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
- Switch out the hefty dessert with something that will make your taste buds sing! Learn about the five primary varieties of dessert wines, ranging from the delightfully effervescent Moscato d’Asti to the dark and brooding vintage Port of Porto. Unlike a drink of Scotch, dessert wines are supposed to be relished and loved in tiny glasses. Sparkling, light sweet, rich sweet, sweet red and fortified wines are the five main categories of dessert wines.
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.
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.
- 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”).
- Preparing the grapes for winemaking requires them to be stretched out on straw mats to raisinate for several weeks.
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
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.
- If you exclude low-cost commercial production from your analysis, sweet reds are on the decline. A couple of well-made, historically intriguing sweet reds are still available and worth trying. Many of these incredible sweet red wines come from Italy, where they are made from obscure grape varieties.
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.
Following this procedure, a succession of winemaking stages are carried out, which result in the creation of the various wine types described below.
- 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.
- 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.
List of 24 Sweet White Wines to Try
- A total of 24 recommendations for the best dry white wines are provided. Popular White Wine Varieties
- Four of the Sweetest Red Wine Brands
Surprising Source of Sweetness
A fungus known as botrytis, often known as noble rot, has harmed the grapes used to make the wines, which include Semillion, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle. While a fungus in grapes may not seem very delicious, in reality, it adds sweetness and complexity to the juice from the grapes that it affects, resulting in a complex and delectable sweet wine with a lot of depth and taste.
Sauterns and Barsac Wines to Try
These sweet Bordeaux wines are available in a variety of pricing ranges at wine shops, so you may pick a bottle that suits your budget. Among the things to attempt are:
- Chateau d’Yquem: This is the most well-known Sauternes wine of them all, which is reflected in the price, which may start at approximately $350 and go as high as $1,200. Collectors seek for Chateau d’Yquem wines from particularly good vintages, which can drive up the price even further. A top-rated dessert wine, Chateau Doisy Däene maintains a high level of consistency from year to year and is a top-rated Sauternes. Sauternes Chateau Grillion: This is a reasonably priced Sauternes that is generally well-regarded by wine experts. When compared to similarly priced wines that might cost many times more, Chateau Climens is an extremely inexpensive sweet wine from the Barsac region of France. Moreover, it was recognized at the Vivino 2019 Wine Style Awards.
Riesling wines are available in a variety of styles, from dry to highly sweet. Dessert Riesling wines offer a beautiful blend of sweetness and acidity, which provides good balance without being unduly cloying. Rieslings are also well-known for their mineral notes, which provide the consumer with a feeling of the region in which the wine was produced (the earth in which the wine was grown). Apples and apricots are among the fruit flavors found in this wine.
Where Riselings Are Found
Sweet Rieslings from Germany, as well as from France’s Alsace area, are among of the world’s most acclaimed sweet wines. When it comes to Riesling wines in Germany, there is a categorization system that indicates whether they are dry or sweet. Sweet Rieslings are classified as Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Trockenbeerenauslese (TBA), and Eiswein, in that sequence, starting with the least sweet and progressing to the most sweet.
The grapes for the Riesling Eisweins are collected late in the season, when frost has caused the sugars in the grapes to consolidate and become more concentrated. Sweet Rieslings from other locations, including as Australia, Washington State, New York, and Oregon, can also be found on the market.
Riesling Wines to Try
Among the Rieslings to try are:
- Horse Heaven Hills are a series of hills that are home to a herd of horses. A sweet nectar, the Eroica Ice Wine Riesling from Washington State’s Chateau Ste. Michelle vineyard has tastes of honey and apricots in it, and it is made from late-harvest Riesling grapes. For the production of this delectable dessert wine, the Chateau partners with a well-known German winemaker. Eroica Riseling (Eroica): On Wine.com, this Riesling has received an overall rating of 91 points. It contains notes of lime and mandarin orange that are sweet and delicious, with a sharp, refreshing acidity. It’s also reasonably priced at roughly $20 per bottle. Fritz Haag is a German actor and director. Brauneberg Juffer Spätlese Riesling: This sweet yet acidic Riesling from Germany’s Mosel-Saar-Ruwr region has flavors of apples and oranges, as well as a mineral balance
- Spätlese Riesling: This sweet yet acidic Riesling from Mosel-Saar-Ruwr features flavors of apples and oranges, as well as a mineral balance. In the case of Dr. Loosen Riesling Eiswein, this German wine from the Mosel area is highly sweet, with notes of peach, orange, and pear that are well-balanced by a high acidity. Trimbach Cuvee is a rosé wine produced by Trimbach & Co. Frederic Emile: A Riesling from France’s Alsace area, this wine features notes of peaches, stone fruits, and honey
- Frederic Emile is a Riesling from France’s Alsace region.
This delicate white wine hails from Italy. Vin Santo is manufactured from grapes such as Trebbiano and Malvasia, and the most prevalent white types are made from these grapes. Due to the fact that vin Santo wines are sometimes referred to as “straw wines,” this is because winemakers place the freshly picked grapes on straw mats, allowing time for the water to evaporate and the sugars to concentrate. Styles of Vin Santo range from dry to to sweet. The viscosity of sweeter wines is higher than that of dry wines.
Wines to Try
If you’re interested in trying Vin Santo, have a look at the following selections.
- San Giusto a Rentennano Vin Santo: Spicy and sweet, this wine is equal parts acidic, sweet, and smoky, with tastes of apricots and honey
- San Giusto a Rentennano Vin Santo: Spicy and sweet, this wine is equal parts acidic, sweet, and smoky, with flavors of apricots and honey
- Badia a Coltibuono Vin Santo: This delicious golden amber wine contains tastes of honey, toasted almond, and vanilla
- It is made from the grapes of the Coltibuono family. Fèlsina Vin Santo del Chianti Classico: Fèlsina Vin Santo del Chianti Classico: This well-balanced wine features tropical fruit flavors such as orange and honey, as well as sweet notes such as butterscotch and butterscotch nuttiness and acidity. SantoWines Vinsanto: This wine has a rich amber hue and is sourced from the Greek island of Santorini. Cloves, apricots, vanilla, dates, and nutty, spicy overtones are among the characteristics found in this blend.
Tokaji Aszú (Tokay)
This sweet wine from Hungary, often known as Tokay, is available in a variety of sweetness levels. Noble rot has an effect on these grapes, enhancing the depth and concentration of the flavors produced. Puttonyos are used by the winemaker to determine the sweetness of the wine in this kind of wine. In Tokaji Asz, lower Puttonyos ratings indicate less sweet wines, with three being the least and six being the highest for the variety. The three and four star ratings, on the other hand, were recently eliminated.
Ice Wine may be made from any white wine grape, regardless of its origin. Ice Wines are prepared from grapes that have remained on the vine after the first frost has occurred. The grapes concentrate their juices and sweetness while they sit in the frost, resulting in wines with significantly greater residual sugar levels than those collected before the frost.
Wines to Try
Ice wines are available from a large number of wineries. Among the things to attempt are:
- Inskillin Vidal Ice Wine: This delicious ice wine from the Niagara Peninsula in Canada has delicious flavors of brown sugar and peaches, as well as a nice balance between sweetness and acidity
- Inskillin Vidal Ice Wine: This tasty ice wine from the Niagara Peninsula in Canada has delicious flavors of brown sugar and peaches, as well as a nice balance between sweetness and acidity
- Jackson Triggs Vidal Icewine: The tropical tastes of papaya and mango give this ice wine a tropical flair. Kiona Ice Wine: Produced in Washington State, this ice wine features delicious notes of pineapple and honeysuckle. Inniskillin Riseling Icewine: Another ice wine from Inniskillin, this one has a syrupy viscosity and flavors of honey, pineapple, peaches, apricots, and apples
- It has a syrupy viscosity and flavors of honey, pineapple, peaches, apricots, and apples
Late Harvest Wine
Late harvest wines are sweet because the grapes are allowed to ripen on the vine after the customary harvesting period has passed. This permits the sugars in the grapes to accumulate in greater quantities, resulting in a sweeter wine in the end result of the fermentation process. Late harvest wines, while not as sweet as ice wines, are nonetheless delectably sweet in their own right.
Wines to Try
You should try any of these late-harvest wines:
- Hogue Cellars Riesling Late Harvest: With characteristics of apricots and pears, as well as a sharp acidity to temper the heavy residual sugar, this cheap late harvest wine is a great value. Farewell, Niente Dolce Late Harvest: This well-known late-harvest wine from California has tastes of spiced pears and tangerines
- It is made from grapes harvested late in the season. Husch Late Harvest Gewurztraminer: Gewurztraminer is recognized for its spicy flavor profiles, and this wine has those flavors in plenty. If you make this wine late in the harvest season, it will have a beautiful spice and sweet fruit taste profile, with notes of clove and apricot. With flavors of passionfruit, mango, citrus, and pineapple, this light colored wine also has a tinge of lemongrass in it. New Zealand’s Marlborough region produces a dry, sweet dessert wine with a hint of sweetness.
Enjoy Sweet Wines
When drinking one of the sweet wines listed above or a sweet red wine, you’ll be putting the finishing touches on a satisfying dinner. Try a few of these delectable whites and you’ll be addicted in no time at all. LoveToKnow Media was founded in the year 2022. All intellectual property rights are retained.
The Ultimate Guide to Top Rated Sweet White Wines
Sauternes is one of the world’s most highly regarded sweet white wines, and it ranks among the best in the world. Sweet wine isn’t simply for sipping on after dinner. Contrary to popular belief, sweet white wines can be paired with savory foods or enjoyed on their own, regardless of their sweetness. Even the drier varieties such as white Bordeaux, white Burgundy, or New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc may be just as rich and exquisite as some of these sweeter wines. All of that residual sugar masks a complex array of flavors in the best sweet white wines; they’re rarely merely “sweet” in the traditional sense.
Sweet white wines of exceptional quality, with great age potential, are sought after by many of the world’s most discriminating and experienced wine collectors.
What Makes a High-Quality Sweet White Wine?
What distinguishes top-rated sweet white wines from lower-quality dessert wines is the higher richness of flavor found in the best sweet wines. Chaptalization—the technique of adding beet or cane sugar to grape must before fermentation—can result in a wine that is excessively simple in flavor. Not all wines that undergo this procedure are of poor quality (many good producers in Burgundy and Bordeaux employ this technique), but excessive chaptalization increases the likelihood that the wine will taste excessively sweet and alcoholic.
These tastes overpower other, more delicate notes such as citrus and minerality, resulting in wines that lack depth and personality.
Some wines are prepared using milder or more natural methods than chaptalization, such as the ones listed below:
- Botrytis: This fungus is native to locations such as Sauternes and infects grapes while they are still on the vine, a process known as noble rot. Botrytis is a kind of fungus. The botrytis fungus consumes virtually all of the water present in the grapes, leaving behind flavor-enhancing solid components such as tartaric and malic acids, trace minerals, and natural sugar as a byproduct of the process. A direct outcome of this is that wines created from these diseased grapes are far more concentrated and naturally sweet than wines made from uninfected grapes. The practice of leaving grapes on the vine for unusually long lengths of time, often weeks or even months over the regular harvest date for that specific variety, is another approach to organically boost residual sugar in wine. Producers in Germany, for example, may produce Rieslings that are either dry or as sweet as they like by harvesting grapes at different times of the year. If you wait until later in the season to gather grapes, the fruit is sweeter and riper. After completely ripe grapes are left on the vine, the water in the fruit begins to evaporate, resulting in the berries starting to raisin and the flavors becoming further more concentrated. Production fortification: Producers can also maintain residual sugar levels by halting the fermentation process before it is fully completed. In order to do this, they use a grape spirit with a high alcohol content by volume (ABV) in order to kill the yeast that turns leftover sugar into alcohol. This procedure, known as fortification, can take place either before or after the wine has gone through one complete cycle of fermentation, depending on the circumstances. The sooner the alcohol is introduced to the wine, the sweeter the final beverage will be. This is the method through which fortified sweet white wines such as white port are produced.
Winemakers can employ a combination of these approaches to create sophisticated, ultra-sweet white wines that are easy to drink. For example, in order to create Tokaji Asz, growers stimulate botrytis growth while simultaneously leaving the fruit on the vine late into the harvest season in order to cultivate the most concentrated grapes possible during the harvest season.
What Are the Top Rated Sweet White Wines?
As a starting point for your own sweet white wine collection, or as an addition to an existing collection, we’ve compiled a selection of some of the greatest kinds of sweet white wines available on the market today to assist you. The following are some examples of sweet white wines that are consistently of good quality:
- Sauvignon Blanc, Tokaji, Gewürztraminer or Riesling from late harvest, certain varieties of Moscato and ice wine, white port, and a variety of other wines
If you’re beginning from scratch with a sweet white wine collection, you’ll probably want to know how sweet these wines are as well as what they’re made of. A few kinds and blends on the list above are just semi-sweet, while others fit clearly into the category of dessert wines, as seen in the table above. The wines you select for your own collection will be determined by your personal preferences and tolerance for sweetness. We’ve prepared a chart to indicate where each of these wines stands on the sweetness scale, which you can see below: If you have a sweet appetite and already appreciate dessert wines, ice wine made from white grape varietals is a terrific alternative for you to consider.
Even if you often avoid wines that contain considerable amounts of residual sugar, there are a number of wines on the list above that you may find appealing.
In this case, the sugar is not overpoweringly sweet, and the sweetness is countered by a crisp acidity and a range of diverse tastes, including nuttiness and dried fruit.
You may also begin with somewhat drier kinds of Riesling, Gewürztraminer, or Moscato and work your way up to some of the sweeter wines included in this book to develop a taste for sweet wines.
The Most Age-Worthy and Valuable Sauternes
Sauternes is undoubtedly the most prestigious and sought-after sweet white wine in the world, with a market value of more than $1 billion. Besides having a long shelf life (up to 100 years or more in exceptional vintages), these wines are also among the most desirable on the secondhand market. Consider the sale of an antique bottle of Château d’Yquem from 1811 at auction in 2016, which went for $117,000. This was one of the greatest vintages of the house. At the time, it was the most expensive bottle of white wine ever sold in the world.
The Sauternes appellation has high humidity throughout the year, notably in the fall.
Sauternes wines are prepared from a combination of the following ingredients:
- Adding Sémillon to the blend gives the wine a somewhat savory flavor
- Sauvignon Blanc: This grape variety delivers vivid citrus fruit tastes as well as acidity to the finished wine. Muscadelle: This fragrant grape type imparts a characteristic flowery smell to the wine
- It is native to France.
Sauternes is an intriguing wine to drink because of the combination of savory spice, crisp acidity, dense scent, and rich sweetness found in the wine. With time, the color of these wines darkens and they develop a rich nuttiness that gives them even more character. Seek for respected producers and high-quality vintages such as the ones listed below to find the best wines from this area.
- Château Doisy-Védrines
- Château de Fargues
- Château Guiraud
- Château Rieussec
- Château Suduiraut
- Château d’Yquem
- Château Doisy-Védrines
|Vintage||Wines to Try|
|2017||2017 Château Guiraud|
|2016||2016 Château d’Yquem|
|2015||2015 Château d’Yquem|
|2014||2014 Château d’Yquem|
|2013||2013 Château Suduiraut|
|2011||2011 Château d’Yquem|
|2010||2010 Château d’Yquem|
|2009||2009 Château Doisy-Védrines|
|2007||2007 Château d’Yquem|
|2005||2005 Château d’Yquem|
|2003||2003 Château d’Yquem|
|2001||2001 Château Rieussec|
|1997||1997 Château de Fargues|
|1996||1996 Château d’Yquem|
|1990||1990 Château d’Yquem|
|1989||1989 Château d’Yquem|
|1988||1988 Château Rieussec|
|1986||1986 Château d’Yquem|
Whatever your reason for creating a Sauternes collection, whether you’re seeking for a wine to cellar for decades or you just want to discover for yourself how rich and delicate sweet white wines can be, you should think about starting one. Alternatively, if you already have a couple of these bottles in storage and want to increase your collection of top-rated sweet white wines, consider purchasing a few bottles of Tokaji as well as the other wines mentioned above.
The Best Tokaji for Collectors
The Tokaj area of Hungary is sometimes likened to the Sauternes region of France since both places produce wines that are extremely long-lived and have complex tastes with a lot of depth. There are, however, a few distinctions between the two types of wines. To begin, Tokaji is prepared from a unique combination of grapes, which includes the following varieties:
- Furmint: This imparts a high level of acidity as well as pronounced fruit notes such as apple to the wine. Hárslevel: This grape is used to enhance the scent of the wine. Sarga Muskotály: This grape is likewise intensely fragrant and contributes extra aromatic components to the wine.
Tokaji is generally considered to be more fragrant than Sauternes. These wines are also more difficult to come by since they require so much time and effort to produce. The steps are as follows:
- The process of manually selecting the appropriate combination of botrytized and non-botrytized grapes
- Preparing a paste by mashing the dried, botrytized grapes
- Combining the paste (measured in puttonyos) with the must extracted from the non-botrytized fruit.
Keeping the refreshing, acidic notes of non-botrytized grapes in harmony with the ultra-sweet flavors of raisined, botrytized fruit is a delicate balance that winemakers must achieve. The wines produced by winemakers that attain this balance taste well-balanced in their youth and grow even more delicious as the wines age. Sweeter varieties of this wine, such as Essencia and Asz, have been known to mature for up to 200 years. The following producers and vintages are recommended if you’re seeking for the greatest Tokaji wine:
- In addition to Château Dereszla, Château Pajzos, Hétszl, Oremus, and Royal Tokaji, there are a number of other notable wines.
The flavor and sweetness of Tokaji vary widely, so you may want to try a variety of various kinds from the Tokaj area to select the one that best matches your taste buds.
In addition to Tokaji and Sauternes, you should check at other sorts of top-rated sweet white wines, such as late-harvest blends from Germany and Austria, if you’re seeking for wines that are slightly less sweet than either of these two wines.
The Finest Late-Harvest Sweet White Wines
It is possible to make normally dry wines taste sweeter by leaving the fruit on the vine for a longer period of time during the harvest season. Late-harvest wines such as these may be found all over the world, but Germany and Austria are the two nations that are most recognized for producing these types of wines. Botrytized grapes can be found in Germany and Austria, although the majority of them are not. They frequently achieve sweetness only as a result of being kept on the vine until as late as November, and occasionally even later.
Depending on how the grapes are grown, they can range from bone dry to dessert-like in texture and flavor.
- Spätlese is predominantly sweet on the taste, but the sweetness is countered by a substantial amount of acidity
- Auslese is allowed to mature on the vine for even longer periods of time, resulting in a considerably sweeter taste. Beerenausleseis a wonderfully sweet beer that has undergone considerable botrytization in order to obtain its sweetness. Among the sweetest, Trockenbeerenauslese is created from botrytized grapes that have nearly entirely dried on the vine
- It is also the most expensive.
High-quality sweet white wines from Germany and Austria can be classified into any of the four categories listed above. In the Mosel and Pfalz, for example, the 1996 Dr. Loosen Ürziger Würzgarten Spätlese Riesling and the 1985 Egon Müller Scharzhofberger Spätlese Riesling are both excellent examples of high-quality Spätlese Riesling. If you like a somewhat sweeter style, seek for Auslese Riesling from well-known producers, such as the 1995 Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese Riesling and the 2005 Zilliken Saarburger Rausch Goldkapsel AP 8 Auslese Riesling, among others.
More Sweet White Wines to Add to Your Collection
Some of the world’s best sweet white wines include Sauternes, Tokaji, and late-harvest Riesling and Gewürztraminer, to name a few of the most highly regarded sweet white wines in the world. While certain varieties of sweet white wine are pleasurable to drink, they are not often as collectible or desirable as others, such as the following:
- Ice wine is prepared from thick-skinned grapes that have been left on the vine throughout the winter and have frozen solid due to the very cold temperatures. Wine made from any thick-skinned grape can be made, although the most popular varieties are Riesling, Vidal Blanc, and Chardonnay. These wines can be lucrative, but their value is dependent on the reputation of the maker and the rarity of the wine. Moscato: Made from Muscat grapes, this wine is sweet and peachy in flavor. It can be sparkling or still according on your preference. It also varies in sweetness depending on the area and winemaking method of the winemaker. Moscato d’Asti from Italy (some of which may be extremely valuable) is pretty sweet, whereas Rutherglen Muscat from Australia is far sweeter. Although white port is not as widely available or valuable as ruby port, it is nevertheless a delicious, easy-drinking wine that goes nicely with food.
No matter which wine genres you choose for your collection, when it comes time to enjoy your wine, you should strive to think outside of the box. While it is completely appropriate to serve these wines with dessert, several of them are so rich in flavor that they are really better served with savory foods. You could, for example, experiment with savory combos such as the following:
- Tokaji Asz and foie gras are two of the most popular dishes in Hungary. Both are quite well-endowed. The salinity of the meal also helps to cut through the sweetness of the Tokaji grapes, Sauternes, and Roquefort cheese in the dish. Riesling from late harvest and Thai cuisine are a great pairing because the sharpness of the cheese balances the rich, nutty notes in the wine and thrill the palette
- In many traditional Thai foods, the tastes are a combination of sweet and spicy, and these flavors blend wonderfully with sweeter kinds of Riesling.
Similarly to top-rated sweet red wines, top-rated sweet white wines provide much more than what meets the eye. Unlike the one-note dessert table wines and digestifs that you’ve been offered at pâtisseries and restaurants, they are complex, multi-layered beverages. These wines are uncommon, age-worthy, highly complex, and may be quite expensive on the secondary market if they are purchased at a good price. If you don’t already have any sweet white wines in your cellar, you should give these wines a try.
They are rather stunning. Whether you are just beginning your high-end wine collection or adding to an existing one, Vinfolio is your go-to resource for purchasing, selling, and professional storage of your fine wines. Contact us today to have access to some of the world’s most exquisite wines.
Which Wines are the Sweetest?
Due to the fact that everyone’s palates are unique, each person’s wine will taste somewhat different based on their preferences. Just because you and a buddy appear to appreciate the same things does not imply that you will enjoy every sort of wine that they enjoy, and a large portion of the variation in taste comes down to the difference between sweet and dry wines. The principles of what makes a wine sweet or dry have been discussed in the past, but the most important factor is how much sugar is left in the wine after it has gone through its fermentation process.
Moreover, when we use the term “dry,” we are not referring to the liquid in its pure form.
Those who drink dry wines, which include a greater concentration of tannins, will experience a dry mouthfeel, but those who drink sweeter wines will not.
What Are the Sweetest White Wines?
Moscato Moscatel wines are often thought of as a dessert wine, and with good reason. They can be quite sweet, and the alcohol concentration is lower than that of a regular glass of red wine. It’s a terrific wine to drink after dinner when you’re slowing down your evening but still want something to go with your dessert because of the blend of flavors.
In France, sauternes wine is made in the Sauternais area in the Graves part of Bordeaux, and is known as a dessert wine. It is distinctive in that the grapes used to make it are relatively uncommon and somewhat raisined, which imparts a peculiar flavor to the finished product. Sauternes is an extremely sweet wine with hints of fruit taste that is produced in small quantities. Apricot, peach, and honey are some of the tastes that can be found in this bottle of wine.
A Riesling is generally the first type of wine that comes to mind when most people think about sweeter wines, and it is also one of the most popular. While there are certain varieties of Riesling that are less sweet than others, it is generally considered to be a highly sweet wine and is a go-to for individuals who prefer a sweet glass of wine. In terms of taste profile, Riesling is noted for having a fruitier character with notes of lemon, apricot, pineapple, and lime. It also goes very well with dishes such as chicken and pork.
What Are the Sweetest Red Wines?
The Douro Valley region of Portugal is where port wines were first produced. Due to its full-bodied, less acidic, and sweet character, it has been renowned as one of the most popular dessert wines in the world. The Tawny Port is a port that has been aged in barrels and has a taste profile that includes caramel, hazelnut, dried fruit, and spices. Port wines are among the sweetest red wines available, but they also have a high alcohol concentration and are a heavier, richer wine than the majority of red wines.
Port wines are produced in the United Kingdom. In most situations, this wine is consumed after you have finished your meal rather of being served with it.
Banyuls wines are produced in France and, like Port wines, are often regarded as a sweet wine or dessert wine. When making Banyuls, Grenache grapes are often used, as well as Grenache blanc grapes if you’re seeking for a more white wine-like version of Banyuls. Banyuls wines are likewise highly sweet, similar to Port wines, but have a somewhat lower percentage of alcohol than Port wines. In addition to earthy overtones, they are also recognized for undertones of chocolate, minty flavoring, and strawberry flavoring.
Is there anything you’ve observed about a pattern? Vin Santo is a dessert wine in the same vein as the majority of sweeter wines, and it is no exception. This sweet dessert wine is primarily produced in the Tuscany region of Italy, and it is typically an extremely sweet wine, though it can be produced in a dry manner as well. In most cases, however, it is served as a dessert wine in Italy, where it is particularly well-suited to accompany biscotti. With hints of caramel, hazelnut, and honey, it’s a full-bodied wine with a sweet finish.
- When it comes to wine drinking, everyone is going to have their own tastes.
- Some people like sweeter wines, while others prefer drier wines.
- This is why it’s a good idea to visit a winery in your area and sample the various types of wine that they have to offer.
- Remember, you’re not going to have the same palate as someone else when it comes to wine flavor, but if you know that you prefer sweet wines, then this list is a fantastic place to start.
12 Sweet White Wines You Will Love Today
After a long summer day at work, school, or wherever else we may have been, we all want to settle back, relax, and enjoy a refreshing beverage after a long day. The experience is enhanced even further when a pleasantly cooled beverage is included. You’ll agree with me that you can feel it moving down your neck as it does. Wine connoisseurs are well aware of the magical properties of chilled sweet white wines. It’s impossible to go wrong with one simply because they’re so fresh, light, and delicious!
So, what exactly makes a wine sweet?
In the process of manufacturing wine, a number of steps must be completed before the grapes (which are the basic component) are transformed into wine. Fermentation is one of the several stages involved. It is via the action of yeast that the natural sugars found in grapes are transformed to alcohol during the fermentation process. But not all of these natural sugars get transformed, and some of them are left undigested in the process. These sugars make up what is referred to as the “residual sugars” component of the wine (RS).
Generally speaking, sweet wines, whether white or red, are a fantastic way to end a dinner on a sweet note.
A sweet wine, on the other hand, is very simple to mistake for a fruity wine, and many people have made this mistake.
If a wine is sweet, the sweetness will linger in your mouth for a long time.
The kind and variety of grapes used in the manufacture of wine have a significant impact on the taste and flavor of the finished product. Check out ” The Most Popular Sweet Wines ” for a diverse selection of sweet wines ranging from white to crimson in color.
Sweet white wines that are widely known and consumed
The process of manufacturing wine involves a number of steps that begin with the harvesting of grapes (the principal component). Fermentation is one of the several stages involved. The natural sugars in grapes are transformed to alcohol by the action of yeast during the fermentation process. But not all of these natural sugars are transformed, and some of them are left undistributed. There are several types of sugars in wine, and they are referred to as “residual sugars” (RS). In the wine, the sweetness is derived by the presence of residual sugar.
Sweet white wines are more readily available on the market than their red wine equivalents, which is a positive development.
When it comes to distinguishing a sweet wine from a fruity wine, bringing your nose near to the bottle and tasting is the most straightforward method.
The kind and variety of grapes used in the making of wine have a significant impact on the tastes and flavors of the finished product.
2. Late harvest wines
These white wines, which are particularly popular in Germany and Austria, are prepared from grapes that have remained on the vine for an extended period of time following the initial regular harvest. The sugars in the grapes are allowed to achieve their full concentration during this extended period of time, which results in a sweeter white wine after the process is completed. Husch Late Harvest Gewurztraminer, Far Niente Dolce Late Harvest, and Tabali Late Harvest Muscat are just a few of the late harvest wines now available on the market today.
More information about this beginner’s guide may be found at ” Wine Grape Harvest Season For Newbies “.
Sauternes white wines are produced in France from grapes that have been damaged by noble rot and are handpicked. The fruits used to make Sauternes white wines include Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle. The botrytis noble rot makes the grapes visually unsightly, but it makes them taste very great. These grapes produce a small amount of juice. Because of the high sugar concentration in their musts, they are able to age to perfection. Their hue becomes more intense as they grow older, resulting in a greater variety of colors (from light straw to a deep gold).
The hue of sauternes wines darkens when they are aged for a longer period of time.
They can command exorbitant prices on the market because to the high labor intensity (hand picking) and poor yield of their production.
This type of wine is considered to be the king of all sweet wines. These wines include Chateau d’Yquem, Guiraud, Rieussec, and Suduiraut Sauternes, as well as other well-known names in the region.
This sweet Hungarian dessert white wine, similar to Sauternes, is prepared from Hungarian Furmint grapes that have been infected by botrytis and noble rot, similar to the latter. It has been in continuous manufacture since the 1530s. Tokaji is a regulated appellation that may only be used as a brand name in Hungary and Slovakia, and it is protected by international law. The botrytis mold in the grapes concentrates grape sugars and tastes, resulting in a sweetness that is similar to honey. It is well-known for having served royalty for an extended period of time.
If you’re interested in learning more about the different types of wines and their body definition, check out ” Light, Medium, and Full Wines: Body Definition Explained.”
Riesling wines, in contrast to most other wines, are drank while they are young. Riesling wines from Germany and the Alsace area of France are among the most well-known in the world. It is possible to find them in Australia as well as regions of the United States. Riesling is available in two styles: dry white wine and sweet dessert white wine. It is often considerably lighter in color and flavor than its Chardonnay rivals, with smells of crisp apples. With a rich mineral flavor and an unique terroir (the soil in which the grapes were produced) aftertaste, Riesling wines are a favorite among wine enthusiasts.
They go well with hot and spicy dishes such as those found in Indian, Japanese, and Asian cuisines.
Horse Heaven Hills Eroica Ice Wine Riesling and St.
For more information on this specific wine varietal, please see ” Uncorked: Auslese Riesling ” to stay up with our UNCORKED series and read on about it.
6. Vin Santo
Straw wine is another name for this Italian white wine that is made from straw. It gets its name from the process of preparation that is used to make it. It is necessary to evaporate the water from the Trebbiano and Malvasia grapes by placing them on straw mats. This results in grapes that are sugar-concentrated, which are then pressed and fermented. The San Giusto a Rantennano Vin Santo, the Bellini Vin Santo, the Felsina Vin Santo, and the Il Poggione Vin Santo are all included in this category.
7. Moscato (spelled as Muscato at times)
Moscato is a sweet wine that originates in the Piedmont area of Italy, although it is also made in other countries such as France, Spain, and Portugal. Moscato white wine is derived from Muscat grapes, which have a delicate flowery scent with hints of peach and orange blossom that makes it a popular choice for weddings. When it comes to wine, Muscat has an irresistibly distinct floral and ripe stone fruit flavour that makes it a wonderful companion to practically any food and fruit-based dessert.
Moscato wines are best served cold and go well with Asian dishes, veggies, and other spicy meals since the sweetness of the wine helps to balance off the spice of the food being served.
It goes nicely with light or moderate fruit dishes as well as creamy desserts. This category includes the wines Muscat de Rivesaltes, Muscat de Beaumes de Venise, and Moscatel Sherry.
8. Sauvignon blanc
This light-bodied white wine from France is full of herbal aromas and smells like freshly cut grass. It has a wonderful zippy acidity that is particularly refreshing either served chilled, like a drink of lemonade, or chilled, like a glass of champagne. Pork, turkey, and herbs such as parsley, basil, and mint are the greatest combinations for this dish. Do you need some pointers on how to select the best wine for your novice palate? More information may be found in ” Beginner Wines that You Should Try “.
9. Oak chardonnay
This white wine from France, which is spelled “Shar-do-nay,” is possibly the most widely consumed white wine in the world. It is manufactured from Chardonnay grapes, which may be cultivated in viticultural settings under a variety of climatic conditions all throughout the world, including the United States. This type of wine has been matured in an oak barrel, giving it a rich vanilla taste that comes from the oak barrel aging process. It goes well with hearty meals such as chicken breasts, yellow squash, salmon, and parsley, to name a few.
10. Unoaked Chardonnay
This type of wine, like oak-aged Chardonnay, has its origins in the country of France. As a result, it does not have the rich vanilla, coconut, and toffee notes that barrels bring to wines since it is stored in stainless steel tanks or neutral oak barrels for a relatively short period of time instead of oak barrels.
There are several types of fortified wines made in the “Sherry Triangle” in southwest Spain from white wine grapes, the most famous of which is sherry. Sherry is a flexible drink that may be either excessively sweet or extra dry depending on the style you like. Pedro Ximénez is one of the extremely sweet kinds of sherry produced by the Pedro Ximénez family.
Semillon is a French wine that originated in the Bordeaux area of France and is made from overripe Sémillon grapes. The grapes are frequently mixed with Sauvignon Blanc to produce a sweet, syrupy, full-bodied wine with a lingering finish. Sémillon grapes are also cultivated in areas of Chile, Australia, California, and Argentina, as well as other regions of the world. Semillon is known by several different names on the market, depending on the region in which it is grown. Hunter, Boal/Bual of Madeira, Malanga, Chevrier, Columbier, and Blanc Doux are some of the other names for this breed.
You won’t want to miss out on our UNCORKED series, so be sure to check out ” Uncorked: Semillon ” for more information about the Semillon grape and the wines that are made from it.
If you are new to wine consumption, learning about the great range of sweet white wines that are available and taking the time to experience this wide variety will become something you treasure in the future, especially if you enjoy dessert wines.
This will not only help you to make the best possible wine pairing decision for your cuisine and occasion, but it will also ensure that you receive complete enjoyment, relaxation, and value for your money.
If you want to further your wine knowledge, check out articles like ” 8 Tips for Hosting a Great Wine Tasting Party ” or even more specific articles such as ” The Best Wines to Make Sangria With (RedWhite) ” It is the goal of Wine on My Time to be a reference site for wine enthusiasts all around the world!
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