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. .
What can I do with leftover wine? Ask Decanter
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.
5 Types of Dessert Wine
Switch out the heavy dessert for something that will make your tastebuds twinkle 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.
There are five different styles described in this tutorial, with examples for each of the styles. Take a look at all five kinds for a comprehensive look at dessert wines.
Sparkling Dessert Wine
Because of the carbonation and strong acidity in sparkling wine, it appears to be less sweet than it actually is! Certain grape types have a more pleasant aroma than others. This deceives our brain into believing that they taste sweeter as well! Consider the difference in sweetness between a Demi-Sec Moscato (or “Semi Secco”) and a Demi-Sec Champagne, despite the fact that they may contain the same quantity of sugar. Pay attention to the following terms on the label of sweet dessert wines, sparkling wines, and other sparkling beverages: Purchase the book and receive the course!
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- Because of the carbonation and strong acidity in sparkling wine, it appears to be less sweet than it really is! It is true that certain grape types have a sweeter aroma than others do. The fact that they taste sweeter is a deception on our brain as well. Consider the difference in flavor between a Demi-Sec Moscato (called “Semi Secco”) and a Demi-Sec Champagne, despite the fact that they may have the same amount of sugar in both cases. Maintain a close eye out for these terms on the label while hunting for sweet dessert wine Champagnes and other sparklers: You can get the course if you buy the book! Consider purchasing the Wine 101 Course ($29 value) instead. When you buy Wine Folly: Magnum Edition, you will receive a complimentary copy. Obtaining Additional Information
*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.
- Gewürztraminer Alsace, Alto-Adige (Italy), California, and New Zealand are all places where you may get this extremely flowery wine with modest alcohol content: Riesling Available in both dry styles (which are popular in Australia, Alsace, and the United States) and sweeter styles (which are more usually found in Germany). A wine with a high level of natural acidity, which helps to cut through the sweetness of the flavor
- Müller-Thurgau A less common type, also from Germany, that may be found in some regions of Oregon and has flowery scents and a little softer acidity than the other varieties. Porch wine is a classic and is especially good with sausages. Chenin Blanc is a white wine produced in France. When it comes to Chenin Blanc, a sweeter flavor is more frequent in the United States, although it is also produced in significant quantities in South Africa and France’s Loire Valley region. When purchasing Chenin Blanc, pay close attention to the label because many South African and French producers produce dry versions that taste more like a dry Sauvignon Blanc
- When purchasing Viognier, pay close attention to the label because many South African and French producers create dry versions that taste more like a dry Sauvignon Blanc
- The majority of the time, viognier is not sweet. However, because it is an aromatic grape type, you might occasionally encounter it in a fruit-driven style that smells like peaches and perfume. It has a thick, oily texture on the palate. This kind of Viognier may be found exclusively in Condrieu AOP (Rhône Valley) in France
- It is also known as “Condrieu Blanc.”
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 several 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 made from Muscat grapes, and 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.
Sweet Red Wine
Due to a combination of factors, true ice wine is incredibly difficult to find and costly. For starters, it only happens in outlandish years when a vineyard freezes over completely. For the second thing, ice wine must be gathered and pressed while the grapes are still frozen! The country of Canada is the world’s largest producer of ice wines. Colder locations like as Germany, Austria, and Switzerland are where you’ll discover ice wines. Riesling and Vidal grapes are used to make the majority of ice wines, although any grape variety can be utilized to make an ice wine, including Cabernet Franc and Merlot.
- 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.
Fortified wines are produced by adding grape brandy to a wine, and they can be either dry or sweet in consistency. The majority of fortified wines have a higher alcohol level (often 17-20 percent ABV) and have a longer shelf life once they have been opened than table wines.
- 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. More information on Madeira may be found here.
- RainwaterMadeira When a label just states “Madeira” or “Rainwater,” presume that it is a combination of all four grapes and that it is somewhere in the center of the sweetness spectrum. Sercial(dry) Sercial is the driest and lightest of all the grapes grown in Madeira, and it is also the most expensive. Typically, these wines will have greater acidity and be more dry, with hints of peaches and apricot in the bouquet. It is fairly rare to find Sercial Madeira that has been aged for more than 100 years. Verdelho(dry) When let to age, Verdelho will acquire nutty flavors of almond and walnut that will complement the citrus notes. Bual(sweet) It has a sweet flavor profile, with flavors of burned caramel, brown sugar, fig, rootbeer, and black walnut in the background. Although there are numerous well-aged 50-70-year-old Bual Madeira available, it is typical to find 10-year-old’medium’ (meaning: medium sweet) Bual Madeira. Malmsey(sweet) Malmsey Madeiras include orange citrus overtones and caramel to their taste, in addition to the oily oxidized nutty flavor that is characteristic of the region.
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 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.
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.
Many bulk-produced white wines were marketed as “Riesling” throughout the 1980s and 1990s, despite the fact that they were essentially a combination of low-cost white grapes with a lot of sugar added to the blend. It is because of this that the grape has earned an unjustly terrible reputation; nevertheless, proper vineyard and winery management has allowed winemakers in Germany (the grape’s original country) and other countries to restore the grape’s reputation to its former glory. Stunning off-dry and sweet Riesling may be produced because Riesling has naturally strong acidity and minerality, which allows the wines to develop a diverse flavor profile.
Complement with a variety of other items.
You’ll see what I mean when you try it: the sweetness absorbs all of the heat.
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.
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.
There are certain years when the grapes don’t mature before they are frozen, and in those cases, there is no ice wine produced at all. If you get your hands on a bottle, you’ll be overjoyed! Serve with: Ice wine and cheesecake go together like peanut butter and jelly.
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.
With: At the end of your dinner, serve Port with a piece of room-temperature blue cheese, and you will be in heaven.
Originally published on December 10, 2015.
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.
Dessert wine – Wikipedia
The term “sweet wine” links to this page. Sweet Wine (musical composition by Mark Williams) is a song written by Mark Williams (song). Fresh Cream is a song by the band Cream. For other uses, see Fresh Cream. The dessert wine, also known as pudding wine in the United Kingdom, is a sweet wine that is generally served with a sweet dessert. A dessert wine cannot be defined in a straightforward manner. When it comes to dessert wines in the United Kingdom, any sweet wine consumed with a meal is regarded a dessert wine, as opposed to the white fortified wines (fino and amontilladosherry) used before the meal and the red fortified wines (port and Madeira) consumed after the meal.
In contrast, in the United States, a dessert wine is classified as any wine that contains more than 14 percent alcohol by volume, which includes all fortified wines—and as a result, it is taxed at a higher rate as a result.
Methods of production
Château d’Yquem 1999, a noble rot wine from the Loire Valley Dessert wine producers are interested in producing a wine that contains high quantities of both sugar and alcohol. Because all winemaking results in the production of alcohol through the fermentation of carbohydrates, they are often traded off. However, there are a variety of methods for increasing the relative sugar levels in the finished wine:
- Grow grapes such that they naturally contain enough sugar for both sweetness and alcohol
- Add sugar in one of the following ways:
- Sugar or honey (Chaptalization) is added before fermentation
- Unfermented must (Süssreserve) is added after fermentation.
- Prior to the completion of the sugar fermentation process (fortification or’mutage ‘), remove water from the sugar solution to concentrate the sugar solution:
- In warm areas, raisin wine may be produced by drying the grapes in the open air. In colder locations, you may produce ice wine by freezing off a portion of the water. When growing grapes in moist temperate areas, a fungal infection called Botrytis cinerea is used to desiccate the grapes, which causes noble rot.
A late harvest Semillon from the state of Washington. In the lack of alternative methods, producers of dessert wines are forced to create their own sugar in the vineyard. Some grape varietals, such as Muscat, Ortega, and Huxelrebe, yield significantly more sugar than others due to their genetic makeup. Final sugar levels are greatly influenced by environmental factors; thevigneroncan assist by leaving the grapes on the vine until they are fully ripe, as well as by green picking and trimming to expose the young grapes to the light.
While the vigneron has little control over the sun, a sunny year helps to keep sugar levels under control.
However, most of the Muscats from antiquity, including the famousConstantiaof South Africa, were very certainly created in this manner.
Honey was used to sweeten wine in ancient Rome, and it was also used to increase the final strength of the finished product. Today, sugar is typically added to wines that are flabby and immature in order to increase the alcohol content rather than for sweetness, although a certain amount of chaptalization is authorized in the wines of certain nations. German wines must state whether they are ‘natural’ or not; chaptalization is prohibited from the highest levels of German wines in any event.
It is a German winemaking method in which unfermented must (grape juice) is added to the wine after it has finished fermenting. This boosts the sweetness of the finished wine while also diluting the alcohol a little—in Germany, the final wine must have more than 15 percent Süssreserve by volume, which is the maximum allowed. Süssreserve allows winemakers to complete the fermentation process without having to be concerned about halting the fermentation process before all of the sugar has been used.
Süssreserve is also employed by other producers of German-style wines, most notably in New Zealand’s wine industry.
To accompany dessert, sweet Montilla-Morilessherry, notably Pedro Ximénez and vins doux naturels are the most often consumed fortified wines in the world. Because it is made from raisin wine, the Pedro Ximenezdessert wine is unlike any other sweet wine from Andalucia. It is fortified and matured in a solera system, like other sweet wines from the region. Alternatively, some sweet sherries (which are mix wines) like asBristol Cream can be consumed as dessert wine. Arnaud de Villeneuve, a professor at the University of Montpellier in France, is credited for perfecting the manufacture of natural sweet wines in the 13th century.
Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise, Muscat de Rivesaltes, Muscat de Frontignan, Muscat de Lunel, and Muscat de Mirevaland are all named after vineyards in France: Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise, Muscat de Rivesaltes, Muscat de Frontignan, Muscat de Frontignan, Muscat de Lunel, and Muscat de Mirevaland.
Regardless of the grape, fermentation can be halted using up to 10% of 95 percent grape spirit, depending on the amount used. A somewhat oxidized style is used in the production of the Muscats, whereas the Grenaches are not.
A glass of Piedmontese raisin wine, Calusopassito, was enjoyed. Sweet wine known as passum was produced at ancient Carthage from air-dried grapes, and comparable wines, known as Moscato Passito di Pantelleria and produced across the Malta Channel from the site of Carthage, are being produced today. The Romans were the first to describe such wines. ‘Passito’ wines are produced in Northern Italy, where the grapes are dried on straw, racks, or rafters before being pressed and fermented in barrels.
In the Jura, Rhone, and Alsace, the French make’straw wine’ (vin de paille); the Spaniards start with a raisin wine and Pedro Ximénez before fortifying it; the Cypriots have their ancientCommandaria; and there have been recent trials with the style in South Africa and the United States.
Most wine rules demand that the grapes for ice wine be gathered when the temperature is less than 7 degrees Celsius (19 degrees Fahrenheit). During such temperatures, some water in the grapes freezes, but the sugars and other solids in the grape juice remain dissolved in the remainder of the liquid. If the grapes are pressed while still frozen, a very concentrated must can be produced, which requires a particular yeast strain and an extended fermentation period. The resultant wines are quite sweet, yet their acidity helps to keep them balanced.
The most well-known ice wines are German Eiswein and Canadian Icewine, although ice wines are also produced in smaller numbers in the United States, Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Italy, Australia, France, and New Zealand.
Noble rot wine
Wines such as TokajiAsz of Tokaj-Hegyaljain Hungary, Château d’Yquemof Sauternes, and Seewinkelof Austria are prepared from grapes that have been mouldy with Botrytis cinerea, which sucks the water out of the fruit while giving flavors of honey and apricot to the future wine. Noble rot is caused by a fungus that requires precise environmental conditions to thrive; if the environment is excessively moist, the same fungus may create destructivegrey rot. Vignerons make every effort to increase the quantity of noble rot produced while avoiding the loss of the entire crop to grey rot.
Because of the time it takes for noble rot to develop, these wines are typically picked late.
The fact that noble rot was a factor in Hungarian vineyard demarcation some 50 years before a messenger was allegedly mugged on his way to Schloss Johannisberg in Germany and that asz inventory predates it by approximately 200 years indicates that Hungary’s Tokaj was the first region to produce the wine.
Noble rot is also responsible for a variety of other dessert wines, including the German beerenauslese and trockenbeerenauslese (TBA) classifications, the French Monbazillac, the Austrian Beerenauslese, the Austrian Ausbruch, and other TBA-type wines from throughout the globe.
Vin Santo with almond cookies are a delicious combination. Generally speaking, the wine should be sweeter than the food it is served with; a perfectly ripe peach has been regarded as the ideal companion for many dessert wines, yet it makes sense not to drink wine at all with many chocolate- and toffee-based meals, for example, Vin doux naturel Muscats and red dessert wines such as Recioto della Valpolicella and fortified wines such as the vin doux naturel Muscat are the ideal complements for these difficult-to-pair treats.
Alternatively, the wine alone can serve as a dessert, although bakery sweets can also be a suitable complement, particularly when they include a hint of bitterness, such as biscuits dipped in Vin Santo (Santo wine).
White dessert wines are often served slightly chilled, however they can be served excessively cold if they are served too quickly.
- “The seven most important sorts of white wines.” Süssreserve was retrieved on April 27, 2019. Archived 2007-03-10 at the Wayback Machineon the Wine Dictionary website
- Amerine and Maynard’s “Wine.” Encyclopedia Britannica is a reputable reference work. Encyclopedia Britannica is a reputable reference work. Shoemaker, Ted (27 April 2019)
- Shoemaker, Ted (6 December 2013). “German Ice Wine Regulations Have Been Tightened.” This is according to Wine Spectator. retrieved on March 20, 2021
- CooksInfo is a website dedicated to providing information about cooking (4 October 2020). “Ice Wine,” as the name suggests. Cook’s Information, retrieved on March 20, 2021
- “The Beautiful Bounty of Botrytized Wines,” retrieved on March 20, 2021. Wine Enthusiast Magazine is a publication dedicated to wine enthusiasts. Steve Kolpan, Michael A. Weiss, and Brian H. Smith have published a paper in Science (2014). Winewise: Your Complete Guide to Understanding, Selecting, and Enjoying Wine is a comprehensive guide to understanding, selecting, and enjoying wine (2nd ed.). Jancis Robinson, MW, “Tokaji,” in Jancis Robinson, MW (ed. ), Jancis Robinson’s Concise Wine Companion (Oxford:Oxford University Press, 2001), pp. 469–471, ISBN0-19-866274-2
- Gorman-McAdams, Mary. “Delicious Dessert Wines for Dessert Week.” Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN978-0-54433462-5 The Kitchn, retrieved on April 27, 2019
- “Three of the Best Italian Dessert Wines,” retrieved on April 27, 2019. Italy, November 12th, 2014
- Jeanne O’Brien Coffey is the author (20 November 2017). Sauternes is the perfect holiday wine for everything from appetizers to desserts, as revealed by Wine Spectator. Forbes
- Dessert wine is defined in the Wiktionary dictionary as follows:
How to Pair Sweet Wines with Savory Foods
Generally speaking, when it comes to food, the common American diner psyche has been conditioned to expect sweet after savory—and the same can be said for wine. Sweet wines such as Moscato d’Asti, Riesling, Tokaji, or Sauternes are virtually usually listed on a wine list at the conclusion of a meal under headings such as “dessert wines” or “after dinner beverages,” and they are almost always served with dessert. In fact, in certain countries, it is customary to begin the dinner with a sweet wine, such as the classic Portuguese apéritif of Port and tonic, before proceeding with the main course.
Sweetness, on the other hand, is stigmatized in the United States, which may explain why sweet wines are not well recognized in the country.
I have difficulty selling a Riesling because visitors insist that it will be sweet, despite the fact that the wine I’m proposing contains no residual sugar at all.
Sweet is something we enjoy, but it has become forbidden in wine somewhere along the line.”
What is Sweet Wine?
Sweet wines, as the name implies, are highly sweet and may be produced using a variety of different processes. The most straightforward are those prepared from grapes that have been dehydrated by a fungus known as Botrytis, often known as “noble rot,” which increases the sweetness and taste of the grapes. The Sauternes area of Bordeaux is home to the most famous noble rot grapes, which are called saignée. Besides sweet wines, there are many more varieties available, including ice wines, late-harvest wines, passito or dried/raisin wines, which may be found around the world.
When it comes to savoring a meal, all food and wine pairings should be considered in terms of balance.
Sweet enhances the flavor of sour and spicy foods as well.
Vegetarian and Spicy Foods
Sweet wines, as the name implies, are extremely sweet and may be produced using a variety of ways. The most straightforward are those created from grapes that have been dehydrated by a fungus known as Botrytis, sometimes known as “noble rot,” which increases the sweetness and richness of the wine. Sauternes is the area in Bordeaux where the noble rot grapes are grown in abundance. In addition to these varieties, there are also ice wines, late-harvest wines, and passito or dried/raisin wines, which may be found in many parts of the world.
When it comes to savoring a meal, all food and wine pairings should be considered in terms of achieving a harmonious balance.
In addition, sweet enhances the flavors of sour and spicy foods.
After considering all of the conventional wisdom about sweet wines, let’s take a step back and see how top sommeliers around the country pair them with your favorite savory dishes.
Cooked or Grilled Seafood
The beverage director at two-Michelin-starredCommisin Oakland, California, Mark Guillaudeu, says, “When I think of seafood on the grill, my mind instantly wanders to shrimp on the BBQ with a lovely citrus sauce.” In this case, he leans toward the Italian passito styles that are fresh and fruity: Everything from the exquisite Erbaluce di Caluso passito all the way down to the Sicilian Moscato di Noto.
Wines made from muscat grapes pair particularly well with sweet orange-glazed foods. When it comes to grilled shellfish such as lobster, sommelier Emilia Aiello of Lupa Osteria Romana in New York City prefers the Sauternes grape variety from Bordeaux.
Because lobster is a sweet flesh, the peachy pineapple and occasionally lemony tones of Sauternes form an unusual but excellent combination with the sweet meat.
If you like Sauternes, try Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey, 1er Cru Classé.”
Ceviche or Raw Seafood Dishes
Shanker is a fantastic match with an off-dry Riesling, which is available here. Because many of these meals (ceviche in particular) have a hot capsaicin component, a sweet wine such as an off-day Riesling, with its low alcohol content and mild presence of sweetness, helps to keep the heat under control. “Aside from that, German Rieslings have some of the highest acid levels of any sweet wines, and this acidity is critical in order for the wine to stand up to the lemon or lime component.
In the presence of a meal with such strong acidity, a lower acidity wine would appear ‘flabby’ in comparison “Shanker expresses himself.
Plentiful in flavor and versatility, poultry is an excellent complement to practically any dish or sauce. “Duck is frequently served with a sauce made from sweet, luscious fruits as an accompaniment. Rather than incorporating those ingredients into the meal itself, there’s no reason why you couldn’t get the same result with a rich, raisin-y Pedro Ximenez wine instead. Fernando Castillo’s PX is one of my favorites “Thomas expresses himself. Sauternes would make for an excellent matchup as well: “The caramelized, smokey flavor of the aged Sauternes pairs perfectly with the seared duck breast that has been scored and crispy-skinned on the outside.
- One of Marissa Payne’s favorite sweet wine pairings is really fried chicken, according to the chief sommelier at Cotognain San Francisco, Marissa Payne.
- Things like chicken and waffles or M Ms and peanuts come to mind.
- “If I’m cooking Italian, my favorite wine to pair with it is the 2007 Felsina Vin Santo from Tuscany.
- This sort of wine has a hint of caramelized nuttiness to it that many people enjoy.
It is commonly recognized that ruby Port is a delectable pairing with cheese and charcuterie. Thomas, on the other hand, like a little off-dry Lambrusco with cured meats. This gentle sweetness encourages you to grab for the salty charcuterie (not that I need much encouragement to do so), and the bubbles assist to cleanse your mouth after indulging in all of the delectable fat and salt. Our sommeliers also agreed that Madeira was equal to the task of pairing with most red meats, whether they were raw, roasted, or smoked.
As long as the meat is properly salted and seasoned, Madeira will wash it all down like a champ “Grays expresses himself.
Payne recommends Susana Balbo Late Harvest Malbec, which has the tannin and body of a substantial red wine but has been vinified to be low in alcohol so that it doesn’t overpower the meat when served with it.
Sweet wine and cheese are a match made in heaven. or at least they should be. Sauternes is a perfect option at this occasion. Payne recommends a bottle of Château Guiraud Sauternes, which has aromas of dried fruit, honeysuckle, and a touch of smokiness, as an approachable option.
If you want to be specific about wine and cheese pairings, talk to your sommelier or beverage director about what they recommend—and then just enjoy yourself.
General rule of thumb according to Shanker: choose wine that is always sweeter and higher in acid than the meal, and pair similar tastes with one another. Consequently, “if you’ve ever had a dry Champagne with dessert, you’ve probably regretted it,” despite the fact that it sounds delicious.