Shelf Life and Storage of Dessert Wine
Dessert wines must be kept in the same manner as other wines in order to keep their quality for the longest period of time. After dinner, some individuals like to drink a glass of dessert wine. In general, these wines have a high alcohol concentration, are sometimes fortified with brandy or another liquor, and are sweet to the palate. Dessert wines, like any other sort of wine, must be kept in a cool, dark place. When it comes to unopened dessert wines, the shelf life might vary depending on how they are handled, however an opened bottle of dessert wine is normally only good for a few days if it is re-corked and chilled immediately after opening.
The temperature of the location where you select to keep your wine is quite crucial and allows little room for error if you want to ensure that your bottle of wine has the longest possible shelf life. In accordance with the Basic Wine Knowledge website, wine that has been exposed to incorrect temperatures for merely a few weeks might be compromised. No matter if you are storing red wine or white wine or dessert wine or another sort of wine, 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit is the best storage temperature for all types of wine.
A temperature variation of more than five degrees Celsius has the potential to allow outside air into the bottle, reducing its freshness.
Direct sunlight has been shown to significantly reduce the shelf life of wine. Never leave your dessert wine out in the sun or in any other location where it will receive an excessive amount of light. In order to prevent light out of the bottle, many wine bottles are fashioned with dark-tinted glass. In an ideal situation, a bottle of wine will be kept in the dark or under dim lighting. A wine cellar is an excellent place to store your wine for this reason.
Believe it or not, the angle at which you store a bottle of wine may have a big impact on the shelf life of the wine as well as the flavor of the wine that is produced. Ventilation can degrade the flavor of a wine bottle and cause the wine to lose its freshness if air is allowed to enter the bottle. When the liquid within the wine bottle is pressing up on the cork, it makes it more difficult for air to get through the cork and into the bottle. Therefore, it is advised that all wines be stored either horizontally or at a 45-degree inclination, with the cork pointing downward.
It is critical to keep air out, but you will never be able to completely seal the space. It is possible that some air will infiltrate the cork and make its way into your wine. If you want to reduce the impact of the air on the flavor of the wine, you should only keep it in an area with good air circulation.
A musty-smelling cellar might result in musty-tasting wine, even years after the wine was stored there. Places where the air quality is bad or where there is a strong odor should not be utilized as wine storage spaces since the air quality might impair the quality of your bottle.
How do you store dessert wine?
Asked in the following category: General The most recent update was made on March 1, 2020. Dessert wines, like any other sort of wine, must be kept in the right manner. The shelf life of an unopened bottle of dessert wine might vary depending on how it is stored, however an opened bottle of dessert wine is normally only good for a few days if it is re-corked and chilled immediately after opening. White dessert wines are often served slightly chilled, however they might be served excessively cold if not served properly.
- As a result, the issue becomes, what is the correct method of storing wine?
- Temperatures exceeding 70 degrees Fahrenheit may cause the wine to “cook,” which may reduce its quality and shelf life.
- Dessert wines should be consumed within two to three weeks, depending on the grape type and manner of production.
- What factors should you consider while selecting a dessert wine?
- According to common guidelines, the wine should be equally sweet or sweeter than the dessert you are now consuming.
- This necessitates familiarity with the sweetness of both the wine and the dessert.
How Long Does Wine Last After You Open It?
Jennifer is a wine enthusiast who enjoys sharing her knowledge with others. She has been employed in the wine sector for two years, and she has been employed in the restaurant industry for more than ten years. The length of time a bottle of wine will last once it has been opened is determined by a few key elements. The type of wine, the quantity of residual sugar in it, and the manner in which it was stored are all important considerations. Sugar, which works as a natural preservative, has a significant impact on the preservation of wine quality.
In the case of sparkling wine, the carbonation disappears after a day or two, whilst other wines retain theirs.
Wine that has not been opened should be kept in a cold, dark area.
It is only a disadvantage of storing red wine in the refrigerator that it will need to be warmed back to room temperature (or near to room temperature) before it can be consumed. This is due to the fact that red wine loses its taste when served cold.
White and Rose Wine
Jennifer is a wine enthusiast who enjoys sharing her knowledge with other people. She has been employed in the wine sector for two years, and she has also worked in the restaurant industry for more than ten years before to that. Several factors influence how long a bottle of wine will last once it has been opened. The type of wine, the quantity of residual sugar in it, and the manner in which it was stored are all important factors to take into consideration. As a natural preservative, sugar plays an important role in preserving the quality of wines.
In the case of sparkling wine, the carbonation disappears after a day or two of storage.
A cold, dark room is the best place to keep unopened bottles of wine.
Keeping red wine in the fridge has only one disadvantage: it must be brought back up to room temperature (or as close as possible) before it can be consumed.
Light-Bodied Red Wine
The majority of lighter-bodied and table reds will last three to five days in the fridge. This is due to the fact that lighter red wines contain lower levels of acidity and tannin, which aid in the natural preservation of the wine. If you expect to eat the wine within a day or two after opening it, light reds should be stored in the refrigerator.
Full-Bodied Red Wine
A higher level of acidity and tannin is found in full-bodied red wines, which helps to organically preserve the wine by delaying the aging process. It is for this reason that a full-bodied red wine can be kept for up to a week or even longer. Some wines will really increase in quality the day after they are first opened. Storage of red wine in a cellar or the refrigerator will allow it to survive longer once it has been opened.
Read More From Delishably
After it has been opened, sparkling wine will only survive two to three days at the most. It’s possible that the wine may still be drinkable after three days, but it will have lost its carbonation. During the first 24 hours after opening, sparkling wine will be at its finest. This is due to the fact that as soon as the bottle is opened, the carbonation begins to deplete. A helpful idea is to keep the bottle upright in your refrigerator and use a quality champagne cork to keep the bubbles in. If at all possible, avoid laying it on its side when storing.
Fortified and Dessert Wine
Fortified wines, such as port and sherry, have a substantially longer shelf life than other types of wine. They have a shelf life of many months if properly stored. Some believe it might take months or even years. Madeira and Marsala wines have a long shelf life and never go bad. This is due to the fact that they have already been oxidized and fried. In addition, due of the high concentration of sugar in dessert wines, they may be stored for much longer periods.
Sugar aids in the preservation of the wine by acting as a natural preservative. The sweetness of the dessert wine determines how long it will remain once it has been opened. If you store it in the refrigerator, it will last the longest, much like other varieties of wine.
How to Tell if Wine Has Gone Bad
The first thing you’ll notice when a bottle of wine has gone bad is a shift in coloration. Pour a tiny bit of the wine into a transparent glass and take a close look at the contents of that glass. The hue of red wine will begin to become brownish (unless its a fortified wine which is already aged and brownish in color). Take note that full-bodied, mature reds will have a faint brown tinge to them, which is very natural. It is possible to tell when white wine is starting to go bad by the color of the wine changing from light white to golden.
- White wine should be transparent, therefore if it does not appear to be translucent, you may be sure that something is wrong.
- Depending on how poor the wine is, you may detect a nasty odor that was not present previously.
- You could even sense an earthy or barnyard odor when walking about (in some varietals like Baco Noir and Marechel Foch, this is normal).
- A good wine should be able to recognize when something is wrong with it in terms of flavor.
- The strong or sour flavor of the wine, which appears out of proportion with the other components, will most likely indicate that the wine has begun to deteriorate.
How to Prevent Wine From Going Bad
There are a few things you can do to keep your opened wine fresher for a longer period of time. First and foremost, you should make certain that your wine is correctly corked. While the dry side of the cork may be simpler to re-insert into the bottle, it is preferable to utilize the side of the cork that was in the bottle before it was opened to ensure the greatest results. It is possible that the dry side of the cork has been contaminated, which will taint the wine you are attempting to salvage.
- Bottles of wine stored on their sides are exposed to greater amounts of air and will oxidize more quickly as a result of the increased exposure.
- The cold will also assist to keep the wine fresher for a longer period of time.
- Make sure the container you’re using is completely filled with wine and that the lid is securely fastened.
- Because it is not in contact with oxygen, the wine will last for a longer time.
The Wine Squirrel is a decanter that, after you’ve poured your wine into it, forms an airtight seal. To use it, just place the seal into the decanter and press it down until it is at the same level as the wine. As a result, you may keep it on its side without worrying about it leaking.
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.
Madeirais is a fortified wine produced in Portugal’s Madeirais region, and it is renowned for its nutty, brown sugar, and burned caramel flavors. This amber-hued wine may be enjoyed on its own after a dinner, or paired with sweets like as astoffeepudding, tiramisu, or spicy treats such as chocolate truffles coated with cayenne pepper.
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?
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.
How Long Does Wine Last Once Open?
What kind of wine have you cracked open? White|Red|Sparkling|Rosé|Dessert Keeping wine in the refrigerator: opened|unopened In the event that you’ve invested in a bottle of your favorite wine or a new kind to try, you’ll want to know how long the wine will last once it’s been opened. To get the most enjoyment out of your wine, consume it as soon as possible once it has been opened. However, the shelf life of most wines is just five days after they are opened, but this might vary depending on the sort of wine you are drinking.
As a result of oxidation, spoiled wine has a harsh vinegar flavor.
Some people describe it as smelling like a “wet dog” or “corkboard.” The wine alters in appearance as well.
It will have a hazy, filmy, and brown appearance.
In the bottle, there occurs an extra fermentation that results in this condition. Continue reading for a comprehensive guide to determining how long your bottle of wine will last once it has been opened.
How Long Does Red Wine Last After Opening
On average, red wine will keep for up to five days in the refrigerator. It will, however, require storage in a cold, dark room with a cork in order to be effective. Likewise, red wines with higher levels of tannins and acidity will be more successful in this endeavor. This indicates that Syrahs and Cabernet Sauvignons will age far better than Pinot Noirs and Merlots. There are, however, alternatives if you truly want to open a bottle of red wine but don’t want to complete it inside the ‘drinkability’ window of time.
Try cooking beef bourguignon, beef stews, or Italian red wine roast beef if you don’t want to throw away your leftover red wine from the bottle.
- Light reds should be consumed within 2 to 3 days
- Medium reds should be consumed between 2 to 5 days
- Full-bodied reds should be consumed within 4 to 6 days.
How Long Does White Wine Last After Opening
White wines, whether light or full-bodied, can keep for three to five days in the refrigerator. If you want to keep your white wine fresh for up to a week, you can try transferring it from the bottle to an airtight container before serving it. Following is a list of the typical lifespans of white wines after they have been opened:
- Light-bodied whites should be consumed within 3 to 5 days
- Full-bodied whites should be consumed within 3 to 5 days.
How Long Does Sparkling Wine Last After Opening
Sparkling wines do not age well and should be consumed immediately. It is ideal to drink these wines, which include Champagne and prosecco, shortly after they have been opened. Once the bottle is opened, the bubbles disappear and the wine becomes flat. It’s advisable to have sparkling wine on the day of the event’s debut. If you don’t want to drink the entire bottle, sparkling wine can be used to prepare fresh fruits if you don’t want to consume it all. Otherwise, purchasing tiny bottles may be preferable in order to prevent having to dump away leftover sparkling wine after the first day has passed.
How Long Does Rosé Wine Last After Opening
Rosé will normally keep for up to three days in the refrigerator provided it is properly stored with a stopper, cork, or screw cover on it. After opening your Rosé, it is recommended that you store it in the refrigerator. Rosé can be consumed for up to five days in some situations.
How Long Does Dessert Wine Last After Opening
Generally speaking, dessert wines have a shelf life of two to three weeks after being opened. Because of the larger sugar level, this is the case. Dessert wines, depending on the grape type used in their production and the method utilized during their creation, can last for several months after they are first bottled. Sherries, in particular, are recognized for having a long shelf life because to the oxidation process that occurs during manufacture. Following opening, the following are the typical lifespans of common dessert wines:
How to Store Your Wine Once Opened
No matter what sort of wine you’ve opened, if it’s not properly kept, it won’t survive very long. You’ll want to start by making sure your wine has been properly re-corked before proceeding. Make use of the side of the cork that has previously been exposed to the wine to prevent oxidation. You’ll want to insert the cork about halfway into the bottle to get the best results. You may also use a wine stopper to cork your bottle to keep it from spilling. These are easy to make and may be reused. Keep the bottle away from direct sunlight and at room temperature or slightly colder.
Remember to finish the bottle of wine before it expires to avoid spoilage. Christner’s is ready to assist you with your wine needs, whether you’re wanting to open a new bottle or store a bottle you’d like to save for future use. To book a reservation, please contact us.
How to Store Your Wine Prior to Opening
Even if you haven’t yet opened your wine, you’ll still want to think about how to store it properly. This ensures that your wine continues to taste its best (or aging to taste even better). Proper wine storage is guided by a few fundamental principles that everyone should be aware of. What you should be aware of is as follows.
Find a Space Without Direct Sunlight
In the event that your wine is exposed to intense light or direct sunshine, it may result in the wine maturing more quickly than desired. In fact, exposure to direct sunlight for little over three hours can cause wine to become spoiled. Many wine bottles are made of dark glass to prevent UV radiation from destroying the contents of the bottle. Although your wine bottle is constructed of dark glass, you should still take steps to ensure that it remains in good condition by storing it in a cool, dark place that is not directly exposed to the sun.
Ensure the Space Has a Consistent Temperature and Humidity
Maintaining a steady temperature and humidity level for your unopened wine can help to prevent the wine from maturing too rapidly. Wine refrigerators come very beneficial in this situation. Unlike a typical refrigerator, wine refrigerators maintain temperatures between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit (with colder settings for keeping champagnes) and humidity levels ranging from 50 to 70 percent, depending on your preferences. Wine refrigerators give a specialized room for your wine, preventing cross-contamination with other foods stored in the refrigerator as well.
Check to Be Sure the Wine is Meant to Be Aged
It may come as a surprise, but when it comes to wine, older does not automatically equate to better. While it is true that certain wines improve in flavor with age, this is not true for all varieties. Wines that are supposed to be matured have the following characteristics:
- High acidity
- Residual sweetness
- Oak barreling
- Balanced alcohol levels
- Structured tannin
- Residual sugar
Wines sealed with a cork age more gracefully than those sealed with a screw cap. Generally speaking, red wines age better than white wines. Be sure to conduct some research before you decide to age a bottle of wine in order to establish whether or not the wine should be aged and for how long.
Store Your Wine in a Wine Locker
Storage of wine in a wine locker is an excellent option for individuals who do not have a wine cooler or cellar available in their houses. Wine lockers guarantee that your wine is stored in an environment that is continuously cold, dark, and moist. Wine locker rental is available at Christner’s for wine connoisseurs who wish to keep their beloved bottles of wine in the best possible shape. Please contact us if you would like to learn more about our wine locker rental services.
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.
Acidity is essential in creating a superb dessert wine because it stops all of that sweetness from becoming too cloying and adds depth, vibrancy, and a sense of “lift” to the experience of drinking it!.
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).
Dessert sherries are bursting with rich tastes such as chocolate, toffee, almonds, and figs, among others. 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.
5 Types of Dessert Wine
Switch up the hefty dessert with something that will make your tastebuds glitter instead. Learn about the five primary varieties of dessert wines, ranging from the delightfully effervescent Moscato d’Asti to the dark and gloomy vintage Port of the world. Dessert wines are supposed to be sipped from tiny glasses and cherished in the same way that a fine Scotch is. Sparkling, light sweet, rich sweet, sweet red and fortified are the five varieties of dessert wines that may be found on the market.
Types of Dessert Wines
- Sweet Red Wine
- Fortified Wine
- Sparkling Dessert Wine
- Lightly Sweet Dessert Wine
- Richly Sweet Dessert Wine
A Guide to Dessert Wines
Sweet wine is made from grapes that are exceptionally sweet! In order to produce sweet wine, the fermentation process must be stopped before the yeast has converted all of the grape sugars to alcohol. To stop fermentations, numerous techniques are available, including super-cooling the wine or adding brandy to the mixture. The end product is a full-bodied wine that has been naturally sweetened with grape sugars. Despite the fact that there are hundreds of different varieties of dessert wines available on the market, the majority of them fall into five broad categories.
Take a look at all five kinds for a comprehensive look at dessert wines.
Sparkling Dessert Wine
Wine made from sweet grapes is called “sweet wine.” The fermentation process is stopped before the yeast has converted all of the grape sugars to alcohol, which results in a sweet wine being produced. To stop fermentations, numerous techniques are available, including freezing the wine or adding brandy to it. With natural grape sugars added to the mix, the result is a rich, full-bodied wine. Despite the fact that there are hundreds of distinct varieties of dessert wines available on the market, the majority of them fall into one of five broad classifications.
There are 5 different styles described in this tutorial, with examples for each of the styles. To have a thorough understanding of dessert wines, try all five kinds.
- Demi-Sec* (which translates as “off-dry” in French)
- Amabile (which translates as “slightly sweet” in Italian)
- Semi Secco* (which translates as “off-dry” in Italian)
- French for “sweet,” Dolce / Dulce (Italian for “sweet,” Spanish for “sweet,” and Moelleux (French for “sweet,” for some French wines)
- Doux (French for “sweet,” Dolce / Dulce (Italian for “sweet,” Spanish for “sweet”)
*Not to be confused with the terms “sec” or “secco,” which are used to describe dryness in both French and Italian.
Lightly-Sweet Dessert Wine
Lightly sweet wines have a delightful sweetness to them, making them ideal for a hot afternoon. Many of these sweet wines go well with spicy dishes such as Indian or Southeast Asian cuisine, which is why they are so popular. Lightly sweet wines are best consumed as soon as possible after the vintage date, with the exception of a few exceptional examples, such as German Riesling, which may be savored for several years after the vintage date. Expect these wines to be bursting with fruit tastes and well-suited for desserts that are fruit-based or vanilla-driven.
Fruit tarts and a Gewürztraminer go together like peanut butter and jelly.
- Drinking light, sweet wines on a hot day is a nice change from dry, sour wines. Many of these sweet wines go well with spicy dishes such as Indian or Southeast Asian cuisine, which are popular in the United States. In most cases, light-sweet wines are best consumed as soon as possible after harvest, with the exception of a few rare exceptions, such as German Riesling, which may be enjoyed for many years after harvest! Expect these wines to be bursting with fruit tastes and well-suited for desserts that are fruit-based or vanilla-based. Take, for example, Gewürztraminer, which is renowned for its fragrances of lychee and rose petals, among other fruit. Fruit tarts with a Gewürztraminer are a perfect match.
Richly Sweet Dessert Wine
With the best quality fruits and in an unfortified manner, these richly sweet wines are produced. Sugar and acidity allow many of these wines to retain their fresh flavor even after 50 years or more in the bottle. For example, the HungarianTokaji (pronounced “toe-kye”) was a favorite of the Tzars of Russia, while South African Constantia was a favorite of both the Dutch and the English. The FrenchSauternes was a favorite of Americans in the early 1800’s and is still popular today. There are numerous methods for producing highly sweet dessert wines, and you may gain a better understanding of them by looking at how they are prepared.
Late harvest refers to precisely what it says on the tin. With each additional day that grapes are allowed to hang on the vine, they get progressively sweeter and more raisinated, culminating in grapes with concentrated sweetness. “Vendage Tardive” is the term used in Alsace to describe late harvest, whereas “Spätlese” is used in Germany to describe late harvest. Late harvest wines can be made from any grape that has been left on the vine. Having said that, late-harvest wines made from Chenin Blanc, Sémillon, and Riesling grapes are becoming increasingly popular.
Noble rot is caused by a kind of spore known as Botrytis cinerea, which feeds on fruits and vegetables. Noble rot, despite the fact that it sounds (and seems) awful, imparts distinct notes of ginger, saffron, and honey to sweet wines. There are several different varieties of dessert wines derived from noble rot grapes that are widely available.
- Sauternais Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc are blended together in Sauternes, Barsac, Cadillac, and Monbazillac to produce a rich, golden-hued sweet wine. A collection of French Appellations in and around Bordeaux, including Sauternes, Barsac, Cadillac, and Monbazillac
- Tokaji Tokaji Asz is a Hungarian wine created from Furmint grapes
- Auslese, BA, and TBA Riesling (BA = Beerenauslese, TBA = Trockenbeerenauslese)
- And Auslese, BA, and TBA Riesling (BA = Beerenauslese, TBA = Trockenbeerenauslese). Auslese is the first level of the German Pradikat system (a sweetness labeling system), and it has a larger proportion of botrytis-affected grapes than any other level. In addition to being sweeter than German Rieslings from the “QbA” and “Kabinett” varieties, they often have a greater alcohol content.
The grapes are put out on straw mats to raisinate prior to being used in the winemaking process (also known as “Passito”).
- Italian Vin Santo is prepared from the grapes Trebbiano and Malvasia and has a rich, nutty taste that is similar to that of dates. It is possible to find various different types of Vin Santo produced throughout Italy. ‘Passito’ in Italian means ‘passion’. Another straw wine created from a variety of grapes, both white and red, this time with a fruity flavor. For example, Passito di Pantelleriais a Muscat-based wine, whereas Caluso Passitois a Piedmont-based wine created with the uncommon grapeErbaluce. Greek Straw Wines are made from grapes harvested in Greece. Vinsanto, created from high-acid white Assyrtiko grapes, is another type of wine produced in Greece. It is believed that Samos was the first sweet wine manufactured from Muscat grapes, while Commandaria was the first sweet wine made from grapes in Cyprus, dating back to 800 BCE. Strohwein (German: Strohwein/Austrian: Schilfwein) is a kind of wine produced in Germany and Austria. Schilfweins are sweet wines made from Muscat and Zweigelt grapes in Austria and Germany that are becoming increasingly rare. Vin de Paille is a French term for wine made from grapes. These Vin de Paille are produced mostly in the Jura area of France, which is next to the Alps, and are made from Chardonnay and old Savagnin grapes
- They are particularly well-known in the United States.
Ice Wine (Eiswein)
True ice wine is incredibly difficult to come by and extremely costly for two reasons. For starters, it only happens in outlandish years when a vineyard freezes. And two, ice wine must be collected and pressed while the grapes are still frozen to ensure proper fermentation. The country of Canada is the world’s largest producer of ice wine. Ice wines are most commonly found in colder climates such as Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
The majority of ice wines are created from Riesling or Vidal grapes, however any kind of grape, including Cabernet Franc, can be used to make an ice wine. You’ll find them to be honeyed and wonderfully sweet, akin to a noble rot wine in taste and texture.
Sweet Red Wine
Sweet reds are in decline, with the exception of commercially produced sweet reds. It’s still possible to get some excellent sweet reds that are historically fascinating and worth tasting. The bulk of these incredible sweet red wines come from Italy, where they are made from obscure grape varieties.
- Lambrusco A area known for producing a delightful sparkling wine that can be enjoyed both dry and sweet. Because it is a sparkling wine, it will have a yeasty undertone, as well as notes of raspberry and blueberry in the background. “Amabile” and “Dulce” are the names given to the sweet variants. Brachetto d’Acqui (Acquisition Brachetto) A red or rosé wine made from Brachetto grapes grown in the Piedmont area that is both still and bubbling. Famous for its flowery and strawberry scents, as well as its love for matching with cured meats, this wine is a favorite of foodies everywhere. Schiava A uncommon cultivar from the Alto-Adige region that is on the verge of extinction. A delicious scent of raspberry and cotton candy, with a refreshing, somewhat sweet taste that isn’t overpowering
- Freisa Frieda, once considered one of the great red varietals of Piedmont, is a relative of Nebbiolo, but with softer tannins and flowery cherry aromas rather than the latter. Recioto della Valpolicella (Valpolicella Recioto) Recioto della Valpolicella is a luscious, robust, and rich wine that is produced using the same meticulous procedure as Amarone wine. Late-Harvest Red Wines are a specialty of the region. There are several red dessert wines available in the United States, created from grapes such as Zinfandel, Mourvedre, Malbec, and Petite Sirah, among others. With their intense sweetness and high alcohol concentration, these wines are a feast for the senses.
Fortified wines are produced by adding grape brandy to a wine, and they can be either dry or sweet in flavor. Most fortified wines have a higher alcohol level (often 17-20 percent ABV) and have a longer shelf life once they have been opened than other types of wines.
Port wine is produced in the northern region of Portugal, along the banks of the Douro. These extremely uncommon sweet red wines are prepared from a variety of classic Portuguese grapes, including Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, and Tinta Roriz, among others. After being harvested and placed in open tanks, the grapes are stomped daily as the wine begins to mature, which results in a more concentrated flavor. When the wine is filtered and combined with pure grape spirit (with an ABV of approximately 70%), the fermentation is stopped and the wine is fortified, this is done at a certain stage throughout the fermentation.
- Roughed-up RubyCrusted Port (sweet) Introducing Tawny Port, a kind of Port wine that has the aroma and flavor of newly minted port and is far less sweet than its counterpart. VintageLBV Port (VintageLBV Port) (sweet) Despite the fact that LBV and Vintage Port are produced in the same manner, LBV are intended to be consumed in their youth (owing to the sort of cork enclosure used) and vintage Ports are intended to be consumed after 20-50 years of ageing. Tawny Port is a port wine produced by the Tawny Port Company (very sweet) Tawny Port is aged in big oak casks and smaller wooden barrels at the winery, where the wine is produced. The longer the Tawny Port is let to age, the more nutty and figgy it becomes in flavor. The finest tawny is between 30 and 40 years old. wine made in the style of port sa.k.a. Vin Doux Naturel (Natural Wine) (sweet) Although port can only be produced in Portugal, numerous producers across the world produce port-style wines, such as Zinfandel ‘Port’ or Pinot Noir ‘Port’, which are similar to port. These wines are referred to as vin doux naturel (natural sweet wine) (see below).
Sherry is produced in the Spanish region of Andalusia. Palomino, Pedro Ximénez (a grape, not a person), and Moscatel grapes are used in the production of the wines. Wines are made from varied proportions of the three grapes and are intentionally oxidized in order to generate nutty aromatics in the final product.
- Fino(dry) The lightest and driest of all the Sherries, with acidic and nutty notes
- The most popular of all the Sherries. Manzanilla(dry) In a more specialized location, Fino Sherry is produced in a distinct style that is even lighter in color than Fino. Palo Cortado (Corked Palo Cortado) (dry) A significantly richer kind of sherry that has been matured for a longer period of time, resulting in a deeper color and a fuller taste. This type of wine is normally dry, although it will include fruit and nut aromas due to the saline in the air. Amontillado is a kind of tequila (mostly dry) An old sherry that develops nutty notes reminiscent of peanut butter and butterscotch
- Oloroso(dry) Because of the evaporation of water as the wine matures, this sherry has a greater alcohol concentration than other sherries of the same age. In comparison to Sherry, this is more like scotch. Cream Sherry is a kind of sherry that is made using cream and sherry (sweet) When Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez Sherry are blended, the result is a sweet kind of Sherry. Moscatel(sweet) The tastes of fig and date are prominent in this sweet sherry. Pedro Ximénez (PX) is a Venezuelan politician (very sweet) It’s a really sweet sherry with notes of brown sugar and figs in it.
Madeira is a type of wine produced on the island of Madeira, which is located in the center of the Atlantic Ocean, utilizing up to four distinct grape varieties. Madeira is distinct from other wines in that it is produced through a process that includes heating and oxidation – processes that would normally “ruin” a wine in the traditional sense. The end product is a full-bodied fortified wine with notes reminiscent of walnuts, saltiness, and an oiliness on the tongue. Because of the four distinct grapes that are utilized, Madeira wines range from dry to sweet, making them a great choice to serve with a meal or even as a pre-dinner drink before supper.
- Made in the midst of the Atlantic Ocean on the island of Madeira, Madeira wine is made from a variety of grapes, sometimes as many as four distinct varieties. Due to the fact that Madeira is produced by a process of heating and oxidation, it differs significantly from other wines in that it does not “ruin” the wine as would be expected. On the tongue, the result is a luscious fortified wine that has notes reminiscent of walnuts, saltiness, and an oily finish. In part due to the four various types of grapes utilized, Madeira wines may range from dry to sweet, making them a good choice to drink with food or even before supper. You may find out more about Madeira by visiting this page:
Vin Doux Naturel (VDN)
Vin Doux Naturel is produced in a similar manner as Port, with a base wine being produced and a neutral grape brandy being added at the end. The word vin doux naturel is derived from France, however this designation may be used to any wine from any country.
- VDN is made from Grenache grapes. For example, Maury, Rasteau, and Banyuls from the Languedoc-Roussillon region are typical of the southern region of France. Muscat-based VDN Muscat de Rivesaltes, Muscat de Frotignan, Muscat de Beaumes de Venise, Ruthernglen Muscat (Australia), Orange Muscat, and Vin Santo Liquoroso (Italy)
- Muscat-based VDN Muscat de Rivesaltes, Muscat de Frotignan, Muscat de Beaumes de Venise, Ruthernglen Muscat (Australia), Orange Muscat, and Vin Santo Liquoros VDN is based in Malvasia. Malvasia delle Lipari Liquoroso, for example, is mostly from Italy and Sicily. Mavrodaphni (Greek for “sweet red wine”) is a sweet red wine produced in Greece that has many characteristics to Port.
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.
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
The chef at Quinta do Noval in the Douro Valley transforms leftover late bottled vintage or vintage Port into a delicious, sweet sauce for pancakes, which he serves with fresh fruit. ‘A hefty pat of butter, two teaspoons of brown sugar, and a full glass of Port are required for four persons.’ In a saucepan, melt the butter with the sugar until it is boiling, then stir in the Port and serve. Never stop stirring with a wooden spoon, no matter how tired you are. Allow the alcohol to evaporate for approximately four minutes, or until the sauce thickens.
. You will need a tiny ramekin dish for each individual pudding. This is filled with a digestive biscuit crumbled on top of some sultanas, 30ml of Sherry, and a layer of fresh custard on top of that. . Once the double cream has set, apply another layer on top. .