Dessert Wine: Why It’s Different From Other Wines and How to Pair It
In the minds of many, the word “dessert wine” conjures up images of syrupy concoctions that leave a bitter taste in the mouth. For after all, in today’s health-conscious age of low-sugar wines, keto diets, and carb-free living, who wants to drink a cloyinglysweet wine that may send your insulin levels skyrocketing and leave a sticky feeling on your tongue for hours after you’ve finished your glass? (It’s possible that there are a handful of you out there.) While the increasing popularity of dry wines (that is, wines that are not sweet) might appear to spell the end of sweet wines, this is not necessarily the case.
To that end, please allow us to provide you with some background information about dessert wine and how it differs from other types of wines.
What IsDessert Wine?
Dessert wine may be defined as any wine that is consumed during or after dessert in its broadest meaning. Dessert wine, to be more exact, is often sweet, has a distinct taste, and has a higher alcohol concentration. For example, Port, Madeira, Sherry, and late-harvest wines are all examples of late-harvest wines. Traditionnal dessert wines having an alcohol content of more than 15 percent by volume (ABV). Nonetheless, low-alcoholdessert wines with less than 10% alcohol by volume (ABV) are available, such Muscadet, Moscato d’Asti, and Brachetto d’Acqui.
- In other words, the amount of sugar that is left over after the fermentation process has taken place.
- A variety of methods were used by winemakers to create essert wines.
- It might be created from late-harvest grapes that have been allowed to raisinate and increase in sugar content as a result of being kept on the vine for a longer period of time.
- Alternatively, it may be sweetened by fortification, resulting in the production of fortified wines.
- While most dessert wines are on the sweeter side, there is a wide range of styles available under the category of dessert wines.
To be clear, dessert wines are not merely sweet, one-trick ponies, as you may have previously believed. They are deserving of a lot more recognition than that.
What to Look for inDessert Wine
Dessert wines, as previously said, are available in a variety of sweetness levels and are available in both red and white wines. Enjoying these mouthwatering sippers with dessert or as dessert in and of itself is recommended. Furthermore, it’s important to note that dessert wines are designed to be served in little wine glasses, similar to the way you’d sip on a snifter of whiskey or bourbon. (Although we must admit that we are great supporters of single-serve wine bottles that eliminate the need for a glass entirely.) If you desire a sweet dessert wine, you will get a sweet dessert wine.
With dessert or as a treat on its own, these mouth-watering sippers are a must-try!
However, we must confess that we are great supporters of single-serve wine bottles, which eliminate the need for a glass entirely.
Keep an eye out for the words listed below while you’re reading wine labels:
Different Types ofDessert Winesand Food Pairings
While there are a plethora of wines that may be enjoyed with dessert, the ones that are featured below are the best examples of the genre. In order to avoid any unpleasant aftertaste when matching wine with sweet dessert, it’s recommended to pick a wine that is sweeter than the dessert itself. According to our enthralling guide on acidity in wine, sugar increases acidity, which is why dry wines taste harsh and sharp when served with sweet meals. With that in mind, here are many varieties of dessert wines, as well as delectable food combinations, that may enhance the flavor and overall experience of your dessert.
Despite the fact that it is best known as a sweet red wine, this fortified wine from Portugal is available in a variety of flavors ranging from deep reds to dry white and dry rosé varieties. Chocolate cake, chocolate truffles, and salted caramel desserts are all wonderful pairings for the sweetly complex redtawny port and ruby port. Serve the white or roséport wines with stone fruit, strawberry angel food cake, or lemon meringue pie to complement the flavors of the wine.
Madeirais is a fortified wine produced in Portugal’s Madeirais region, and it is renowned for its nutty, brown sugar, and burned caramel flavors. This amber-hued wine may be enjoyed on its own after a dinner, or paired with sweets like as astoffeepudding, tiramisu, or spicy treats such as chocolate truffles coated with cayenne pepper.
Known for its honeyed aromas of apricot, peach, butterscotch, and caramel, this cherished (and frequently expensive)sweet wine from France’s Sauternais area inBordeaux is much sought after. Sauternesis one of the “noble rot wines,” which include TokajiAszu wine from Hungary and SpätleseRieslings from Germany. It is prepared from grapes that have been damaged by the botrytis cinereafungus.
(This fungus, which sounds disgusting, increases the sweetness of grapes while also imparting a honeyed flavor and aromatic quality.) Served with fresh and dried fruit, as well as heavier sweets such as crème brulee, cheesecake, and custards, Sauternes is a fantastic dessert option.
This fortified wine comes from the country of Spain. Sherry is often served as an aperitif before a meal; however, why not try it after a hearty dinner when you’re looking to wind down? Fruit sweets like Pedro Ximénez are great accompaniments to crème brulee, vanilla ice cream, dark chocolate anything, or just enjoyed on their own as an after dinner treat.
This delicious sparkling wine from Germany is available in a variety of sweetness levels. Its inherent acidity helps to cut through the sweetness of the dish, making it a wonderful companion to a cheese course or cheesecake after dinner. Serve a sweeter Spätlese with citrus-based sweets such as lemon pound cake or lemon cream pie if you have a sweeter Spätlese on hand. Pear tarts and sorbet are also delicious desserts that go together like peanut butter and jelly.
There are several levels of sweetness in this delicious German sparkling wine. As a result of its inherent acidity, it is an excellent companion to a sweet cheese course or cheesecake after a meal of rich, savory dishes. Serve a sweeter Spätlese with citrus-based sweets such as lemon pound cake or lemon cream pie if you have a sweeter Spätlese available. Pear tarts and sorbet are both delicious desserts that go together like peanut butter and jelly on toast.
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.
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 incredibly adaptable, and it is ideal for enjoying on a spring day or a late summer evening. Serve with poached pears, grilled peaches, fruit pies, nutty sweets like as biscotti, or whatever else takes your fancy!
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? It’s possible that you’ll enjoy it. 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.
A Beginner’s Guide To Dessert Wine
The moment has come for you to put your newly acquired knowledge of dessert wine to use in some real-life scenarios. The tastes and attributes of dessert wines are as diverse as those of any other type of wine. Despite the fact that there are several “rules” associated with the consumption of wine, the basic line is that you are free to set your own. If you want to drink a bottle of dry sparkling Brutordeliciously crisp rosé with those funfetti cupcakes that you just brought out of the oven, by all means, give it a go.
Who knows what the future holds for us.
What makes wine so special is that it can be enjoyed in a variety of ways and can make everything else in life a little bit easier to swallow.
How Sweet It Is: A Guide to Dessert Wine
Following your education on dessert wines, it’s time to put your newfound knowledge to use in some real-world settings. Dessert wines, like any other type of wine, come in a range of tastes and attributes. Despite the fact that there are several “rules” associated with wine consumption, the basic line is that you may set your own rules. Please do try it if you want to enjoy a bottle of dry sparkling Brutordeliciously crisp rosé with those funfetti cupcakes that you just taken out of the oven.
Who knows what the future holds?
That’s the beauty of wine: no matter how you enjoy it, it’s one of life’s joys that makes everything else a little bit easier to swallow.
Dessert Wine Basics
It should come as no surprise that all dessert wines begin with grapes that have a high concentration of natural sugar. When that natural sugar is transformed into alcohol during the fermentation process, the wine is referred to be “dry.” Wines that have had all of the natural sugar fermented out of them are referred to as “sweet.” In the case of dessert wines, winemakers halt the fermentation process early in order to preserve the natural sweetness. Depending on the grape variety, dessert wines can range from a little hint of sweetness to a full-on sugar-bomb in terms of sweetness.
Sparkling Dessert Wine
If you’re looking for something light, sweet, and delicate, sparkling dessert wines are the way to go. The bubbles in these wines, which are light, effervescent, and often low in alcohol, make them joyful and enjoyable to drink at any time of day. Look for sweet sparkling wines derived from grapes such as muscat, brachetto, riesling, or torrontes.
When served with fresh fruit desserts such as an Orange and Yogurt Tart or a simple Fruit Platter with Whipped Ricotta, these wines are perfect for brunch. port-wine-glass-0215
Concentrated, Rich Dessert Wine
For something light, sugary, and delicate, sparkling dessert wines are a good choice to consider. This type of wine is celebratory and enjoyable at any time of day because of its light, effervescent, low-alcohol content. Wines created from sweet grapes such as muscat, brachetto, riesling, or torrontes are ideal for entertaining. When served with fresh fruit desserts such as an Orange and Yogurt Tart or a simple Fruit Platter with Whipped Ricotta, these wines are fantastic for brunch. port-wine-glass-0215
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.
Dessert wine – Wikipedia
Originally from an island four hundred kilometers off the coast of North Africa, Madeira is a fortified wine that bears its name after the region where it was developed. Ships sailing to the New World and the East Indies stopped at Madeira from the fifteenth through the seventeenth century, according to historians. To make the earliest Madeiras, winemakers needed a wine that could withstand transportation: brandy was frequently added to the barrels to keep them from deteriorating while in transit.
As a result, similar natural effects are replicated at the winery today; for example, in the highest-quality Madeira, the wines are aged in oak barrels exposed to direct sunlight, where they gradually develop as a result of the island’s warm and humid environment; 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!
With Sticky Toffee Pudding or Hazelnut Cookies, try a Madeira (though perhaps not a 200-year-old one! ).
Methods of production
Château d’Yquem 1999, a noble rot wine from the Loire Valley Dessert wine producers are interested in producing a wine that contains high quantities of both sugar and alcohol. Because all winemaking results in the production of alcohol through the fermentation of carbohydrates, they are often traded off. However, there are a variety of methods for increasing the relative sugar levels in the finished wine:
- Grow grapes such that they naturally contain enough sugar for both sweetness and alcohol
- Add sugar in one of the following ways:
- Sugar or honey (Chaptalization) is added before fermentation
- Unfermented must (Süssreserve) is added after fermentation.
- Prior to the completion of the sugar fermentation process (fortification or’mutage ‘), remove water from the sugar solution to concentrate the sugar solution:
- In warm areas, raisin wine may be produced by drying the grapes in the open air. In colder locations, you may produce ice wine by freezing off a portion of the water. When growing grapes in moist temperate areas, a fungal infection called Botrytis cinerea is used to desiccate the grapes, which causes noble rot.
A late harvest Semillon from the state of Washington. In the lack of alternative methods, producers of dessert wines are forced to create their own sugar in the vineyard. Some grape varietals, such as Muscat, Ortega, and Huxelrebe, yield significantly more sugar than others due to their genetic makeup. Final sugar levels are greatly influenced by environmental factors; thevigneroncan assist by leaving the grapes on the vine until they are fully ripe, as well as by green picking and trimming to expose the young grapes to the light.
While the vigneron has little control over the sun, a sunny year helps to keep sugar levels under control.
However, most of the Muscats from antiquity, including the famousConstantiaof South Africa, were very certainly created in this manner.
Honey was used to sweeten wine in ancient Rome, and it was also used to 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.
It is a German winemaking method in which unfermented must (grape juice) is added to the wine after the fermentation process has completed. It sweetens the finished wine and dilutes the alcohol slightly; in Germany, the final wine cannot contain more than 15 percent Süssreserve by volume, and it must be sweeter than that. 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 by the alcohol.
Because sulphites are required to prevent fermentation, this process helps to minimize the amount of sulphites used in food production. Others, notably in New Zealand, who create German-style wines utilize Süssreserve as a starting point.
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
Grapes for ice wine must be gathered when temperatures are below 7 degrees Celsius (19 degrees Fahrenheit), according to most state statutes. During such temperatures, some water in the grapes freezes, but the sugars and other substances in the grape juice stay dissolved. A particularly concentrated must can be produced if the grapes are crushed while frozen, necessitating the use of specific yeast and a lengthy fermentation period. Because of this, the resultant wines are quite sweet, yet their acidity helps to keep them in proportion.
Germany’s Eiswein and Canada’s Icewine are the most well-known, but ice wines are also produced in lesser numbers in other countries such as: the United States, Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Italy, Australia, France, and New Zealand.
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. Red dessert wines should be served at room temperature or slightly cooled to enhance their flavor.
- “The seven most important sorts of white wines.” Süssreserve was retrieved on April 27, 2019. Archived 2007-03-10 at the Wayback Machineon the Wine Dictionary website
- Amerine and Maynard’s “Wine.” Encyclopedia Britannica is a reputable reference work. Encyclopedia Britannica is a reputable reference work. Shoemaker, Ted (27 April 2019)
- Shoemaker, Ted (6 December 2013). “German Ice Wine Regulations Have Been Tightened.” This is according to Wine Spectator. retrieved on March 20, 2021
- CooksInfo is a website dedicated to providing information about cooking (4 October 2020). “Ice Wine,” as the name suggests. Cook’s Information, retrieved on March 20, 2021
- “The Beautiful Bounty of Botrytized Wines,” retrieved on March 20, 2021. Wine Enthusiast Magazine is a publication dedicated to wine enthusiasts. Steve Kolpan, Michael A. Weiss, and Brian H. Smith have published a paper in Science (2014). Winewise: Your Complete Guide to Understanding, Selecting, and Enjoying Wine is a comprehensive guide to understanding, selecting, and enjoying wine (2nd ed.). Jancis Robinson, MW, “Tokaji,” in Jancis Robinson, MW (ed. ), Jancis Robinson’s Concise Wine Companion (Oxford:Oxford University Press, 2001), pp. 469–471, ISBN0-19-866274-2
- Gorman-McAdams, Mary. “Delicious Dessert Wines for Dessert Week.” Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN978-0-54433462-5 The Kitchn, retrieved on April 27, 2019
- “Three of the Best Italian Dessert Wines,” retrieved on April 27, 2019. Italy, November 12th, 2014
- Jeanne O’Brien Coffey is the author (20 November 2017). Sauternes is the perfect holiday wine for everything from appetizers to desserts, as revealed by Wine Spectator. Forbes
- Dessert wine is defined in the Wiktionary dictionary as follows:
How To Drink Sweet Wines Like A Pro
“The wine of kings, and the kings of wines,” as Louis XIV referred to Tokaj’s delicate, sweet asz wines, which are known for their elegance and sweetness. Sweet wines from throughout the world, ranging from off-dryRiesling to effervescentMoscato to full-on dessert wines like asz or its French counterpartSauternes, may be a very excellent complement for a variety of cuisines and events. Many of us have had a bad experience with a flabby, painfully sweet Moscato or an excessively sugared Riesling, and as a result, we have vowed to never drink sweet wines again.
- What is the point of drinking sweet wines?
- It is true that sweet wine contains residual sugar, because the yeasts did not eat all of the sugar during the fermentation process.
- In addition, they have the capacity to complement the tastes of food in a way that is not always possible with dry wines.
- Don’t let a drop pass you by!
- Here are a few examples of truly excellent sweet wines, as well as some recommendations for what to serve them together.
Forget about that Nicki Minaj Fusion Moscato you were drinking earlier. True aperitivo is produced in a traditional manner, tastes excellent, and is adaptable – it may be served as an appetizer or as a dessert. In most cases, the grape used to make this frizzante (lightly bubbly) wine is Moscato Bianco. When properly prepared, good Moscato has a rich perfume of wildflowers, peaches, and lemon curd that comes naturally from the grape. It is expected that the highest-quality Moscato will come from the DOCG region of Asti in Piemonte – and that it will be called “Moscato d’Asti” as a result.
Pairing Suggestions: Do as the Italians do and have an aperitivo consisting of Moscato, charcuterie, olives, and miniature sandwiches.
It was common throughout the 1980s and 1990s to see “Riesling” branded on bulk-produced white wine, even though it was more likely to be a combination of inexpensive white grapes with a large amount of sugar added to it. Due to this, Riesling has earned an unjustly terrible reputation, but thankfully, winemakers in Germany (the grape’s original country) and other countries have worked hard to restore the grape’s reputation via meticulous vineyard and winery management. Stunning off-dry and sweet Riesling may be produced because Riesling has naturally strong acidity and minerality, which allows the wines to develop a great level of complexity.
Complement with: It goes without saying that an off-dry (Kabinett) Riesling is an excellent match for incredibly spicy Asian food, whether it’s from Thailand, India, or Szechuan.
In addition to pairing perfectly with a fruit pie if you can get your hands on a bottle of fully-sweet Riesling (Auslese, Spatlese, or Beerentrockenlese), it’s also fantastic with fatty pig slices in a main course since the sweetness pairs beautifully with the fat.
It is created from botrytized Semillon grapes from Bordeaux and is a high-priced, excellent, sweet, limited-production wine with a long shelf life. A favorable rot known as botrytis develops when grapes are left on the vines late in the harvest season, increasing their ripeness and sweetness factor while simultaneously decreasing their alcohol content. Botrytis is a critical component in the production of dessert wines because it increases the amount of sugar in the wine and reduces the amount of alcohol in the wine.
Pour Sauternes with the stinkiest cheese you can find and a slice of pie to accompany it.
It is created from botrytized Semillon grapes from Bordeaux and is a high-priced, excellent, sweet wine with a limited output. A favorable rot known as botrytis develops when grapes are left on the vines late in the harvest season, increasing their ripeness and sweetness factor while simultaneously decreasing their alcohol content. Botrytis is a critical component in the production of dessert wines because it is a key component in the production of dessert wines. Because of the acidity in the Semillon grape, Sauternes may be aged indefinitely, and the older a bottle you can discover, the more amazingly complex it will be, with tastes ranging from dried apricots to baked peaches to freshly picked flowers.
The process of making ice wine is incredible: in the middle of winter, courageous winemakers venture out into the vineyards and collect grapes that have frozen on the vine, before fermenting them in a cold cellar. It’s a time-consuming process that many wineries would rather avoid; as a result, some of them manufacture ice wine by simply freezing the grapes after harvesting them and then adding sugar to the mixture. To put it another way, authentic ice wine is a rare pleasure. It is often sourced from Canada, the Finger Lakes, or Germany, and is prepared from Riesling or a cold-hardy hybrid varietal, such as Vidal Blanc, to provide a crisp, refreshing taste.
If you get your hands on a bottle, you’ll be overjoyed!
Port is a fortified wine produced in Portugal’s Douro Valley that has just the right amount of sweetness to go perfectly with your Thanksgiving pies and desserts. Ruby Port, which is the least costly and youngest of the Port varieties, and Tawny Port, which is kept in barrels for a longer period of time to develop a darker hue. Old Tawny Port is aged in oak barrels for at least six years, during which time it acquires a delicate, silky texture that is a superb complement to a memorable dinner.
With: At the end of your dinner, serve Port with a piece of room-temperature blue cheese, and you will be in heaven. Make it even better by adding a square of ultra-dark chocolate. Originally published on December 10, 2015.
Why don’t we drink dessert wine?
A dessert wine is one of those things that wine connoisseurs adore in principle, but find difficult to make in practice. Sure, we all know that Sauternes, Madeira, Tokaji, and German TBA are among of the world’s best wines, but did you realize that there are many more? However, how frequently do we actually consume them? This subject came up during a recent visit to the Philip Togni Vineyard, located on Spring Mountain in the Napa Valley. It goes without saying that I paid a visit to the Togni family because I like their Cabernet Sauvignons, which I consider to be some of the most exquisite, long-lived, and unique that can be found in California.
- Ca’Togni is a wine created from the Black Hamburg grape, sometimes known as Black Muscat or Black Muscat Blanc.
- “Why don’t we produce something special for ourselves?” he wondered, in addition to the obvious Cabernet.
- He planted a half-acre of crops.
- It was sent to South Africa, where Klein Constantia transformed it into a sweet wine that became famous across the world.
- ), the majority of those acres are in Tulare County.
- As it happens, the Ca’Togni wine has an almost magical ability to smell like roses: it’s like burying your nose in a mound of fresh, soft, and unbelievably fragrant petals.
- The resultant wine has around 14 percent alcohol and 350 grams of sugar per liter of wine.
Ca’Togni, on the other hand, will no longer exist.
By that moment, the initial half-acre parcel had been reduced to a quarter-acre in size.
And it’s possible that this is for the best.
Aside from the fact that he first planted Black Hamburg in order to have something to drink for himself, he acknowledges that he doesn’t drink dessert wine at the end of meals any longer either.
The winemaker chuckles, “We don’t drink a lot of our own wine.” Occasionally, when we’re celebrating a particular event or having dessert, we’ll do it.” Quady recalls how difficult it was for him to maintain his fortified sweet wines in stock in the 1980s.
“We saw a significant decrease in restaurant and dessert sales, as well as a significant decrease in our overall sales,” he says.
It is estimated that Elysium and its white equivalent, Essencia, account for just approximately 5% of total sales.
It’s been years since I’ve opened the bottles of Sauternes and Tokaji that have been collecting dust on my wine shelves at home.
I’m a bit more receptive to opening Madeira, another favorite sweet wine, because it will hold for several months if kept in the refrigerator and sealed with a cork, which is what I do.
But don’t tell anyone that.
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Upon receiving the news that the vines had been removed, I had a flashback to Joni Mitchell’s music.
Despite the fact that I am unlikely to incorporate regular dessert-wine consumption into my daily routine anytime soon, I am committing to trying to adopt the dessert-wine mentality: to slow down, to pause a little longer at the end of a meal before rushing up to do the dishes, to let the conversation linger as long as possible.
- What I’m currently consuming Ca’Togni will be available for purchase for a few more years, since the Tognis release the wine after five years of maturation.
- However, if you’re only interested in dipping your toes into Black Muscat, I recommend starting with the more cheap varieties.
- With only 15 percent alcohol, it’s a little more approachable than your average fortified, Port-style wine, and it has a nice backbone of acidity to balance off the sweetness.
- What I’m currently reading At True Laurel, on Sunday, July 7, 2019, bartender Jared Murray, left, smiles while Bar Director Nicolas Torres experiments with a cocktail shaker, according to the restaurant’s website.
- Shanna Farrell, a local cocktail historian, has written a fantastic piece for us this week about the delicate relationship between bartenders and alcoholic beverages.
Shanna argues that “the debate about sobriety is typically black and white, with no middle ground – all or nothing — with no middle ground.” “However, it is possible that the bartending community will be at the forefront in redefining this.” Robb Report published an article by long-time San Francisco sommelier David Lynch (who also happens to be a James Beard Award-winning wine writer!) in which he discusses what is wrong with most restaurants’ by-the-glass offerings.
- Apparently unaware of the fact that he was carrying the new “Everlane of booze,” according to Punch’s Leslie Pariseau, my friend Dan took a bottle of Haus aperitif to a Fourth of July cookout last week.
- Chef Douglas Keane has announced that he would no longer be attempting to bring the iconic restaurant back to life, seven years after it shuttered.
- The use of fruit in the fermenting process is currently subject to the requirement of a wine license.) As far as I can tell, the new legislation is an acknowledgement that fruit beers and wine-beer hybrids are becoming increasingly popular in the craft beer industry.
drinking with esther is a weekly email from the wine critic of the Chronicle of Higher Education. Follow along on Twitter: @Esther Mobley and @Esther Mobleyand Instagram:@esthermob
4 Facts About Dessert Wines You Should Know
|If you want to spoil your sweet tooth right after every meal, you can opt to enjoy the whole meal and end it with a delectable dessert wine. Dessert wines refer to wines that are generally served after meals together with the desert. However, this particular kind of wine can also be gulped on its own – that is even without those sugary desserts. Among the most popular dessert are trockenbeerenauslese, Sauternes, beerenauslese, and Tokaji Asz?. For more tips about dessert wines, below are some facts about these extremely sweet wines: 1. Dessert wines are mainly produced from special fruits that were left to ripen on the vine. The main purpose of this is to make the flavor stronger. The kinds of fruits used in making dessert wines are the ones that define the overall taste or flavor of the wine. 2. In the United States, dessert wines generally contains 14% alcohol, though, it may contain than 14%. During the ancient times, dessert wines were primarily used as table wines. For this reason, ancient dessert wines only contain 12.5% alcohol or less. This means that the alcohol content is so mild that you can almost drink it as a substitute for water or any beverages during meal. 3. The more ripened the fruit is, the more alcohol is generated when produced into dessert wine. Majority of these wines are classified as unfortified and dry wine or those wines that don’t have spirits in them like brandy. Addition of spirits during the wines fermentation is the process of fortifying the wine.4. Majority of the dessert wines are not alcoholic beverages. A lot of dessert wines has less alcohol in them. The Germans produced most of the low alcohol or non-alcohol wines. And most of these types of dessert wines has minimum amount of alcohol and up to about 8% at most.Given all these facts, dessert wines aren’t just wines suited for desserts, as its name suggests. With their remarkable features, the possibilities of enjoying dessert wines are definitely endless.At the early stage of fermentation, adding spirits will result to sweeter wine. However, its alcohol content is raised to as much as 15% to 20% upon the swift concoction of alcohol~Nonetheless, the alcohol content in it will be raised to between 15% to 20% upon the swift concoction of alcohol. Although there are wines that are not fortified that can still have the level of alcohol content in them reach up to 15%. Those types of wines like the Zinfandels, attract higher tax rates charges.|
What Exactly Is Dessert Wine?
Dessert wine is a word that shows up every now and again, but it’s one that many wine enthusiasts, especially those who are new to the world of wine, are a little perplexed by. What does a glass of wine have to do with a sweet dessert after dinner? A dessert wine is, first and foremost, a wine with a high level of sweetness, such that it may be served with a sweet dessert. One of the most fundamental rules for creating a harmonious pairing of food and wine is that the meal should never be sweeter than the wine itself.
It is likely that the wine would have a sour note if you were to drink it with a sweet dessert when it was neither sweet or “dry.”
How Do You Get Wine To Be So Sweet That It Matches With Desserts?
It is possible to use three different ways in general. The most well-known and straightforward is arguably the dessert wine, which is prepared from grapes that are extremely ripe, or even overripe. These grapes are harvested at a very late point in their development. During the fermentation process, sugar is generated in the grapes to such a great degree that the grapes retain a high degree of sweetness after being transformed into wine. Winemakers go even farther to produce exceptionally high-quality dessert wines of this sort, hoping for an infection of their vines by so-called noble rot in order to produce a particularly high-quality dessert wine.
Rare and highly sought-after “Beerenauslese” or “Trockenbeerenauslesen” wines made from grapes afflicted with noble rot are among the most well-known examples of such wines.
Dessert Wine: The Very Special Ice Wine
In order to concentrate the nutrients and sugars in the grapes, each kind of rareice wine employs a particular method of concentration. It is very uncommon for vintners to leave their grapes hanging on their vines until late in the season, hoping for an early frost. The frozen grapes are plucked as soon as the temperature drops to 19°F / -7°C or below, and the juice is squeezed out as soon as possible. Because the water in the grapes has been frozen, the water has been kept in the grapes during the freezing process.
The so-called liqueur wines are a third category of dessert wines, and they include, for example, port wine and the Muscat wines of Southern France, among others.
Dessert wines are not only excellent with sweet desserts, but they are also excellent with spicy cheeses.
The fruity sweetness of the wine helps to cut through the salty qualities of the cheese and make it more enjoyable. Try it with a traditional cheese like Roquefort or Stilton to see what you think.
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.
- Gewürztraminer Alsace, Alto-Adige (Italy), California, and New Zealand are all places where you may get this extremely flowery wine with modest alcohol content: Riesling Available in both dry styles (which are popular in Australia, Alsace, and the United States) and sweeter styles (which are more usually found in Germany). A wine with a high level of natural acidity, which helps to cut through the sweetness of the flavor
- Müller-Thurgau A less common type, also from Germany, that may be found in some regions of Oregon and has flowery scents and a little softer acidity than the other varieties. Porch wine is a classic and is especially good with sausages. Chenin Blanc is a white wine produced in France. When it comes to Chenin Blanc, a sweeter flavor is more frequent in the United States, although it is also produced in significant quantities in South Africa and France’s Loire Valley region. When purchasing Chenin Blanc, pay close attention to the label because many South African and French producers produce dry versions that taste more like a dry Sauvignon Blanc
- When purchasing Viognier, pay close attention to the label because many South African and French producers create dry versions that taste more like a dry Sauvignon Blanc
- The majority of the time, viognier is not sweet. However, because it is an aromatic grape type, you might occasionally encounter it in a fruit-driven style that smells like peaches and perfume. It has a thick, oily texture on the palate. This kind of Viognier may be found exclusively in Condrieu AOP (Rhône Valley) in France
- It is also known as “Condrieu Blanc.”
Richly Sweet Dessert Wine
With the best quality fruits and in an unfortified manner, these richly sweet wines are produced. Sugar and acidity allow many of these wines to retain their fresh flavor even after 50 years or more in the bottle. For example, the HungarianTokaji (pronounced “toe-kye”) was a favorite of the Tzars of Russia, while South African Constantia was a favorite of both the Dutch and the English.
The FrenchSauternes was a favorite of Americans in the early 1800’s and is still popular today. There are numerous methods for producing highly sweet dessert wines, and you may gain a better understanding of them by looking at how they are prepared.
Late harvest refers to precisely what it says on the tin. With each additional day that grapes are allowed to hang on the vine, they get progressively sweeter and more raisinated, culminating in grapes with concentrated sweetness. “Vendage Tardive” is the term used in Alsace to describe late harvest, whereas “Spätlese” is used in Germany to describe late harvest. Late harvest wines can be made from any grape that has been left on the vine. Having said that, late-harvest wines made from Chenin Blanc, Sémillon, and Riesling grapes are becoming increasingly popular.
Noble rot is caused by a kind of spore known as Botrytis cinerea, which feeds on fruits and vegetables. Noble rot, despite the fact that it sounds (and seems) awful, imparts distinct notes of ginger, saffron, and honey to sweet wines. There are several different varieties of dessert wines derived from noble rot grapes that are widely available.
- Sauternais Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc are blended together in Sauternes, Barsac, Cadillac, and Monbazillac to produce a rich, golden-hued sweet wine. A collection of French Appellations in and around Bordeaux, including Sauternes, Barsac, Cadillac, and Monbazillac
- Tokaji Tokaji Asz is a Hungarian wine created from Furmint grapes
- Auslese, BA, and TBA Riesling (BA = Beerenauslese, TBA = Trockenbeerenauslese)
- And Auslese, BA, and TBA Riesling (BA = Beerenauslese, TBA = Trockenbeerenauslese). Auslese is the first level of the German Pradikat system (a sweetness labeling system), and it has a larger proportion of botrytis-affected grapes than any other level. In addition to being sweeter than German Rieslings from the “QbA” and “Kabinett” varieties, they often have a greater alcohol content.
The grapes are put out on straw mats to raisinate prior to being used in the winemaking process (also known as “Passito”).
- Italian Vin Santo is prepared from the grapes Trebbiano and Malvasia and has a rich, nutty taste that is similar to that of dates. It is possible to find 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.
- 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. 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 ferments properly. There is a succession of winemaking procedures that follow after this that result in the various wine types that are described further down.
Sherry is produced in the Spanish region of Andalusia. Palomino, Pedro Ximénez (a grape, not a person), and Moscatel grapes are used in the production of the wines. Wines are made from varied proportions of the three grapes and are intentionally oxidized in order to generate nutty aromatics in the final product.
- Fino(dry) The lightest and driest of all the Sherries, with acidic and nutty notes
- The most popular of all the Sherries. Manzanilla(dry) In a more specialized location, Fino Sherry is produced in a distinct style that is even lighter in color than Fino. Palo Cortado (Corked Palo Cortado) (dry) A significantly richer kind of sherry that has been matured for a longer period of time, resulting in a deeper color and a fuller taste. This type of wine is normally dry, although it will include fruit and nut aromas due to the saline in the air. Amontillado is a kind of tequila (mostly dry) An old sherry that develops nutty notes reminiscent of peanut butter and butterscotch
- Oloroso(dry) Because of the evaporation of water as the wine matures, this sherry has a greater alcohol concentration than other sherries of the same age. In comparison to Sherry, this is more like scotch. Cream Sherry is a kind of sherry that is made using cream and sherry (sweet) When Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez Sherry are blended, the result is a sweet kind of Sherry. Moscatel(sweet) The tastes of fig and date are prominent in this sweet sherry. Pedro Ximénez (PX) is a Venezuelan politician (very sweet) It’s a really sweet sherry with notes of brown sugar and figs in it.
Madeira is a type of wine produced on the island of Madeira, which is located in the center of the Atlantic Ocean, utilizing up to four distinct grape varieties. Madeira is distinct from other wines in that it is produced through a process that includes heating and oxidation – processes that would normally “ruin” a wine in the traditional sense. The end product is a full-bodied fortified wine with notes reminiscent of walnuts, saltiness, and an oiliness on the tongue. Because of the four distinct grapes that are utilized, Madeira wines range from dry to sweet, making them a great choice to serve with a meal or even as a pre-dinner drink before supper.
- RainwaterMadeira When a label just states “Madeira” or “Rainwater,” presume that it is a combination of all four grapes and that it is somewhere in the center of the sweetness spectrum. Sercial(dry) Sercial is the driest and lightest of all the grapes grown in Madeira, and it is also the most expensive. Typically, these wines will have greater acidity and be more dry, with hints of peaches and apricot in the bouquet. It is fairly rare to find Sercial Madeira that has been aged for more than 100 years. Verdelho(dry) When let to age, Verdelho will acquire nutty flavors of almond and walnut that will complement the citrus notes. Bual(sweet) It has a sweet flavor profile, with flavors of burned caramel, brown sugar, fig, rootbeer, and black walnut in the background. Although there are numerous well-aged 50-70-year-old Bual Madeira available, it is typical to find 10-year-old’medium’ (meaning: medium sweet) Bual Madeira. Malmsey(sweet) Malmsey Madeiras include orange citrus overtones and caramel to their taste, in addition to the oily oxidized nutty flavor that is characteristic of the region.
Vin Doux Naturel (VDN)
Vin Doux Naturel is produced in a similar manner as Port, with a base wine being produced and a neutral grape brandy being added at the end. The word vin doux naturel is derived from France, however this designation may be used to any wine from any country.
- VDN is made from Grenache grapes. For example, Maury, Rasteau, and Banyuls from the Languedoc-Roussillon region are typical of the southern region of France. Muscat-based VDN Muscat de Rivesaltes, Muscat de Frotignan, Muscat de Beaumes de Venise, Ruthernglen Muscat (Australia), Orange Muscat, and Vin Santo Liquoroso (Italy)
- Muscat-based VDN Muscat de Rivesaltes, Muscat de Frotignan, Muscat de Beaumes de Venise, Ruthernglen Muscat (Australia), Orange Muscat, and Vin Santo Liquoros VDN is based in Malvasia. Malvasia delle Lipari Liquoroso, for example, is mostly from Italy and Sicily. Mavrodaphni (Greek for “sweet red wine”) is a sweet red wine produced in Greece that has many characteristics to Port.