5 Types of Dessert Wine
Switch up the hefty dessert with something that will make your tastebuds glitter instead. Learn about the five primary varieties of dessert wines, ranging from the delightfully effervescent Moscato d’Asti to the dark and gloomy vintage Port of the world. Dessert wines are supposed to be sipped from tiny glasses and cherished in the same way that a fine Scotch is. Sparkling, light sweet, rich sweet, sweet red and fortified are the five varieties of dessert wines that may be found on the market.
Types of Dessert Wines
- Sweet Red Wine
- Fortified Wine
- Sparkling Dessert Wine
- Lightly Sweet Dessert Wine
- Richly Sweet Dessert Wine
A Guide to Dessert Wines
Sweet wine is made from grapes that are exceptionally sweet! In order to produce sweet wine, the fermentation process must be stopped before the yeast has converted all of the grape sugars to alcohol. To stop fermentations, numerous techniques are available, including super-cooling the wine or adding brandy to the mixture. The end product is a full-bodied wine that has been naturally sweetened with grape sugars. Despite the fact that there are hundreds of different varieties of dessert wines available on the market, the majority of them fall into five broad categories.
Take a look at all five kinds for a comprehensive look at dessert wines.
Sparkling Dessert Wine
Because of the carbonation and strong acidity in sparkling wine, it appears to be less sweet than it actually is! Certain grape types have a more pleasant aroma than others. This deceives our brain into believing that they taste sweeter as well! Consider the difference in sweetness between a Demi-Sec Moscato (or “Semi Secco”) and a Demi-Sec Champagne, despite the fact that they may contain the same quantity of sugar. Pay attention to the following terms on the label of sweet dessert wines, sparkling wines, and other sparkling beverages: Purchase the book and receive the course!
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- Demi-Sec* (which translates as “off-dry” in French)
- Amabile (which translates as “slightly sweet” in Italian)
- Semi Secco* (which translates as “off-dry” in Italian)
- French for “sweet,” Dolce / Dulce (Italian for “sweet,” Spanish for “sweet,” and Moelleux (French for “sweet,” for some French wines)
- Doux (French for “sweet,” Dolce / Dulce (Italian for “sweet,” Spanish for “sweet”)
*Not to be confused with the terms “sec” or “secco,” which are used to describe dryness in both French and Italian.
Lightly-Sweet Dessert Wine
Lightly sweet wines have a delightful sweetness to them, making them ideal for a hot afternoon. Many of these sweet wines go well with spicy dishes such as Indian or Southeast Asian cuisine, which is why they are so popular. Lightly sweet wines are best consumed as soon as possible after the vintage date, with the exception of a few exceptional examples, such as German Riesling, which may be savored for several years after the vintage date. Expect these wines to be bursting with fruit tastes and well-suited for desserts that are fruit-based or vanilla-driven.
Fruit tarts and a Gewürztraminer go together like peanut butter and jelly.
- Drinking light, sweet wines on a hot day is a nice change from dry, sour wines. Many of these sweet wines go well with spicy dishes such as Indian or Southeast Asian cuisine, which are popular in the United States. In most cases, light-sweet wines are best consumed as soon as possible after harvest, with the exception of a few rare exceptions, such as German Riesling, which may be enjoyed for many years after harvest! Expect these wines to be bursting with fruit tastes and well-suited for desserts that are fruit-based or vanilla-based. Take, for example, Gewürztraminer, which is renowned for its fragrances of lychee and rose petals, among other fruit. Fruit tarts with a Gewürztraminer are a perfect match.
Richly Sweet Dessert Wine
With the best quality fruits and in an unfortified manner, these richly sweet wines are produced. Sugar and acidity allow many of these wines to retain their fresh flavor even after 50 years or more in the bottle. For example, the HungarianTokaji (pronounced “toe-kye”) was a favorite of the Tzars of Russia, while South African Constantia was a favorite of both the Dutch and the English.
The FrenchSauternes was a favorite of Americans in the early 1800’s and is still popular today. There are numerous methods for producing highly sweet dessert wines, and you may gain a better understanding of them by looking at how they are prepared.
Late harvest refers to precisely what it says on the tin. With each additional day that grapes are allowed to hang on the vine, they get progressively sweeter and more raisinated, culminating in grapes with concentrated sweetness. “Vendage Tardive” is the term used in Alsace to describe late harvest, whereas “Spätlese” is used in Germany to describe late harvest. Late harvest wines can be made from any grape that has been left on the vine. Having said that, late-harvest wines made from Chenin Blanc, Sémillon, and Riesling grapes are becoming increasingly popular.
When we talk about late harvest, we are referring to exactly what it is. With each additional day that grapes are allowed to hang on the vine, they grow progressively sweeter and more raisinated, resulting in grapes that are sweeter and more concentrated. “Vendage Tardive” is the term used in Alsace to describe late harvest, whereas “Spätlese” is the term used in Germany. Late harvest wines can be made from any type of grape that has remained on the vine after harvest. However, late-harvest wines made from Chenin Blanc, Sémillon, and Riesling grapes are becoming increasingly popular in the wine industry.
- Sauternais Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc are blended together in Sauternes, Barsac, Cadillac, and Monbazillac to produce a rich, golden-hued sweet wine. A collection of French Appellations in and around Bordeaux, including Sauternes, Barsac, Cadillac, and Monbazillac
- Tokaji Tokaji Asz is a Hungarian wine created from Furmint grapes
- Auslese, BA, and TBA Riesling (BA = Beerenauslese, TBA = Trockenbeerenauslese)
- And Auslese, BA, and TBA Riesling (BA = Beerenauslese, TBA = Trockenbeerenauslese). Auslese is the first level of the German Pradikat system (a sweetness labeling system), and it has a larger proportion of botrytis-affected grapes than any other level. In addition to being sweeter than German Rieslings from the “QbA” and “Kabinett” varieties, they often have a greater alcohol content.
The grapes are put out on straw mats to raisinate prior to being used in the winemaking process (also known as “Passito”).
- Italian Vin Santo is prepared from the grapes Trebbiano and Malvasia and has a rich, nutty taste that is similar to that of dates. It is possible to find various different types of Vin Santo produced throughout Italy. ‘Passito’ in Italian means ‘passion’. Another straw wine created from a variety of grapes, both white and red, this time with a fruity flavor. For example, Passito di Pantelleriais a Muscat-based wine, whereas Caluso Passitois a Piedmont-based wine created with the uncommon grapeErbaluce. Greek Straw Wines are made from grapes harvested in Greece. Vinsanto, created from high-acid white Assyrtiko grapes, is another type of wine produced in Greece. It is believed that Samos was the first sweet wine manufactured from Muscat grapes, while Commandaria was the first sweet wine made from grapes in Cyprus, dating back to 800 BCE. Strohwein (German: Strohwein/Austrian: Schilfwein) is a kind of wine produced in Germany and Austria. Schilfweins are sweet wines made from Muscat and Zweigelt grapes in Austria and Germany that are becoming increasingly rare. Vin de Paille is a French term for wine made from grapes. These Vin de Paille are produced mostly in the Jura area of France, which is next to the Alps, and are made from Chardonnay and old Savagnin grapes
- They are particularly well-known in the United States.
Ice Wine (Eiswein)
True ice wine is incredibly difficult to come by and extremely costly for two reasons. For starters, it only happens in outlandish years when a vineyard freezes. And two, ice wine must be collected and pressed while the grapes are still frozen to ensure proper fermentation. The country of Canada is the world’s largest producer of ice wine. Ice wines are most commonly found in colder climates such as Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The majority of ice wines are created from Riesling or Vidal grapes, however any kind of grape, including Cabernet Franc, can be used to make an ice wine.
Sweet Red Wine
Sweet reds are in decline, with the exception of commercially produced sweet reds. It’s still possible to get some excellent sweet reds that are historically fascinating and worth tasting. The bulk of these incredible sweet red wines come from Italy, where they are made from obscure grape varieties.
- Lambrusco A area known for producing a delightful sparkling wine that can be enjoyed both dry and sweet. Because it is a sparkling wine, it will have a yeasty undertone, as well as notes of raspberry and blueberry in the background. “Amabile” and “Dulce” are the names given to the sweet variants. Brachetto d’Acqui (Acquisition Brachetto) A red or rosé wine made from Brachetto grapes grown in the Piedmont area that is both still and bubbling. Famous for its flowery and strawberry scents, as well as its love for matching with cured meats, this wine is a favorite of foodies everywhere. Schiava A uncommon cultivar from the Alto-Adige region that is on the verge of extinction. A delicious scent of raspberry and cotton candy, with a refreshing, somewhat sweet taste that isn’t overpowering
- Freisa Frieda, once considered one of the great red varietals of Piedmont, is a relative of Nebbiolo, but with softer tannins and flowery cherry aromas rather than the latter. Recioto della Valpolicella (Valpolicella Recioto) Recioto della Valpolicella is a luscious, robust, and rich wine that is produced using the same meticulous procedure as Amarone wine. Late-Harvest Red Wines are a specialty of the region. There are several red dessert wines available in the United States, created from grapes such as Zinfandel, Mourvedre, Malbec, and Petite Sirah, among others. With their intense sweetness and high alcohol concentration, these wines are a feast for the senses.
Fortified wines are produced by adding grape brandy to a wine, and they can be either dry or sweet in flavor. Most fortified wines have a higher alcohol level (often 17-20 percent ABV) and have a longer shelf life once they have been opened than other types of wines.
Port wine is produced in the northern region of Portugal, along the banks of the Douro. These extremely uncommon sweet red wines are prepared from a variety of classic Portuguese grapes, including Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, and Tinta Roriz, among others. At some point during the fermentation process, the wine is strained and blended with a clear grape spirit (with an ABV of nearly 70 percent) that stops the fermentation process and fortifies it.
The grapes are collected and fermented together in open tanks where the grapes are stomped daily to ensure that the wine begins to ferment. 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.
Fino(dry) All of the Sherries have sour and nutty notes, but this one is the lightest and most dry of them all. Manzanilla(dry) In a more specialized locale, Fino Sherry is produced in a distinct style that is even lighter in body than Fino. A Cortado is a cortado that has been brewed in a traditional manner (dry) Longer aging produces a deeper color and a fuller taste in this significantly richer kind of sherry. This type of wine is normally dry, but it will include fruit and nut notes that are enhanced by the salt.
Oloroso(dry) Because of the evaporation of water as the wine ages, a highly old and dark sherry with a greater alcohol concentration can be found.
Cream Sherry is a kind of sherry that is made using cream and sherry grape must (sweet) When Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez Sherry are combined, the result is a sweet kind of Sherry.
César Pedro Ximenez, also known as PX, is a Mexican politician (very sweet) It’s an extremely sweet sherry with notes of brown sugar and figs;
- 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)
RainwaterMadeira You may presume that a wine label that just states “Madeira” or “Rainwater” is a combination of all four grapes with a sweetness that falls between the medium and lower ranges. Sercial(dry) In Madeira, the Sercial grape is the driest and lightest of all the grapes grown. These wines will have a greater acidity and be more dry, with aromas of peaches and apricots in the background. Seeing Sercial Madeira that has been aged for more than 100 years is not unheard of. Verdelho(dry) When let to age, Verdelho will acquire nutty tastes of almond and walnut that will become more prominent.
Although there are some 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) Besides having orange citrus aromas and caramel to their taste, Malmsey Madeiras feature a nutty flavor that is greasy and oxidized.
- 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.
Dessert wine – Wikipedia
The term “sweet wine” links to this page. Sweet Wine (musical composition by Mark Williams) is a song written by Mark Williams (song). Fresh Cream is a song by the band Cream. For other uses, see Fresh Cream. The dessert wine, also known as pudding wine in the United Kingdom, is a sweet wine that is generally served with a sweet dessert. A dessert wine cannot be defined in a straightforward manner. When it comes to dessert wines in the United Kingdom, any sweet wine consumed with a meal is regarded a dessert wine, as opposed to the white fortified wines (fino and amontilladosherry) used before the meal and the red fortified wines (port and Madeira) consumed after the meal.
In contrast, in the United States, a dessert wine is classified as any wine that contains more than 14 percent alcohol by volume, which includes all fortified wines—and as a result, it is taxed at a higher rate as a result.
Methods of production
Château d’Yquem 1999, a noble rot wine from the Loire Valley Dessert wine producers are interested in producing a wine that contains high quantities of both sugar and alcohol. Because all winemaking results in the production of alcohol through the fermentation of carbohydrates, they are often traded off. However, there are a variety of methods for increasing the relative sugar levels in the finished wine:
- Grow grapes such that they naturally contain enough sugar for both sweetness and alcohol
- Add sugar in one of the following ways:
- Sugar or honey (Chaptalization) is added before fermentation
- Unfermented must (Süssreserve) is added after fermentation.
- Sugar or honey (Chaptalization) are added before fermentation
- Unfermented must (Süssreserve) are added after fermentation.
- In warm areas, raisin wine may be produced by drying the grapes in the open air. In colder locations, you may produce ice wine by freezing off a portion of the water. When growing grapes in moist temperate areas, a fungal infection called Botrytis cinerea is used to desiccate the grapes, which causes noble rot.
A late harvest Semillon from the state of Washington. In the lack of alternative methods, producers of dessert wines are forced to create their own sugar in the vineyard. Some grape varietals, such as Muscat, Ortega, and Huxelrebe, yield significantly more sugar than others due to their genetic makeup. Final sugar levels are greatly influenced by environmental factors; thevigneroncan assist by leaving the grapes on the vine until they are fully ripe, as well as by green picking and trimming to expose the young grapes to the light.
While the vigneron has little control over the sun, a sunny year helps to keep sugar levels under control.
However, most of the Muscats from antiquity, including the famousConstantiaof South Africa, were very certainly created in this manner.
Honey was used to sweeten wine in ancient Rome, and it was also used to boost the ultimate strength of the finished product. Today, sugar is typically added to wines that are flabby and immature in order to increase the alcohol content rather than for sweetness, although a certain amount of chaptalization is authorized in the wines of certain nations. German wines must state whether they are ‘natural’ or not; chaptalization is prohibited from the highest levels of German wines in any event.
It is a German winemaking method in which unfermented must (grape juice) is added to the wine after it has finished fermenting. This boosts the sweetness of the finished wine while also diluting the alcohol a little—in Germany, the final wine must have more than 15 percent Süssreserve by volume, which is the maximum allowed. Süssreserve allows winemakers to complete the fermentation process without having to be concerned about halting the fermentation process before all of the sugar has been used.
Süssreserve is also employed by other producers of German-style wines, most notably in New Zealand’s wine industry.
To accompany dessert, sweet Montilla-Morilessherry, notably Pedro Ximénez and vins doux naturels are the most often consumed fortified wines in the world. Because it is made from raisin wine, the Pedro Ximenezdessert wine is unlike any other sweet wine from Andalucia. It is fortified and matured in a solera system, like other sweet wines from the region. Alternatively, some sweet sherries (which are mix wines) like asBristol Cream can be consumed as dessert wine. Arnaud de Villeneuve, a professor at the University of Montpellier in France, is credited for perfecting the manufacture of natural sweet wines in the 13th century.
Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise, Muscat de Rivesaltes, Muscat de Frontignan, Muscat de Lunel, and Muscat de Mirevaland are all named after vineyards in France: Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise, Muscat de Rivesaltes, Muscat de Frontignan, Muscat de Frontignan, Muscat de Lunel, and Muscat de Mirevaland.
Regardless of the grape, fermentation can be halted using up to 10% of 95 percent grape spirit, depending on the amount used. A somewhat oxidized style is used in the production of the Muscats, whereas the Grenaches are not.
A glass of Piedmontese raisin wine, Calusopassito, was enjoyed. Sweet wine known as passum was produced at ancient Carthage from air-dried grapes, and comparable wines, known as Moscato Passito di Pantelleria and produced across the Malta Channel from the site of Carthage, are being produced today. The Romans were the first to describe such wines. ‘Passito’ wines are produced in Northern Italy, where the grapes are dried on straw, racks, or rafters before being pressed and fermented in barrels.
In the Jura, Rhone, and Alsace, the French make’straw wine’ (vin de paille); the Spaniards start with a raisin wine and Pedro Ximénez before fortifying it; the Cypriots have their ancientCommandaria; and there have been recent trials with the style in South Africa and the United States.
Most wine rules demand that the grapes for ice wine be gathered when the temperature is less than 7 degrees Celsius (19 degrees Fahrenheit). During such temperatures, some water in the grapes freezes, but the sugars and other solids in the grape juice remain dissolved in the remainder of the liquid. If the grapes are pressed while still frozen, a very concentrated must can be produced, which requires a particular yeast strain and an extended fermentation period. The resultant wines are quite sweet, yet their acidity helps to keep them balanced.
The most well-known ice wines are German Eiswein and Canadian Icewine, although ice wines are also produced in smaller numbers in the United States, Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Italy, Australia, France, and New Zealand.
Noble rot wine
Wines such as TokajiAsz of Tokaj-Hegyaljain Hungary, Château d’Yquemof Sauternes, and Seewinkelof Austria are prepared from grapes that have been mouldy with Botrytis cinerea, which sucks the water out of the fruit while giving flavors of honey and apricot to the future wine. Noble rot is caused by a fungus that requires precise environmental conditions to thrive; if the environment is excessively moist, the same fungus may create destructivegrey rot. Vignerons make every effort to increase the quantity of noble rot produced while avoiding the loss of the entire crop to grey rot.
Because of the time it takes for noble rot to develop, these wines are typically picked late.
The fact that noble rot was a factor in Hungarian vineyard demarcation some 50 years before a messenger was allegedly mugged on his way to Schloss Johannisberg in Germany and that asz inventory predates it by approximately 200 years indicates that Hungary’s Tokaj was the first region to produce the wine.
Noble rot is also responsible for a variety of other dessert wines, including the German beerenauslese and trockenbeerenauslese (TBA) classifications, the French Monbazillac, the Austrian Beerenauslese, the Austrian Ausbruch, and other TBA-type wines from throughout the globe.
Vin Santo with almond cookies are a delicious combination. Generally speaking, the wine should be sweeter than the food it is served with; a perfectly ripe peach has been regarded as the ideal companion for many dessert wines, yet it makes sense not to drink wine at all with many chocolate- and toffee-based meals, for example, Vin doux naturel Muscats and red dessert wines such as Recioto della Valpolicella and fortified wines such as the vin doux naturel Muscat are the ideal complements for these difficult-to-pair treats.
Alternatively, the wine alone can serve as a dessert, although bakery sweets can also be a suitable complement, particularly when they include a hint of bitterness, such as biscuits dipped in Vin Santo (Santo wine).
White dessert wines are often served slightly chilled, however they can be served excessively cold if they are served too quickly.
- “The seven most important sorts of white wines.” Süssreserve was retrieved on April 27, 2019. Archived 2007-03-10 at the Wayback Machineon the Wine Dictionary website
- Amerine and Maynard’s “Wine.” Encyclopedia Britannica is a reputable reference work. Encyclopedia Britannica is a reputable reference work. Shoemaker, Ted (27 April 2019)
- Shoemaker, Ted (6 December 2013). “German Ice Wine Regulations Have Been Tightened.” This is according to Wine Spectator. retrieved on March 20, 2021
- CooksInfo is a website dedicated to providing information about cooking (4 October 2020). “Ice Wine,” as the name suggests. Cook’s Information, retrieved on March 20, 2021
- “The Beautiful Bounty of Botrytized Wines,” retrieved on March 20, 2021. Wine Enthusiast Magazine is a publication dedicated to wine enthusiasts. Steve Kolpan, Michael A. Weiss, and Brian H. Smith have published a paper in Science (2014). Winewise: Your Complete Guide to Understanding, Selecting, and Enjoying Wine is a comprehensive guide to understanding, selecting, and enjoying wine (2nd ed.). Jancis Robinson, MW, “Tokaji,” in Jancis Robinson, MW (ed. ), Jancis Robinson’s Concise Wine Companion (Oxford:Oxford University Press, 2001), pp. 469–471, ISBN0-19-866274-2
- Gorman-McAdams, Mary. “Delicious Dessert Wines for Dessert Week.” Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN978-0-54433462-5 The Kitchn, retrieved on April 27, 2019
- “Three of the Best Italian Dessert Wines,” retrieved on April 27, 2019. Italy, November 12th, 2014
- Jeanne O’Brien Coffey is the author (20 November 2017). Sauternes is the perfect holiday wine for everything from appetizers to desserts, as revealed by Wine Spectator. Forbes
- Dessert wine is defined in the Wiktionary dictionary as follows:
The Ultimate Guide To Dessert Wines + Infographic!
“I prefer any sort of wine, but it needs to be dry,” says the author of the book. The popularity of dry wines has soared in recent years, maybe as a reaction to the era of White Zinfandel and Blue Nun that characterized the wine business in the past. Dessert wines, which are some of the most historically significant, complex, and long-lived wines on the planet, are hardly on the radar of most wine enthusiasts because of the passionate aversion to sweet wines that exists. Dessert wines, on the other hand, should not be overlooked; they should be utilized to enrich the post-dinner experience.
The process of utilizing the wine to enhance the dessert and vice versa can result in some truly amazing combinations of flavors.
These wines range from less sweet to more sweet, from light to super-boozy, and from best when consumed young to best when matured for decades.
“I enjoy any sort of wine, but it needs to be dry,” says the author of the article. It’s possible that the tendency toward dry wines has accelerated in recent years as a type of revolt against the industry’s previous days of White Zinfandel and Blue Nuns. Dessert wines, which are some of the most historically significant, complex, and long-lived wines on the planet, are hardly on the radar of most wine enthusiasts because of the passionate aversion to sweet wines that exists in the wine community.
Even while some dessert wines are delicious when consumed on their own, the finest dessert wines are those that are drunk with food.
Even though there are numerous dessert wines available, there are a few that define the genre.
These wines range from less sweet to more sweet, from light to super-boozy, and from best when consumed young to better when matured for decades. In this way, the comprehensive guide to dessert wines for all tastes and circumstances is offered here for your perusal and consideration.
“I enjoy any type of wine, but it must be dry.” The popularity of dry wines has surged in recent years, maybe as a kind of revolt against the days of White Zinfandel and Blue Nun in the wine business. Dessert wines, which are some of the most historically significant, complex, and long-lived wines on the planet, are hardly on the radar of the majority of wine enthusiasts because of the intense hostility they face. Dessert wines, on the other hand, should not be overlooked; they should be utilized to enrich the experience of dining after dinner.
The process of utilizing the wine to improve the dessert and vice versa can result in some truly amazing pairings.
These wines range from less sweet to more sweet, from light to super-boozy, and from excellent for drinking young to better when matured for decades.
Port, like Sherry, is available in a range of style categories, but unlike Sherry, Port is always sweet and is primarily made from red wine grapes. Port is primarily prepared using the indigenous grape Touriga Nacional, which is grown on terraced vineyards in Portugal’s Douro River Valley, as well as other local supporting grapes. Even though traditionally, Port was vinified in the Douro Valley and then matured downriver in the legendary Port houses of Vila Nova de Gaia, across the river from Porto, many smaller wineries are now opting to age their Port in the same location where it was originally vinified: the Douro Valley.
These include Late-Bottled Vintage (LBV) Ports and Vintage Ports, while LBV Ports and Vintage Ports have far greater concentration and complexity, and will benefit tremendously from bottle aging.
Colheita Tawny is the vintage form of this kind of Port wine, although while the wine may have been matured for a lengthy period of time at the winery, it will not benefit from additional bottle aging in most cases.
As with Sherry, there are many different styles of Port available, but unlike Sherry, Port is usually sweet and is primarily made from red wine. Port is primarily created from the indigenous grape Touriga Nacional, which is grown on terraced vineyards in Portugal’s Douro River Valley, along with other supporting grapes from the region. Even while traditionally, Port was vinified in the Douro Valley and then matured downriver in the legendary Port houses of Vila Nova de Gaia, which is located across the river from Porto, many smaller wineries are now opting to age their Port in the region where it was originally vinified, the Douro.
Despite the fact that they have far more concentration and complexity than standard port, Late-Bottled Vintage (LBV) and Vintage Ports fall into this category and will improve significantly from bottle aging.
This kind of Port wine is known as Colheita Tawny, and while the wine may have been matured for a considerable period of time at the winery, it does not benefit from further bottle aging in most cases.
Even though Marsala is commonly thought of as a basic cooking wine, it really has a lengthy history and is considered one of the world’s “big three” fortified dessert wines, alongside Sherry, Port, and Madeira, among other things. Marsala is the name of the region in which this fortified wine is produced, which is located around the city of Marsala in the northwestern corner of the island of Sicily and is known for its production of fortified wines. In most cases, it is created from white grapes, however red and ruby variants are available.
Depending on when the wine is fortified during fermentation and whether or not a cooked grape must called mosto cotto is added, the style of Marsala can range from dry to sweet.
This oxidative aging is responsible for the amber colour of Marsala, as well as the rich tastes of nutty, caramel-like, honeyed, and dried fruit.
Look for bottles branded semi-secco or dolce to assure that you’re getting a sweeter variety.
While Marsala is often considered to be a basic cooking wine, it really has a long history of being included among the “big three” fortified dessert wines of the world: Sherry, Port, and Madeira. Actually, the term Marsala refers to the region in which this fortified wine is made, which is located near the city of Marsala in the northwestern corner of the island of Sicily and is known as the “Vale of Marsala.” A white wine traditionally made from white grapes, but ruby-colored varieties do exist, the best Marsala is made with the distinctive Grillo grape, however it can also be combined with other grapes like as Inzolia and Catarratto to create a unique flavor profile.
Depending on when the wine is fortified during fermentation and whether or not a cooked grape must called mosto cotto is added, the style of Marsala may range from dry to sweet.
Because of this oxidative aging, Marsala has a rich amber color and aromas of nutty, caramel-like, honeyed, and dried fruit that are difficult to describe.
), and seek for bottles labeled semi-secco or dolce to guarantee that you’re getting a sweet form of the drink.
Banyuls is a dessert wine that is a match made in heaven for those who are die-hard, no-excuse red wine enthusiasts out there. Produced mostly from Grenache grapes in France’s southernmost wine appellation, Banyuls is evocative of young Ruby Port, but with a fuller-bodied red wine flavor. It is produced in France’s southernmost wine appellation, Banyuls, which is quite near to the Spanish border. Banyuls is a fruit-driven wine, despite the fact that it has been matured in barrel.
It has strong aromas and flavors of cooked red berries, prunes, and spice, as well as a pronounced tannic structure. Banyuls is made by taking a well-structured, super-ripe red wine and sweetening it with sugar to create something delicious.
Late-harvested/Noble rot wines
Banyuls is the dessert wine match made in heaven for those who are die-hard, no-excuse red wine connoisseurs. Produced primarily from Grenache grapes in France’s southernmost wine appellation, Banyuls is reminiscent of young Ruby Port, but with even more of a full-bodied red wine character. Banyuls is produced in France’s southernmost wine appellation, very close to the Spanish border, Banyuls is reminiscent of young Ruby Port. Banyuls is a fruit-driven wine, despite the fact that it has been matured in barrel.
To describe Banyuls, think of a well-structured, super-ripe red wine that has been sweetened.
In spite of the fact that Riesling is often associated with low-cost, sweet wines, the grape is actually one of the most versatile in the world, capable of producing bone-dry, enamel-stripping wines, lusciously-sweet, high-quality, super-expensive wines, and everything in between. Riesling is planted in many parts of the world, but it is particularly well-suited for making sweet wines in Germany, where the legal quality hierarchy for wines, known as the Pradikat system, is actually based on the quantity of sugar present in each grape at harvest.
Fully botrytized wines (Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese) have a lusciously sweet, orange blossom-like, honeyed richness.
In addition to making excellent ice wine Riesling, Austria also uses the Pradikat technique to produce Riesling, and Canada is also generating great ice wine Riesling.
However, regardless of whether you agree or disagree, it is undeniable that Sauternes is one of the world’s most prized and expensive sweet wines, and that it is one of the world’s most expensive sweet wines. It is the gold standard when it comes to botrytis-affected wines, and it is created from the easily-attacked Sémillon grape, as well as Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle, and it is the most expensive. In this region of Bordeaux, winemakers visit across vineyards on a number of different occasions, collecting only noble rot-affected grapes as the fungus grows.
Dried fruit, saffron, honey, orange, golden apple, crème brulee, and many more flavors develop in the bottle and in the glass over time, maturing for years and years after the vintage is harvested.
However, regardless of whether you agree or disagree, it is undeniable that Sauternes is one of the world’s most prized and expensive sweet wines, and that it is one of the world’s most expensive dessert wines. Wines derived from the easily-attacked Sémillon grape, along with Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle, are considered the gold standard when it comes to botrytis-affected wines. A number of times a year, producers drive through the vineyards of this Bordeaux area, collecting only noble rot-affected grapes as the fungus grows in the soil.
Dried fruit, saffron, honey, orange, golden apple, crème brulee, and many more flavors develop in the bottle and in the glass over time, maturing for years and years after the vintage.
Late-harvest Chenin Blanc
Chenin Blanc, cultivated in its various Loire Valley appellations, is another of those grapes that everyone knows, yet whether it’s dry or sweet, light or full-bodied, still or sparkling, it’s always extremely Chenin Blanc. Despite being the most well-known Chenin appellation in the Loire Valley, Vouvray can range from dry to sweet in a single location; the designations demi-sec, moelleux, and liquereux will indicate the presence of residual sugar. Sweet Chenin Blanc, on the other hand, achieves its apex in the Coteaux du Layon area of France, where grapes are harvested late in the season in many passes through the vineyard.
With the addition of the subregions of Bonnezeaux and Quarts de Chaume, the wines acquire notes of golden apple, honey, wool, and orange blossom that are highly sought after.
Dried Grape Wines
Dried grape, or passito, wines are produced using a process that has been employed for centuries in Italy, Greece, and occasionally Austria. After harvest, healthy grapes are purposely dried on straw mats or by hanging grape bunches from rafters, depending on the region. This dehydrates the grapes, concentrating the residual sugar and aromas, and resulting in a sweet wine with clean and raisined tastes that is generally served chilled. Because the juice is effectively being drained from raisins, the passito technique produces less wine than traditional vinification.
Vin Santo del Chianti
Wine prepared from dried grapes, also known as passito, is a process that has been employed for centuries in Italy, Greece, and occasionally Austria. After harvest, healthy grapes are purposely dried on straw mats or by hanging grape bunches from rafters, depending on the region. Dehydrating the grapes concentrates the sugar and tastes that are left in the grapes, yielding a sweet wine with clean, typically raisined, notes.
Because the juice is effectively being extracted from raisins, the passito procedure produces less wine than traditional vinification. As a result, these wines are more costly than their still-wine equivalents.
Recioto della Valpolicella
Its sweet red wine, Recioto della Valpolicella, is in line with the legendary red wines of this region in the Veneto. It is created from dried Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara grapes, and it is produced in the same manner as the region’s famous red wines. Traditionally, grapes are dried on straw mats or in lofts called fruttai, which guarantee that air flows through the grapes during the drying process, preventing mold from forming on the grapes themselves. Recioto producers will normally allow the wine to ripen until the alcohol concentration reaches around 14 percent alcohol by volume, after which they will cool the wine to halt fermentation and leave residual sugar in the wine.
Fun fact: According to folklore, the world-renowned Amarone Della Valpolicella was born after a Recioto grower made the mistake of allowing his wine to ripen to dryness!
Dessert Wine: Why It’s Different From Other Wines and How to Pair It
Recioto della Valpolicella is a sweet red wine made from dried Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara grapes, in line with the celebrated red wines of this region in the Veneto. The grapes are traditionally dried on straw mats or in lofts calledfruttai, which guarantee that air flows through the grapes during the drying process, preventing mold formation. When making Recioto wine, producers would often let their wine to mature until the alcohol level reaches approximately 14 percent before chilling their wine to cease fermentation and leave residual sugar in the bottle.
The renowned Amarone Della Valpolicella is said to have been developed by accident when a Recioto grower unintentionally allowed his wine to ripen to dryness!
What IsDessert Wine?
Dessert wine may be defined as any wine that is consumed during or after dessert in its broadest meaning. Dessert wine, to be more exact, is often sweet, has a distinct taste, and has a higher alcohol concentration. For example, Port, Madeira, Sherry, and late-harvest wines are all examples of late-harvest wines. Traditionnal dessert wines having an alcohol content of more than 15 percent by volume (ABV). Nonetheless, low-alcoholdessert wines with less than 10% alcohol by volume (ABV) are available, such Muscadet, Moscato d’Asti, and Brachetto d’Acqui.
- In other words, the amount of sugar that is left over after the fermentation process has taken place.
- A variety of methods were used by winemakers to create essert wines.
- It might be created from late-harvest grapes that have been allowed to raisinate and increase in sugar content as a result of being kept on the vine for a longer period of time.
- Alternatively, it may be sweetened by fortification, resulting in the production of fortified wines.
- While most dessert wines are on the sweeter side, there is a wide range of styles available under the category of dessert wines.
To be clear, dessert wines are not merely sweet, one-trick ponies, as you may have previously believed. They are deserving of a lot more recognition than that.
What to Look for inDessert Wine
Dessert wine can be defined as any wine that is consumed during or after a dessert course. Dessert wine, to be more exact, is often sweet, has a strong taste, and has a greater alcohol concentration than regular wine. For instance, Port, Madeira, Sherry, and late-harvest wines are all examples of late-harvest wines. Traditionnal dessert wines having an alcohol content of greater than 15 percent by volume (ABV). But there are certain low-alcoholdessert wines, like as Muscadet, Moscato d’Asti, and Brachetto d’Acqui, that have less than 10% alcohol by volume (ABV).
The quantity of sugar that remains after fermentation is, in other words, The sweetness of the wine is proportional to the amount of residual sugar present; the drier the wine is proportional to the amount of residual sugar present; A variety of techniques were used by winemakers to create essert wines.
- Alternatively, late-harvest grapes might be used, which have been allowed to raisinate and increase in sugar content while still on the vine.
- Alternatively, it may be sweetened by fortification, resulting in the production of fortified beverages.
- The majority of dessert wines are sweet, however there is a wide range of styles available within the category.
- To be clear, dessert wines are not simply sweet, one-trick ponies, as you may have previously believed.
- For those who don’t want a full-on sugar explosion on their taste, wines with a hint of sweetness are a good choice; otherwise, stay away from sweet wines.
Different Types ofDessert Winesand Food Pairings
While there are a plethora of wines that may be enjoyed with dessert, the ones that are featured below are the best examples of the genre. In order to avoid any unpleasant aftertaste when matching wine with sweet dessert, it’s recommended to pick a wine that is sweeter than the dessert itself. According to our enthralling guide on acidity in wine, sugar increases acidity, which is why dry wines taste harsh and sharp when served with sweet meals. With that in mind, here are many varieties of dessert wines, as well as delectable food combinations, that may enhance the flavor and overall experience of your dessert.
Despite the fact that it is best known as a sweet red wine, this fortified wine from Portugal is available in a variety of flavors ranging from deep reds to dry white and dry rosé varieties.
Chocolate cake, chocolate truffles, and salted caramel desserts are all wonderful pairings for the sweetly complex redtawny port and ruby port. Serve the white or roséport wines with stone fruit, strawberry angel food cake, or lemon meringue pie to complement the flavors of the wine.
Madeirais is a fortified wine produced in Portugal’s Madeirais region, and it is renowned for its nutty, brown sugar, and burned caramel flavors. This amber-hued wine may be enjoyed on its own after a dinner, or paired with sweets like as astoffeepudding, tiramisu, or spicy treats such as chocolate truffles coated with cayenne pepper.
Known for its honeyed aromas of apricot, peach, butterscotch, and caramel, this cherished (and frequently expensive)sweet wine from France’s Sauternais area inBordeaux is much sought after. Sauternesis one of the “noble rot wines,” which include TokajiAszu wine from Hungary and SpätleseRieslings from Germany. It is prepared from grapes that have been damaged by the botrytis cinereafungus. (This fungus, which sounds disgusting, increases the sweetness of grapes while also imparting a honeyed flavor and aromatic quality.) Served with fresh and dried fruit, as well as heavier sweets such as crème brulee, cheesecake, and custards, Sauternes is a fantastic dessert option.
This fortified wine comes from the country of Spain. Sherry is often served as an aperitif before a meal; however, why not try it after a hearty dinner when you’re looking to wind down? Fruit sweets like Pedro Ximénez are great accompaniments to crème brulee, vanilla ice cream, dark chocolate anything, or just enjoyed on their own as an after dinner treat.
Spaniards are the originators of this fortified wine. Although sherry is often served as an aperitif before a meal, why not try it as a digestif after a hearty dinner? Fruit desserts like Pedro Ximénez are wonderful accompaniments to crème brulee, vanilla ice cream, dark chocolate anything, or just enjoyed on their own as an after-dinner treat!
Another rot wine of distinction, the tongue-twisting Gewürztraminer is a sweet, fragrant wine from the Alsace region of France that has a pleasant sweetness to it. With its lovely floral and lychee overtones, this exquisite white wine pairs perfectly with any dessert that has lychee, pear, or peach as one of the major components, such as ice cream.
In addition to being known as Muscat Blanc in its native country of Italy, Moscato is an extremely popular white wine that has built a name for itself owing to the three F’s that best characterize its character: fizzy, fruity, and flowery. This dessert wine is perfect for enjoying on a spring day or a late summer evening. It is also incredibly flexible. You might serve it with poached pears, grilled peaches, fruit tarts, nutty treats such as biscotti, or whatever else you choose.
Ice wine, also known as Eiswein in German, is a particular sort of wine that is made from grapes that have been frozen while still on the vine. Due to the frigid environment required for the production of this dessert wine, it can only be produced in Germany and Canada.
(It’s also one of the reasons why it’s a somewhat expensive wine.) Consider matching the red grape type with chocolate desserts and the white grape variety with blue cheeses and cheesecake if you have the choice between the two.
It’s Time for Dessert in a Glass
Following your education on dessert wines, it’s time to put your newfound knowledge to use in a variety of real-world scenarios. Dessert wines, like any other type of wine, are characterized by a wide range of tastes and characteristics. Despite the fact that there are several “rules” associated with wine consumption, the basic line is that you are free to set your own guidelines. Don’t be afraid to experiment with a bottle of dry sparkling Brut or wonderfully crisp rosé to accompany those funfetti cupcakes you just brought out of the oven.
Who knows what will happen?
That’s the beauty of wine: no matter how you enjoy it, it is one of life’s joys that makes everything else a little bit easier to swallow.
How Sweet It Is: A Guide to Dessert Wine
An absolutely beautiful way to conclude a dinner. Because dessert wines are such a broad category, it is likely that you haven’t yet discovered the kind that suits your tastes and preferences. Sipping a dessert wine while enjoying a creamy flan, a slice of dark chocolate cake, or a cheese board is a fantastic way to end a dinner in the evening. Alternatively, skip dessert altogether and close the dinner on a sweet note with glasses of sauternes, ice wine, or port instead.
Dessert Wine Basics
It should come as no surprise that all dessert wines begin with grapes that have a high concentration of natural sugar. When that natural sugar is transformed into alcohol during the fermentation process, the wine is referred to be “dry.” Wines that have had all of the natural sugar fermented out of them are referred to as “sweet.” In the case of dessert wines, winemakers halt the fermentation process early in order to preserve the natural sweetness. Depending on the grape variety, dessert wines can range from a little hint of sweetness to a full-on sugar-bomb in terms of sweetness.
Sparkling Dessert Wine
Surprise, surprise, all dessert wines begin with grapes that contain a high concentration of natural sugars. When that natural sugar is transformed into alcohol during the fermentation process, the wine is referred to be “dry.” Wines that have had all of the sugar fermented out are referred to as “sweet.” The fermentation of dessert wines is stopped early in order to preserve the wine’s inherent sweetness. Depending on the grape variety, dessert wines can range from a little hint of sweetness to a full-on sugar-bomb in terms of sweetness and intensity.
Concentrated, Rich Dessert Wine
There are a few of different techniques for creating these exceptionally rich wines. Prior to crushing the grapes, procedures are performed to concentrate the sugar content of the grapes using any of the several ways. One method is to create a late-harvest wine, which involves keeping the grapes on the vine for as long as possible into the growing season in order to get maximum sugar levels, sometimes even until the first frost has arrived (known as ice wine). It is also possible to make wine using the passito process, in which grapes are dried on straw mats, resulting in delicious raisins that are then fermented into wine.
Toutes of these exquisite dessert wines have an opulent, thick texture with complex aromas of honey, marmalade, and spices to complement them.
Dried Dates and Blue Cheese or Blue Cheese Gougeres with Caramel and Salt are two traditional pairings that you should try out.
Fortified wines are typically between 18 and 20 percent alcohol by volume, making them ideal for keeping warm throughout the harsh winter months.
Ruby port, which has more dark, rich fruit to it and is a popular combination with chocolate truffles, whereas tawny port, which has more butterscotch, caramel, and nutty overtones, is a more recent addition to the family of port varieties. Try pairing a tawny port with a cheese plate for an after-dinner feast that will be remembered!
Sherry is a fortified wine produced in the Spanish region of Andaluca, on the country’s southern coast. The first crucial thing to know about sherry is that it ranges from bone-dry and delicate to crazily rich and syrupy, depending on the variety. For dessert, search for sherries in the following three types: cream, moscatel, and Pedro Ximenez. While dry varieties like as fino and Amontillado are popular as aperitifs and are making a reappearance on bar menus as the foundation for cocktails, dessert sherries should be sweet (PX).
PX sherry may be served over ice cream, and cream style sherries pair well with custard-based sweets such as flan or crème caramel, which are both popular in Spain.
Madeira is a fortified wine that was called for the island where it was produced, which is approximately four hundred kilometers off the coast of North Africa. From the fifteenth through the seventeenth century, the island of Madeira served as a port of call for ships sailing to the New World and the East Indian Ocean. The early Madeiras were produced as a wine that could withstand travel: brandy was frequently added to the barrels to keep the wine from deteriorating during the journey. The tremendous heat from travelling around the equator, along with the continual movement of the ships, resulted in the wine becoming organically concentrated and oxidized.
The fact that Madeira has previously been effectively “cooked” means that it is famed for never spoiling: there is Madeira from the late 18th century that is still wonderfully palatable today.