies is to reject any wines that are much lighter or darker in color than the dessert that will be served.
Although this guideline is not always applicable, it will assist you in narrowing down your selection of probable pairings to only the most dependable ones.
Do any of the tastes in the wine’s tasting notes match the flavors of your dessert?
Additionally, Sauternes is known for its tropical fruit notes, which would pair nicely with any foods that have a lot of citrus or pineapple. Now that you’ve learned the fundamentals of wine pairing with dessert, here are a few dessert wines that you should always have on hand.
The Best Dessert Wine Pairings for Holiday Classics
It should be simple to create your own dessert wine combination if you follow the fundamental rules outlined above. Alternatively, if you’re looking for some inspiration, we’ve compiled a list of tasty (and valued) wines to pair with traditional holiday treats.
Crème brûléeand custards
Any custard-based dessert should be paired with a sweet white wine. Wines with a tropical or citrus fruit taste complement this dish particularly well since the custard’s richness makes them a good match for the wine. Custard and wines with caramel flavors go along like peanut butter and jelly.
- Among the wines available are Château D’Yquem (2014), Domaine Charbay Charbay (1997), Château Pajzos Tokaji Esszencia (1993), and Château Pajzos Tokaji Esszencia (2014).
Fresh fruit or fruit pies
Match the fruit notes in your wine with the fruit notes in your pastries. Wines that match well with stone fruits (such as peaches) are white wines, whereas red wines that pair well with dark fruits (such as cherry, plum, or blackberry) are red wines.
- 2001 Château D’Yquem
- s 2016 Taylor Fladgate Porto Vintage
- s 2013 Royal Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos Red Border
Pecan pie and other extremely sweet desserts
Pecan pie’s extremely sweet and robust tastes will overshadow practically any wine, with the exception of a high-quality port.
- 2017 Fonseca Vintage Port
- 2017 Taylor Fladgate Porto Vintage
Chocolate cake and other dark chocolate treats
Pair chocolate cake with a rich red wine, such as port.
- Dow’s Vintage Port (2017 vintage)
- Quinta Do Noval Nacional Vintage Port (2016 vintage)
- 2009 Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port (2009 vintage). Quinta De Vargellas Vinha Velha Vintage Port
- Quinta De Vargellas Vinha Velha Vintage Port
- Quinta De Vargellas
Dow’s Vintage Port (2017 vintage); Quinta Do Noval Nacional Vintage Port (2016 vintage); and Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port (2009 vintage). Quinta De Vargellas Vinha Velha Vintage Port; Quinta De Vargellas Vinha Velha Vintage Port; Quinta De Vargellas Vinha Velha Vintage Port; Quinta De Vargellas Vinha Velha Vintage Port; Quinta De Vargellas Vintage Port; Quinta De Vargellas Vintage Port; Quinta De Vargellas Vintage Port; Quinta De Vargellas Vintage Port; Quinta De Vargellas Vintage
Collecting Dessert Wines
When it comes to financial investments, a wine collection is unusual because you have the option of either drinking your bottles right away or storing them and reselling them for a profit once their value has increased. Neither sweet dessert wines nor superb tannic wines like Nebbiolo or Sangiovese are exempt from this rule. When investing in white wines, Sauternes, particularly Château d’Yquem, might be an excellent choice, especially if purchased young or en primeur. Therefore, it’s necessary to have at least a few dessert wines in your collection, even if you’re not sure if you’ll drink them during the current holiday season or not.
Dessert wines, in a way, have some of the greatest versatility of any type of wine available on the market.
By having a number of dessert wines ready and waiting in your house or in a professional storage facility, you can add a touch of luxury to the holidays while also adding considerable value to your investment portfolio and increasing the value of your investment portfolio.
Whether you are just beginning your high-end wine collection or adding to an existing one, Vinfolio is your go-to resource for purchasing, selling, and professional storage of your fine wines. Contact us today to have access to some of the world’s most exquisite wines.
When it comes to financial investments, a wine collection is unusual because you have the option of either drinking your bottles right away or storing them and reselling them at a profit once their value has increased over time. Sweet dessert wines, as well as good tannic wines such as Nebbiolo and Sangiovese, are examples of this phenomenon. White wines from Sauternes, notably Château d’Yquem, can provide for excellent investment opportunities, particularly if purchased young or en primeur. Therefore, it’s necessary to have at least a couple dessert wines in your collection, even if you’re not sure if you’ll consume them during the current holiday season.
The versatility of dessert wines is comparable to that of no other type of wine on the market today.
The holidays may be made even more extravagant by having a number of dessert wines ready and waiting in your house or at a professional storage facility.
Vinfolio is your partner in the purchase, sale, and professional storage of fine wines, whether you are just starting out or adding to an existing collection of fine wines.
Serving Dessert Wines
|Food and wine have been paired for centuries, most likely because people believe some combinations just taste better when they are together than when served alone. Traditional rules of pairing are not often followed for modern meals, partially because people have found they prefer to rely on their individual tastes to decide which combinations taste the best.Dessert wines, however, are almost always served with fruit or bakery sweets, although they are sometimes enjoyed alone after the meal. True appreciation of that type of wine, though, begins with knowing what sets them apart from other types.Although many vintners will disagree, the creation of a fine vintage does not necessarily begin in the vineyard. Granted, there are a few varieties that are known for being especially sweet, but many of them require additional flavorings to stave off blandness. The sweetness of grapes can even be enhanced by harvesting them later or by exposing them to more sunlight, both of which can be difficult to control.As a result, many dessert wines are not a result of the grape growing process, but of the amount of sugar added before or after fermentation. In Germany, for example, sugar is increased by adding grape juice after fermentation, which has the side effect of lowering the alcohol content. Other techniques for increasing sweetness include using grapes that have a specific type of mold on them, freezing out some of the water, or drying the grapes before fermentation.Wines and spirits are classified according to the variety of grapes included, alcohol content, color and flavor, and the classifications vary. In the UK, for example, dessert wines are any sweet wine that is consumed with a meal, while the United States applies that name to any wine that has more than 14% alcohol.Although the definition may vary by country and vineyard, everyone agrees that they are the sweetest of all wines. Typically, they are not fortified and they have a higher sugar and alcohol content than other types of wines.There are those who will argue that wines should be selected according to the meal being served, while others feel the selection should be based entirely on what tastes good. Regardless of which side is taken, there is a universal agreement that sweetness is a taste reserved for dessert, whether served with actual food or enjoyed alone. Of course, the best way to decide which dessert wines to serve, and whether to serve it with an actual dessert, is to taste several and figure out what suits your palate.|
The complete guide to fine dessert wines
The huge world of wine might be difficult to navigate if you have a sweet craving, and this is especially true. After all, well-known and’serious’ wines are generally dry, and they tend to generate a far greater buzz than sweet wines, which are sometimes seen as a beginner wine drinker’s preferred beverage. However, this is a seriously incorrect point of view. Sweet wine was formerly the most popular and sought-after kind of wine in the world, and the world’s first officially recognized wine area – Tokaji in eastern Hungary, which specializes in sweet whites – was established in 1737, making it the world’s oldest.
Here’s all you need to know about the process.
What makes a wine sweet?
Sweet wines are sometimes lumped together under the umbrella term “dessert wine,” and while there is no universally accepted definition of what defines a dessert wine, it typically boils down to sugar content. Sweet wines have a detectable amount of residual sugar, whereas dry wines do not. Grapes contain natural sugars known as fructose and glucose, which are found in small amounts. While making wine from grapes, yeast consumes the sugar, resulting in the production of alcohol. If you let the yeast to consume all of the sugar in the wine, you will end up with a dry wine.
In order to create a structured sweetness, sweet wines should be prepared from grapes that have a strong acid content. Otherwise, the sweetness might be a little too bland.
How is sweetness in wine measured?
Typically, dry wines are fermented at up to three grams of sugar per litre, and sweet wines can have up to seven grams of sugar per 100 milliliters (mL). Very sweet wines can contain up to 13 grams of sugar per 100 milliliters of wine. Dessert wines get their name because they contain 10.8g of sugar per 100ml of Coca-Cola, which is why they are called dessert wines. On the wine dryness (or sweetness) scale, level 1 represents a dry wine, level 2 represents an off-dry wine, level 3 represents a semi-sweet wine, level 4 represents a sweet wine, and level 5 represents a very sweet wine.
What are the different types of sweet wine?
Hundreds of various varieties of dessert wines are available on the international market, but the most popular are as follows: Moscato Most Moscato wine refers to a type of sparkling wine known as Moscato d’Asti, which is made from a grape variety grown in the Piedmont area of Italy and is sweet and mildly effervescent. Although it is produced in a variety of countries, it is mostly cultivated and harvested in Spain, France, Portugal, and Greece. It’s light and refreshing, loaded with a combination of fruit flavors such as pineapple, lime, pear, and orange, yet it may taste a little like apple or grape juice in rare situations.
- It is widely regarded as the “King of Dessert Wines.” Using a fungus known as noble rot to ferment the grapes, the wine develops a mild nuttiness that is complemented by notes of honey, peaches, and apricots.
- Riesling Riesling is a white wine produced in the Rhineland area of Germany.
- The soil in which Riesling is grown has a significant impact on its flavor profile, considerably more so than with other varieties of wine.
- The Riesling grape, like other dessert wines, is harvested late in the season, when the fruit has had enough time to develop its maximum sweetness before being picked.
- In Hungary and Slovakia, rigorous laws allow only a handful of varietals to be used in the production of this wine, which is highly sugary and bursting with aromas of caramel and honey as it matures in the bottle.
- Icewine (also known as Eiswein) is a type of wine made from ice.
- A wine that requires a high level of specialized knowledge and complexity to create, it reveals intensely concentrated, rich fruit flavors that are counterbalanced by a crisp elegance and rocky minerality.
While Canada produces some of the greatest, you may also get excellent choices from Switzerland, Oregon, and Germany, to name a few places.
What about sweet red wines?
The dessert wine market is vast, with dozens of distinct varieties available across the world. The most popular are as follows: Moscato Most Moscato wine is a sort of sparkling wine made from the grape variety Moscato d’Asti, which is native to the Piedmont area of Italy and is sweet and mildly effervescent. Although it is produced in a variety of countries, it is mostly cultivated and processed in Spain, France, Portugal, and Greece. Although it may taste similar to apple or grape juice in certain situations, it is light and refreshing and has a combination of fruit flavors including pineapple, lime, pear, and orange.
- It is widely regarded as the “King of Dessert Wine.” Incorporating the use of a beneficial fungal strain known as noble rot, this wine displays notes of honey, peaches, and apricots alongside a mild nuttiness.
- Riesling This German white wine, cultivated in the Rhine area, is bursting with a variety of flavors and aromas, ranging from flowery scent to apples, pears, and peaches, with a hint of minerality thrown in for good measure.
- This is because Riesling has a light, transparent flavor character.
- According to the previous paragraph, Tokaji is one of the oldest and most revered varieties of dessert wine.
- In Hungary and Slovakia, rigorous laws allow only a handful of varietals to be used in the production of this wine, which is highly sugary and bursting with aromas of caramel and honey as it matures in the glass.
- Drinking Ice Wine (sometimes spelled Eiswein) is a popular tradition in Germany.
- A wine that requires a great level of specialization and complexity to create, it displays intensely concentrated, rich fruit flavors that are counterbalanced by a crisp elegance and rocky minerality.
How long can sweet wines age?
Hundreds of various varieties of dessert wines are available on the global market, but the most popular are as follows: Moscato Moscato wine is a sweet, somewhat effervescent wine made from the grape variety Moscato d’Asti, which is indigenous to the Piedmont area of Italy. Although it is produced in a variety of countries, it is mostly cultivated and consumed in Spain, France, Portugal, and Greece. It’s light and refreshing, with a combination of fruit flavors such as pineapple, lime, pear, and orange, yet it may taste similar to apple or grape juice in rare situations.
- This is one of the most collectable investment wines available, with an age potential of more than 100 years.
- Its smells range from scented flowers through apples, pears, and peaches, as well as a hint of minerality.
- The Riesling grape, like other dessert wines, is harvested late in the season, when the fruit has had ample time to develop its maximum sweetness.
- Strict limitations allow just a small number of varietals to be used in the production of this wine, which is very sweet and bursting with aromas of caramel and honey.
- Eiswein (Icewine) is a type of wine made from ice.
- A wine that requires a great level of specialization and complexity to create, it displays intensely concentrated, rich fruit flavors that are counterbalanced by a crisp elegance and a rocky minerality.
The greatest come from Canada, however you may also get excellent products from Switzerland, Oregon, and Germany.
What’s the best way to serve sweet wine?
Sweet wines – particularly very sweet types – will often be drank slowly, therefore the standard 175ml serving size is out. Many sweet wines are available in half-bottle sizes, which are appropriate for their intense flavor. Nonetheless, a conventional wine glass should be used to serve these wines, especially because doing so allows for the swirling and smelling that is such an important part of the enjoyment of these wines. They should be served slightly cold to moderate the sense of sweetness while without interfering with the delicate flavors that are characteristic of this kind of wine.
How to Pair Wine with Chocolate (and Other Desserts)
Discover more about our review method here. Our editors independently investigate, test, and suggest the finest goods. We may gain a commission if you make a purchase after clicking on one of our links. What’s the difference between wine and chocolate? There is no longer any reason to do so, thanks to the abundance of delectable dessert wines available. Contrary to common perception, your favorite bottle of red wine is definitely not the best pairing for your favorite sweet treat. However, with so many different alternatives available, you’re sure to discover the ideal bottle to complement your dessert.
What Is the Most Important Rule for Pairing Wine with Chocolate?
Wine and chocolate go together like peanut butter and jelly, and the golden rule for combining them is that the wine should always be sweeter than the dessert. Reduced sweetness in the wine often results in a less-than-delightful flavor that is sour or bitter to the extreme. You’ll be on your way to a delectable match in no time if you remember just one rule: keep it simple.
Can I Pair Dry Wines with Chocolate?
Dry wines, on the whole, don’t pair well with chocolate, for the most part. If you want to match wine with chocolate (or other sweet delights), always remember that the former should be sweeter than the latter, according to the golden rule mentioned above. Exceptions can be made in rare cases (for example, Beaujolais or Zinfandel), but we recommend erring on the side of caution and opting for a bottle of sweet wine rather than a sweet wine.
Do Certain Wines Go Better with Milk Chocolate Versus Dark Chocolate?
In a way, yes! Certain wines will pair well with different types of chocolate (see our quick reference guide below), while milk and dark chocolate pairings are more interchangeable than white chocolate pairings (see our quick reference guide below). The sweetness of the chocolate is responsible for this.
Are Fortified Wines Good with Chocolate?
Absolutely! Fortified wines are some of the greatest matches with chocolate that can be found. While many white-grape-based fortified wines (think lighter sherry varieties) pair well with both white and darker chocolates, we recommend conserving red fortified wines (such as port) for drinking with milk or dark chocolate instead of the other way around.
Which Wines Pair Best with Chocolates That Contain Nuts or Other Fillings?
It is dependent on the type of chocolate. Before thinking about the fillings, we recommend starting with the basic chocolate (white, milk, or dark). Remember that coming up with your own unique and imaginative wine and chocolate combinations can be a lot of fun as well. Do you happen to have a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup handy? Try mixing it with a sweet sparkling red wine for a taste that is reminiscent of peanut butter and jelly.
Do you like chocolates with caramel filling? Consider mixing it with wines (tawny port, for example) that have similar caramel flavors for an out-of-this-world experience. The options are virtually limitless!
A Quick Guide
Whatever the chocolate, it’s all about the flavor! We recommend starting with the basic chocolate (white, milk, or dark) and working your way up from there. Remember that coming up with your own unique and imaginative wine and chocolate combinations may be a lot of fun! Do you happen to have a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup in your possession? If you want to have a PB J-like experience, try it with a sweet sparkling red wine. Chocolates containing caramel filling are your preferred choice. Consider matching it with wines (such as tawny port) that have similar caramel flavors for an out-of-this-world experience.
How To Drink Sweet Wines Like A Pro
“The wine of kings, and the kings of wines,” as Louis XIV referred to Tokaj’s delicate, sweet asz wines, which are known for their elegance and sweetness. Sweet wines from throughout the world, ranging from off-dryRiesling to effervescentMoscato to full-on dessert wines like asz or its French counterpartSauternes, may be a very excellent complement for a variety of cuisines and events. Many of us have had a bad experience with a flabby, painfully sweet Moscato or an excessively sugared Riesling, and as a result, we have vowed to never drink sweet wines again.
- What is the point of drinking sweet wines?
- It is true that sweet wine contains residual sugar, because the yeasts did not eat all of the sugar during the fermentation process.
- In addition, they have the capacity to complement the tastes of food in a way that is not always possible with dry wines.
- Don’t let a drop pass you by!
- Here are a few examples of truly excellent sweet wines, as well as some recommendations for what to serve them together.
Forget about that Nicki Minaj Fusion Moscato you were drinking earlier. True aperitivo is produced in a traditional manner, tastes excellent, and is adaptable – it may be served as an appetizer or as a dessert. In most cases, the grape used to make this frizzante (lightly bubbly) wine is Moscato Bianco. When properly prepared, good Moscato has a rich perfume of wildflowers, peaches, and lemon curd that comes naturally from the grape. It is expected that the highest-quality Moscato will come from the DOCG region of Asti in Piemonte – and that it will be called “Moscato d’Asti” as a result.
Pairing Suggestions: Do as the Italians do and have an aperitivo consisting of Moscato, charcuterie, olives, and miniature sandwiches. Alternatively, Moscato and cake might be served as a dessert.
It was common throughout the 1980s and 1990s to see “Riesling” branded on bulk-produced white wine, even though it was more likely to be a combination of inexpensive white grapes with a large amount of sugar added to it. Due to this, Riesling has earned an unjustly terrible reputation, but thankfully, winemakers in Germany (the grape’s original country) and other countries have worked hard to restore the grape’s reputation via meticulous vineyard and winery management. Stunning off-dry and sweet Riesling may be produced because Riesling has naturally strong acidity and minerality, which allows the wines to develop a great level of complexity.
Complement with: It goes without saying that an off-dry (Kabinett) Riesling is an excellent match for incredibly spicy Asian food, whether it’s from Thailand, India, or Szechuan.
In addition to pairing perfectly with a fruit pie if you can get your hands on a bottle of fully-sweet Riesling (Auslese, Spatlese, or Beerentrockenlese), it’s also fantastic with fatty pig slices in a main course since the sweetness pairs beautifully with the fat.
It is created from botrytized Semillon grapes from Bordeaux and is a high-priced, excellent, sweet, limited-production wine with a long shelf life. A favorable rot known as botrytis develops when grapes are left on the vines late in the harvest season, increasing their ripeness and sweetness factor while simultaneously decreasing their alcohol content. Botrytis is a critical component in the production of dessert wines because it increases the amount of sugar in the wine and reduces the amount of alcohol in the wine.
Pour Sauternes with the stinkiest cheese you can find and a slice of pie to accompany it.
Long believed to be one of the world’s best sweet wines, Hungarian aszu is now being recognized as such. So, how come you haven’t heard of it before? In any case, 45 years of Communism (and, as a result, State control of agricultural land and production) had a toll on the Hungarian wine sector, which has taken a long time to recover. However, sweet aszo wines are now available on the market, and they’re quite delightful. As with the Sauternes from France, asz are prepared from white grapes (usually Furmint) that have been allowed to develop noble rot before being fermented.
Incredibly delicious, a well-made asz is not only rich of fruit and floral notes, but it is also laced with an almost ethereal acidity that contrasts the sweetness of the wine.
With what to serve: Hungary is a country that produces foie gras and pork, and the Hungarians prefer drinking asz with these rich and fatty dishes in general. You should definitely give it a go.
The process of making ice wine is incredible: in the middle of winter, courageous winemakers venture out into the vineyards and collect grapes that have frozen on the vine, before fermenting them in a cold cellar. It’s a time-consuming process that many wineries would rather avoid; as a result, some of them manufacture ice wine by simply freezing the grapes after harvesting them and then adding sugar to the mixture. To put it another way, authentic ice wine is a rare pleasure. It is often sourced from Canada, the Finger Lakes, or Germany, and is prepared from Riesling or a cold-hardy hybrid varietal, such as Vidal Blanc, to provide a crisp, refreshing taste.
If you get your hands on a bottle, you’ll be overjoyed!
Port is a fortified wine produced in Portugal’s Douro Valley that has just the right amount of sweetness to go perfectly with your Thanksgiving pies and desserts. Ruby Port, which is the least costly and youngest of the Port varieties, and Tawny Port, which is kept in barrels for a longer period of time to develop a darker hue. Old Tawny Port is aged in oak barrels for at least six years, during which time it acquires a delicate, silky texture that is a superb complement to a memorable dinner.
Make it even better by including a square of ultra-dark chocolate.Published on December 10, 2015