What Is Spainish Dessert Wine

Spanish Dessert Wine

Most wine areas, and indeed wine countries, are full of surprises and unexpected twists and turns to discover. Even seasoned Bordeaux connoisseurs are frequently startled to hear that Sauternes, an area best known for its sweet wines, also produces some of the most delicious dry white wines in the world. Tuscany, revered and revered as a producer of red wines, also produces some refreshing and fragrant Vermentino varieties. The United Kingdom is becoming more known for producing some of the world’s top sparkling wines.

But what exactly is Spain’s ‘hidden gem’ in the wine industry, you ask?

Although sherry is an iconic wine type from Andalucia with a long history and widespread recognition, the region is also renowned for its robust, very concentrated sweet wine varieties, which are particularly prevalent in the region.

Of course, lighter dessert wines are available and are produced in Andalucia and throughout Spain, but it is necessary to give proper tribute to a wine type that has been there for hundreds of years.

Andalucia: Vinos Generosos

Historically, Andalucia’s sweet wines were referred to as vinos generosos, which is a self-translating phrase that refers to sherry in particular, as well as the fortified wines of Montilla-Moriles and Malaga, among other things. Malaga winemaking does not use the botrytis mold that is responsible for the production of the amber nectar known as Sauternes, since the environment is simply too dry and clement for botrytis to establish a foothold in the region. Other regions, on the other hand, are a different story, which we’ll get into later.

  • These are then made sweet either by adding grape spirit to stop the fermentation or by drying out the sun’s grapes, depending on the method used to make them.
  • Pedro Ximenez, also known as PX, was introduced to Australia in the 1800s and thrives in hot climates and richer soils.
  • While producing a unique and incomparable flavor of dessert wine, the traditional Malaga sweet wines are viscous, treacly, and cloying in places, serving as an unabashed monument to strong and rich sweet wine styles.
  • A number of noteworthy developments have occurred in Malaga’s appellation structure during the course of the last twenty years.
  • Malaga and Sierras de Malaga, the latter of which is used for dry wine styles produced from a variety of varietals including Sauvignon Blanc, Macabeo (Viura), and Chardonnay, was created in the same year that the DO was altered.
  • Malaga’s DO applies to fortified wines as well as ‘natural’ sweet wines, which are fully dependent on the hot environment for their sweetness and alcohol content.
  • Located on the coast west of the Malaga plateau, which is about 30 miles north of the city, Malaga’s vineyards stretch out in all directions.
  • But it wasn’t that long ago that they were on the verge of becoming extinct completely.

Furthermore, it appeared as though this design may be rendered obsolete for a period of time owing to diminishing customer desire and shifting fashion trends.

Bodegas Malaga Virgen

Fortunately, there has been a recent upsurge of interest in sweet wines, both among sommeliers and wine aficionados alike. Malaga Virgen is a historic winery that was once known as Lopez Hermanos and has now been renamed. The winery continues to produce an interesting and age-worthy selection of vinos generosos. Newer faces, on the other hand, are giving them a good run for their money. Telmo Rodriguez, a Riojan winemaker, has been a positive impact in numerous regions of Spain, and Malaga is no exception.

  1. To do so, he chose to bring back Malaga Moscatel (Muscat), a grape variety that is produced all over the world, to its former glory.
  2. It is Rodriguez who has brought Malaga’s version back to life as an aromatic, fresh, and delicate wine that is never cloying or sickening, something that is very important for younger customers.
  3. Is there any actual competition in this field?
  4. Made from old Moscatel vines cultivated high in the hills, his taste is deeper and richer than Molina Real – Almijara’s Jarel also has a new perspective on Andalucian sweet wine, which has won over many consumers in recent years.
  5. A magnificently intransigent product is being produced in Montilla-Moriles, and that product is a black, sweet, unctuous, and velvety sweet wine made mostly from Pedro Ximenez grapes, which is understandably the backbone of local production.
  6. Because of the region’s hot, arid environment, it naturally produces large quantities of alcohol and sugar, which has historically allowed it to be imported without fortification.
  7. Sweet sherry wines created from Pedro Ximenez grapes are equally as impressive as the sweeter Oloroso and Amontillado types, which are produced by mixing the sherries with sweetening wines.
  8. However, even while Andalucia does not have a monopoly on the sweeter side of viticulture, it is the most important source of dessert wines in Spain, according to the World Wine Report.

With the rise in interest in the category, certain locations and winemakers are beginning to catch up, and others are even ahead of the curve.

Vineyard on Lanzarote

In today’s world, the interested oenophile will find superb dessert wine types in places such as Navarra, Catalonia, Alicante, and the Canary Islands, to name a few. Individual wineries desiring to promote the category, rather than a traditional history established in the appellation frameworks, are primarily responsible for the production of sweet wines in these regions for the most part. The Canary Islands, on the other hand, are a prominent exception. Moscatel is often used liberally by winemakers to create a style that is appealing to wider audiences, whereas Pedro Ximenez is virtually entirely restricted to Andalucia and its environs.

This is, of course, our job, so allow us to expose you to a few pleasant surprises.


In this way, Navarra shines, consistently defying expectations on a regular basis. For the majority of the twentieth century, Navarra’s dispersed vineyards were dedicated to growingGarnacha, which was turned into a powerful rose and even more powerful bulk red wines in the region. The production of high-quality wines in Navarra, on the other hand, has undergone a revolution in the twenty-first century. The region serves as a link between Rioja and the rest of the globe, with oaked Tempranillo wines complemented by a diverse range of Spanish and international varietals.

It is more likely that the botrytis mold will spread across the vineyard in these colder terroirs, whereas it would be nearly impossible in hotter climates down south.

In terms of weight and texture, this is the closest thing you’ll find in northern Spain to French dessert wines of the same era.


More surprises are in store for travelers traveling through eastern Spain. For decades, Alicante, which is bordered by the Mediterranean, was committed to the production of questionable amounts of inexpensive bulk wine. However, many of the DOs are putting their money and innovative ideas to good use, resulting in wines that are fruity and well-balanced, and that are really of distinction and class. Moscatel and Monastrell growers such as Julia Roch in Jumilla and Enrique Mendoza have demonstrated how to develop current and traditional wine styles from the grape varieties (Mourvedre).

It appeals to individuals who want their sweet wines to be robust and rich; Monastrell is often the polar opposite of light and delicate in style.

Modern fashions, on the other hand, do not adhere to this method and are worn for considerably shorter periods of time.

Canary Islands

In contrast, tradition reigns supreme in the Canary Islands, where innovation and new ideas are transforming the viticultural environment along Spain’s central Mediterranean coastline. These volcanic islands off the coast of Morocco have a unique viticultural legacy since the phylloxera louse did not destroy the grapes that were planted on the islands throughout their existence. There are at least one appellation on each of the islands of La Palma, El Hierro, Lanzarote, La Gomera, and Tenerife — with Tenerife having more than four.

Barrel-aged and fresh, fruit-driven examples of Marmajuelo, Malvasia, and Gual (Madeira’s Boal) are now finding a place outside of Spain, thanks to the popularity of the grapes.


In contrast, tradition reigns supreme in the Canary Islands, where modernism and new ideas are transforming the viticultural environment along Spain’s central Mediterranean coast. In spite of the fact that the phylloxera louse never destroyed the vines on these volcanic islands off the coast of Morocco, they have a distinct viticultural legacy. There are at least one appellation on each of the islands of La Palma, El Hierro, Lanzarote, La Gomera, and Tenerife — and Tenerife has more than four.

Examples made from Marmajuelo, Malvasia, and Gual (the Madeira grape) are now finding a place outside of Spain, and they are becoming increasingly popular.

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  • Traditional values predominate in the Canary Islands, although modernism and new ideas are transforming the viticultural environment of Spain’s central Mediterranean coast. These volcanic islands off the coast of Morocco have a unique viticultural legacy since the phylloxera louse did not destroy the grapes that were planted on the islands over their history. There are at least one appellation on each of the islands of La Palma, El Hierro, Lanzarote, La Gomera, and Tenerife – with Tenerife having more than 4. While dry white wines are produced throughout the islands, the most intriguing wines at the time are the peculiar sweet whites produced from low, windswept bush vines. Barrel-aged and pure, fruit-driven examples of Marmajuelo, Malvasia, and Gual (Madeira’s Boal) are now finding a place outside of Spain, thanks to the popularity of the grapes.

Spanish Dessert Wines: Old and New

December 17th, 2018 Every country with a long and illustrious winemaking heritage can boast a few ancient dessert wines, some of which have a mythological quality to them. As a result of the huge development of the Spanish wine sector over the last 25 years, a low-key but very fascinating revolution has taken place on the sweet wine front. There is a rich history of dessert wines in Spain: the “mountain wines” of Málaga, the Alicante wine that enlivened the latter days of Louis XIV (1638-1715), the sherries and Canary Sack lauded by Shakespeare (1564-1616), the Malvasa wine from Sitges, and so on.

  • With producers reappraising and recreating historic forms to match current customer preferences, there has been a steady increase in interest in the past few years.
  • They were more intense, more flavorful, and they traveled and lasted better on the road and in the kitchen.
  • Following the discovery of this phenomenon, scientists discovered that frigid temperatures (ice wine) and the Botrytis cinerea fungus could produce a similar effect.
  • Exceptional dessert wine varietals such as Moscatel and Malvasa thrive in this region, and production techniques and raisin wines have a long history that dates back to the Phoenician occupation of the region around 1100 BC.
  • It is concerned with a sweet wine that has been fortified with pure grape spirit in order to kick off yeasts.

There are some of the oldest soleras in the world atAlvear,Pérez Barquero, andToro Albalá (Montilla-Moriles), as well as the best trasaejo manufactured byBodegas Málaga Virgenand the best PX from Jerez (Gran Orden by Garvey, Viejo Rare by Osborne, Venerable by Domecq, Noé by Gonzalez-Byass They are pricey, rare diamonds that deserve to be included in the pantheon of the world’s greatest dessert wines.

  1. Málaga is the sweetest of all the DOs in Spain, and it is the only one that is dedicated only to the production of dessert wines.
  2. Natural sweet wine has made a strong resurgence in recent years.
  3. Telmo Rodrguez is the first of these individuals.
  4. His Molino Real, made from organically sun-dried grapes, quickly established itself as a classic among the new generation of Spanish dessert wines.
  5. Aside from that, it matures nicely in the bottle.

In a personal project involving the expertise of the Austrian Kracher family, he creates four labels with increasing levels of concentration: Special Selection, Victoria (which was served at the Nobel Prize Awards in 2012), Viejas Vias, and the original Esencia, a unique product akin to the Hungarian Tokaji, with more than half a kilo (1.1 lb) of residual sugar and an alcohol content of only 4o.

  1. It represents the next generation of Moscatel grapes and has made significant contributions to the resurgence of the nearly extinct late-harvest small-grain Moscatel grape, which was rediscovered via careful selection from historic vineyards.
  2. It has earned a large following, and despite the fact that it is produced in small quantities, it is currently regarded to be one of the most distinguished categories of Navarre wines.
  3. Their Chivite Colección 125 Vendimia Tarda, which is unquestionably one of Spain’s finest, is created from overripe Moscatel grapes that are collected in small quantities from mid-October to early December.
  4. It has been a revolution in Alicante (southeast Spain), which is the other major production region for Spanish Moscatel.
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In the United States, the leading pioneer, Bodegas Gutiérrez de la Vega, has achieved tremendous success with its opera-inspired range, which includes everything from the fresh steel fermented Casta Diva Furtiva Lágrima to their star wine, Casta Diva Cosecha Miel (a blend of raisins and very ripe grapes, fermented in steel tanks, and aged for 12 months in French oak), to their Casta Diva La Div We’re here at Bodegas Enrique Mendoza.

  • It is produced in Alfaz del Pi, Spain, two Moscatels for which the fermentation is stopped with alcohol to prevent oxidation and oxidation.
  • Moscatel de Mendoza is a more nuanced wine made from more ripe grapes that is macerated with the skins and stored in barrels.
  • Fondillón, on the other hand, is the sweet wine most associated with Alicante.
  • It is a naturally sweet wine that has been matured for at least ten years, either in a barrel or in a solera system.
  • With Dolç de Mendoza, a contemporary Monastrell wine produced by the Mendoza family, the family takes a more liberated approach.
  • After three to four years of maturing in French oak barrels, the final product is thick and fruity.
  • AtBodega Olivaresin Jumilla (Murcia), grapes from ancient, ungrafted vines are allowed to ripen on the vine until they are overripe, which can happen as early as early November.
  • Bodegas Castaoin Yecla (Murcia) produces a delicious red Monastrell that is shipped to Europe, the United States, and Asia with great success, according to the company.

More sweet wines from the Mediterranean region It is Garnacha (both red and white) and Moscatel that are used to make classic dessert wines such as Mistela, as well as vino rancio (which is aged oxidatively in glass demijohns) and naturally sweet wines in Catalonia, which is located in northeastern Spain.

  1. As a result, the majority of Catalonia’s sweet wines are classed as liqueur wines, rather than dessert wines.
  2. One of its crowning achievements is the limited edition Pajarete Augusto Solera 1851, which has an RB95 rating.
  3. For example, Dolç de l’Obac by Bodegas Pastrana, created from overripe Garnacha grapes, allows the grape to produce alcohol, acidity, and sugar, all of which are present in the finished product.
  4. Malvasia is another outstanding variety that has a natural affinity for making dessert wines.
  5. Grapes are dried by air, often off the vine, in order to preserve their aromas.
  6. Sitges, a picturesque seaside town on the coast of Tarragona, is more recognized now as a tourist destination than as the former home of the legendary Malvasa.
  7. And they are extremely successful in doing so!
  8. The first late-harvest txakoli wines are produced in the northwest of Spain.
  9. Dinasta Vivanco, one of the most prestigious Rioja wineries, is reviving the supurado tradition, which is the production of wine from raisins that are crushed around Christmas and fermented slowly for several months.

Clearly, the dessert wine revolution in Spain is far from ended, so keep an eye out for further developments. Text courtesy of Amaya Cervera / @ICEX Photographs courtesy of Juan Manuel Sanz / @ICEX

Spanish Dessert Wine is referred also as sherry wines greatly produced in Spain.

The Palomino and the Pedro Ximénez grapes are the most commonly utilized in the production of Spanish Sherry. With the ability to be used in both blends and single variety barrels, they are both capable of producing a wide range of Sherries, depending on the fermentation process. Most Spanish sherries are on the dry side, and they pair nicely with any light dish that you serve before serving your main course for the evening.

Fino Sherry

Fino sherries, which have a more intense flavor and a drier, more flowery finish, are the most widely accessible sherries available at your local wine experts. Fino sherries have a lower alcohol content than other Spanish wines, making them a good choice for those who want to drink responsibly. ‘Fino La Ina’, Pedro Domecq, is a wonderful example of a high-quality Fino from a small producer. Serve as an appetizer before your main course, accompanied by cured meats or classic tapas.

Manzanilla Sherry

Due to the fact that much of Spanish cuisine and drink culture has been greatly impacted by the Mediterranean Sea, Manzanilla Sherry is another popular choice. Traditionally, Manzanilla Sherries are casked and matured in basements that are exposed to the ocean’s prevailing winds. It is as a result of this exposure that the Sherry produced has a tangy saltiness and a beachy-oaked finish on the palate. Alternatively, if you are seeking for a more exotic and even drier wine than the Fino and want to taste its complex palate, which has been characterized as flowery while yet being darkly forested, try the Hidalgo Manzanilla Pasada Pastrana Sherry.

Montilla-Moriles and Málaga as alternatives

In the event that you are not a fan of Sherries, consider Montilla-Moriles and Málaga as a great alternative to your typical aperitif. Conventional Sherries, such as Montilla-Moriles and Málaga, are cream-style wines that are both sweet but not as flowery or sickly as traditional Sherries. Malaga wines, in particular, were enjoyed throughout history alongside Sherries, with the only reason for their relative rarity being that this type of wine would not withstand the harsh conditions of shipping by sea.

When looking for a good alternative to Sherry, look no farther than the Spain Alvear Pedro Ximenez de Anada Solera, which pairs nicely with rich fruit cake dessert, brandy snap biscuits, or winter fruit crumble recipes.

Best Spanish Dessert Wine

The addition of dessert wines to dinner parties and other festive events is a nice touch. The sweetness and acidity of these wines make them an excellent match for sweets. Discover which Spanish dessert wine is the finest to offer with your pudding at your next dinner party by reading the following article. Because Pedro Ximénez is such a sweet and exquisite wine, a glass of this dessert wine is sometimes offered as dessert in and of itself! An example of dessert wine is a sort of sweet wine that is served with a sweet dessert.

In comparison to its less sweet siblings, it is not as popular, mostly due to the fact that many people do not bother to drink wine with dessert.

A dessert wine brings out the flavors of the dessert, which enhances the whole dessert-eating experience as a whole.

If the wine does not have enough sweetness, it will be overwhelmed by the sweetness of the dessert and will taste bland as a result.

Spain is renowned for producing some of the world’s most exquisite types of grapes. Dessert wines such as Pedro Ximénez, Málaga, and Moscatel are the most popular in Spain, with Pedro Ximénez being the most well-known among them.

Pedro Ximénez: Best Spanish Dessert Wine

In Spain, Pedro Ximénez (PX) is known as the “King of Sweet Wines,” since it is the sweetest and most well-known. Southern Spain, popularly known as the ‘Sherry Triangle,’ is where this particular Spanish sherry wine is made. One of the world’s sweetest wines, this fortified wine is considered to be one of the best in the world. It is made from Pedro Ximénez grapes that have been dried in the Spanish sun before being crushed to make the world-famous black, sticky, syrupy, and inky wine that has become synonymous with the country.

Following fermentation, the wine is fortified with additional alcohol.

PX has a beautifully rich and deep flavor as a result of these overtones.

Pedro Ximénez and Desserts

When it comes to desserts, it is always the sweeter of the two options available. It is possible that PX may taste dull, flat, and thin if served with a dessert that is sweeter than it. So, proceed with caution! Here are a few options for pairings that you may experiment with!

With Vanilla Ice Cream

In southern Spain, PX is frequently served as a dessert, poured over a scoop of vanilla ice cream and eaten with a spoon. The subtle caramel, toffee, and orange overtones of PX provide a perfect counterpoint to the straightforward, yet exquisite vanilla flavor. However, just because it is a good complement to vanilla ice cream does not imply that it may be compared to molasses in taste. Known as PX, it is a superb dessert wine that is adored by wine connoisseurs all over the world. In order to make the dessert even more enticing, you may garnish it with some dark chocolate shavings.

Avoid, however, the ones that contain fruit as an ingredient.

With Christmas Cake

Now that you’ve learned so much about this wine, you’ll have no choice but to offer it this holiday season. In fact, everything about PX shouts Christmas, from the figs and dates to the roasted nuts to the chocolate, toffee, caramel, and orange overtones in the recipe. Serve it with a slice of Christmas cake, and you’ve got yourself a delectable Christmas dessert on the table. This is a mixture that your loved ones will undoubtedly like!

With Puddings

Desserts that are rich and delicious pair well with this thick, syrupy, sweet wine. When served with a glass of this sweet dessert wine, the flavors of dark chocolate pudding, coffee pudding, and caramel pudding, among other desserts, are enhanced. Simply mix some PX into the pudding as it is being prepared to create an out-of-this-world dessert.

It will undoubtedly be exotic! This wine is also a good pairing with spiced chocolate pudding. In order to avoid serving coffee and dessert together at your next gathering, offer dessert with wine instead of dessert with coffee.

With Chocolate

PX has a rich, complex flavor that pairs well with chocolate’s rich, complex flavor. Make your chocolate cake batter even more delicious by mixing in a small amount of this sherry. The result will be a cake that will just wow your taste buds! Serve it with a glass of PX, and you’ve got yourself a delectable, wonderful dessert on your hands. This wine also pairs exceptionally well with white chocolate and pastries that feature white chocolate. While the greatest wine is the Spanish Pedro Ximénez, if you can’t get your hands on any or believe it’s too pricey, try the Spanish Moscatel (not moscato) or Málaga instead.

Discover which sorts you prefer by experimenting with a variety of them.

Sweet Spanish Wine – Recognize the style

PX has a deep, complex flavor that pairs well with chocolate’s rich flavor. Make your chocolate cake batter even more delicious by including a small amount of this sherry. The result will be a cake that will just wow your taste buds! Serve it with a glass of PX, and you’ve got yourself a delectable, wonderful dessert. White chocolate and pastries featuring white chocolate are also excellent pairings for it. If you can’t get your hands on any Spanish Pedro Ximénez or believe it’s too pricey, try the Spanish Moscatel (not moscato) or Málaga, which are also excellent alternatives.

Discover which sorts you like by experimenting with a variety of options.

Malaga Sweet Wine

The region of Malaga has a long and illustrious history of wine production. The wine used to be dark, deep, and raisin-flavored in the beginning. Malaga wine was first produced about 1100 AD in the same region of Spain as sherries, in the Andalusia part of the country. Malaga is a glossy, extremely sweet wine made from Pedro Ximenez grapes with Alexandria muscat. It is produced in Spain. Certain people may be dissatisfied with the sweetness of some others. This is due to the fact that the sweetness of the wine is determined by the quality of the grapes used in its preparation.

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Yes, the wines that bear the designation “Malaga Wine” are very certainly produced in Malaga.

There are mainly sixteen different kinds of Malaga wine, some very famous ones are:

Lagrima is a highly sweet wine that is commonly used as a dessert wine. It is a white port wine that keeps its acidity while being crisp and refreshing. Grapes that are fully matured are utilized to impart their flavor to the wine, which results in an excessively sweet taste. Wine is infused with a fruity flavor as a result of this. You will not be disappointed with this wine if you are seeking for something to go wonderfully with your salad party.


Known all throughout the world, but particularly in the United States of America, this wine is created only from muscatel grapes and is quite popular.

It has a highly sweet flavor, similar to that of any Malaga wine, but it also contains a significant amount of raisins.

Pedro Ximenez

Pedro Ximenez is a Malaga wine made from matured grapes of the same name. It is one of the most well-known Malaga wines. The oxidative ageing technique of the wine imparts a great aromatic beauty and a rich deepness to the wine while maintaining its freshness and crispness. The wine has a distinct aroma of dried fruits, honey, and syrup, and it is topped with dark coffee and dark chocolate. The aroma that the wine emits will make it impossible to keep it away from your wine collection shelves.


Sherry, a highly regarded Spanish wine, is produced in the Andalusia area of southern Spain. The method of producingSherry is quite complicated. The fortification of the wine contributes to the wine’s overall stability and longevity. After the wine has finished fermenting, a specified amount of spirit is added to it. Sherry is primarily created from three types of grapes: Palomino, Muscat of Alexandria, and Pedro Ximenez, all of which are grown in Spain. The procedure by which these wines are made has a considerable impact on the end product that is produced.

Here are a few different kinds of Sherry wines.


It is made from Palomino grapes and is considered to be one of the driest and most salty varieties of sherry. It has a crisp, yeasty, and acidic texture. Fino, which contains around fifteen percent alcohol, is one of the greatest meal partners and tastes best when served cold. During the fermentation process, a kind of yeast called flor’ protects the wine from the oxidation process.


It is one of the driest and most salty varieties of sherry, made from Palomino grapes. A crisp, yeasty, and acidic flavor characterizes this dish. When served cold, fino is one of the ideal meal partners because it contains around fifteen percent alcohol. Wine is saved from oxidation by a kind of yeast known as flor’ during the fermentation process.

Palo Cortado

If a high-quality sherry loses its flor cover, it transforms into this kind of wine. Its nutty flavor sits just in the middle of the Fino and Amontillado flavors, creating a perfect balance. The freshness of these wines is often stronger than that of Fino, and they have a saline undertone to their flavor profile. For those searching for an aromatic, fruity-nutty wine, this is the choice you’ve made.


These wines are aged in barrels for several years without the presence of a protective coating of flor (flor de Provence). The oxidation process causes the wine to become very dry. The percentage of alcohol is often greater, ranging between twenty-two and twenty-five percent of the total volume of liquor.


When the fino is matured without the protective coating of flor, it produces a wine that is amber in color and nutty in flavor. The quality of this wine may best be described by the word umami. In addition to having a very lengthy finish, the wine has an alcohol percentage of around eighteen percent.


Cream wine is a dessert wine that is made by blending grapes from Oloroso with other ingredients.

The inclusion of grapes enhances the quality of the wine. Muscat and Pedro gimenez grapes are the most commonly used in the production of this wine.

Other Spanish Sweet Wines

The wine is fermented in unique types of French and American oak, which imparts a woody flavor to the finished product. The wine has a wonderful scent, with floral and fruity notes from the Muscat grape that are immediately discernible in the glass. The spicy flavor of the wine is attributed to the presence of ginger or nutmeg in the blend. Despite the fact that the wine is sweet, it is not runny. The wine is best served with fruit desserts such as pineapple, peaches, and apricots because of its honeyed flavor and lingering finish.


The wine has a dark hue due to the nature of the grapes, and the flavor is reminiscent of blackberries. Honey and botrytis flavors are present in this exceptional wine. This wine is sometimes referred to as the “Spanish equivalent of Banyuls” because of its similarity to Banyuls.

Emilio Lustau

As a result of nature, the wine has a dark hue, and the flavor is reminiscent of blackberries. Honey and botrytis are present in this exceptional wine. Often referred to as the “Spanish Banyuls,” this wine is a good representation of the variety.


One of the most well-known Alicante attractions Fondillon is a sweet wine made from grapes. This wine, which is made from overripe Monatella grapes, is very sweet and has a fruity-pumpy flavor. The wine is matured for a minimum of 10 years in order to get the unique taste that is associated with the Fondillion. Its fruity scent and nutty flavor make it one of the most sought-after foods in the entire globe. With such a diverse selection of sweet wines available around the country, it is easy to become overwhelmed.

If you are one of those wine aficionados who can’t stop talking about it, it is high time you treated your taste buds to a delicious sweet wine to get your taste buds back in working order again.

Because of the low level of alcohol in these wines, they make excellent dinner companions.

5 Types of Dessert Wine

Switch up the hefty dessert with something that will make your tastebuds glitter instead. Learn about the five primary varieties of dessert wines, ranging from the delightfully effervescent Moscato d’Asti to the dark and gloomy vintage Port of the world. Dessert wines are supposed to be sipped from tiny glasses and cherished in the same way that a fine Scotch is. Sparkling, light sweet, rich sweet, sweet red and fortified are the five varieties of dessert wines that may be found on the market.

Types of Dessert Wines
  • Sweet Red Wine
  • Fortified Wine
  • Sparkling Dessert Wine
  • Lightly Sweet Dessert Wine
  • Richly Sweet Dessert Wine

A Guide to Dessert Wines

Sweet wine is made from grapes that are exceptionally sweet! In order to produce sweet wine, the fermentation process must be stopped before the yeast has converted all of the grape sugars to alcohol. To stop fermentations, numerous techniques are available, including super-cooling the wine or adding brandy to the mixture. The end product is a full-bodied wine that has been naturally sweetened with grape sugars. Despite the fact that there are hundreds of different varieties of dessert wines available on the market, the majority of them fall into five broad categories.

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!

With the purchase of Wine Folly: Magnum Edition, you will receive this bonus.

  • 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

Not to be confused with “sec” or “secco,” which are the terms used in French and Italian to describe anything that is completely dry.

  • 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

Gewürztraminer Alsace, Alto-Adige (Italy), California, and New Zealand are among the regions where this extremely flowery wine may be found in abundance. 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). Availability: A wine with a high level of natural acidity, which helps to cut through the sweetness of the flavor. Müller-Thurgau A less frequent cultivar, also from Germany, that may be found in some regions of Oregon and has flowery scents and a little softer acidity than the other two varieties mentioned.

Chenin Blanc is a white wine produced by the Chenin Blanc grape variety (Certain Blanc).

Consider the label when purchasing Chenin Blanc because many South African and French producers produce dry versions that taste more like a dry Sauvignon Blanc; Viognier should be purchased with caution because many producers create dry versions that taste more like a dry Sauvignon Blanc; and Pinot Noir should be purchased with caution because many producers create dry versions that taste more like a dry Cabernet Sauvignon.

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The majority of Viognier does not have a sweet flavor.

On the taste, it’s rich and greasy.

Late Harvest

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

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.

Straw Mat

The grapes are put out on straw mats to raisinate prior to being used in the winemaking process (also known as “Passito”).

  • Italian Vin Santo is prepared from the grapes Trebbiano and Malvasia and has a rich, nutty taste that is similar to that of dates. It is possible to find various different types of Vin Santo produced throughout Italy. ‘Passito’ in Italian means ‘passion’. Another straw wine created from a variety of grapes, both white and red, this time with a fruity flavor. For example, Passito di Pantelleriais a Muscat-based wine, whereas Caluso Passitois a Piedmont-based wine created with the uncommon grapeErbaluce. Greek Straw Wines are made from grapes harvested in Greece. Vinsanto, created from high-acid white Assyrtiko grapes, is another type of wine produced in Greece. It is believed that Samos was the first sweet wine manufactured from Muscat grapes, while Commandaria was the first sweet wine made from grapes in Cyprus, dating back to 800 BCE. Strohwein (German: Strohwein/Austrian: Schilfwein) is a kind of wine produced in Germany and Austria. Schilfweins are sweet wines made from Muscat and Zweigelt grapes in Austria and Germany that are becoming increasingly rare. Vin de Paille is a French term for wine made from grapes. These Vin de Paille are produced mostly in the Jura area of France, which is next to the Alps, and are made from Chardonnay and old Savagnin grapes
  • They are particularly well-known in the United States.

Ice Wine (Eiswein)

True ice wine is incredibly difficult to come by and extremely costly for two reasons. For starters, it only happens in outlandish years when a vineyard freezes. And two, ice wine must be collected and pressed while the grapes are still frozen to ensure proper fermentation. The country of Canada is the world’s largest producer of ice wine. Ice wines are most commonly found in colder climates such as Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The majority of ice wines are created from Riesling or Vidal grapes, however any kind of grape, including Cabernet Franc, can be used to make an ice wine.

Sweet Red Wine

Sweet reds are in decline, with the exception of commercially produced sweet reds. It’s still possible to get some excellent sweet reds that are historically fascinating and worth tasting. The bulk of these incredible sweet red wines come from Italy, where they are made from obscure grape varieties.

  • Lambrusco A area known for producing a delightful sparkling wine that can be enjoyed both dry and sweet. Because it is a sparkling wine, it will have a yeasty undertone, as well as notes of raspberry and blueberry in the background. “Amabile” and “Dulce” are the names given to the sweet variants. Brachetto d’Acqui (Acquisition Brachetto) A red or rosé wine made from Brachetto grapes grown in the Piedmont area that is both still and bubbling. Famous for its flowery and strawberry scents, as well as its love for matching with cured meats, this wine is a favorite of foodies everywhere. Schiava A uncommon cultivar from the Alto-Adige region that is on the verge of extinction. A delicious scent of raspberry and cotton candy, with a refreshing, somewhat sweet taste that isn’t overpowering
  • Freisa Frieda, once considered one of the great red varietals of Piedmont, is a relative of Nebbiolo, but with softer tannins and flowery cherry aromas rather than the latter. Recioto della Valpolicella (Valpolicella Recioto) Recioto della Valpolicella is a luscious, robust, and rich wine that is produced using the same meticulous procedure as Amarone wine. Late-Harvest Red Wines are a specialty of the region. There are several red dessert wines available in the United States, created from grapes such as Zinfandel, Mourvedre, Malbec, and Petite Sirah, among others. With their intense sweetness and high alcohol concentration, these wines are a feast for the senses.

Fortified Wine

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.

  • In Portugal’s northernmost region, along the Douro river, port wine is produced and aged. A variety of classic Portuguese varietals, such as Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, and Tinta Roriz, are used to create these extremely uncommon sweet red wines. After being harvested and placed in open tanks, the grapes are stomped everyday while the wine begins to mature, thereby creating a more concentrated flavor. When the wine is filtered and combined with clear grape spirit (with an ABV of almost 70%), the fermentation is stopped and the wine is fortified, this is done at a point during the fermentation process. There is a succession of winemaking procedures that follow after this that result in the various wine types that are described further down.


In Portugal’s northernmost region, along the Douro river, port wine is produced. These extremely uncommon sweet red wines are produced from a variety of classic Portuguese grapes, including Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, and Tinta Roriz. During the fermentation process, the grapes are collected and fermented together in open tanks, where they are stomped daily as the wine starts to develop.

When the wine is filtered and combined with pure grape spirit (with an ABV of about 70%), the fermentation is stopped and the wine is fortified. Following this procedure, a succession of winemaking stages are carried out, which result in the creation of the various styles described below.

  • 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.

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