Dessert Wine

history of wine german wine culture of wine consuming wine  %tages Dessert WineDessert wines are sweet wines usually served with dessert.

A dessert wine is considered to be any sweet wine drunk with a meal, as opposed to the white fortified wines drunk before the meal, and the red fortified wines drunk after it. Thus, most fortified wines are compared as distinct from dessert wines.

In the United States, oppositely, a dessert wine is legally defined as any wine over 14% alcohol by volume, which includes all fortified wines. This dates back to a time when the US wine industry only made dessert wines by fortification, but such a classification is outdated now that modern yeast and viticulture can produce dry wines over 15% without fortification.

German dessert wines can contain half that amount of alcohol.

Winemakers want to produce a dessert wine containing high levels of both sugar and alcohol, yet the alcohol is made from sugar. There are many ways to increase sugar levels in the final wine:

  • Grow grapes so that they naturally have sugar to spare http://1000-facts-about-wine.com for both sweetness and alcohol.
  • Add alcohol before all the sugar is fermented, this is called fortification, or 'mutage'.
  • Add sugar.
  • Remove water to concentrate the sugar.

Honey was added to wine in early Roman times, for sweetness and to increase the final strength of the wine. Today sugar is usually added to boost the alcohol levels of flabby, unripe wines rather than for sweetness, although a degree of chaptalization is permitted in the wines of many countries. German wines must declare whether they are 'natural' or not; presently, chaptalization is banned from the top tiers of German wines.

The main rule in serving is that the wine should be sweeter than the food it is served with - a ripe peach has been described as the ideal partner for many dessert wines, whereas it makes sense not to drink wine at all with many chocolate-based dishes. Red dessert wines like Recioto della Valpolicella and fortified wines like the vin doux naturel Muscats http://1000-facts-about-wine.com are the best matches for such difficult-to-pair desserts.

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10 thoughts on “Dessert Wine

  1. Thanks for the article. Most dessert wines here only available in 375 mil. Planned desserts are, Pumpkin Chiffon Pie, Blackberry Cheesecake, Pears Pouched in a Maréchal Foch. 2 oz servings.

  2. It is a white dessert wine from France. I just want a few sips, but not sure if they spoil. Should I refrigerate after opening, too?

  3. Johnky, I was also looking for a good tasting, low alcohol content dessert wine. I preferred red. I really liked the electra brand.

  4. I’m looking to give a friend a bottle of Australian dessert wine as a thank you (he traveled there about 2 years ago and really like the wines there.) Hopefully, your site can help order some. Preferably from the Hunter Valley region.

  5. I had this drink in the beginning of the year and it was just the most wonderful. It was some sort of dessert wine and the hue was more of a nice yellow. On the cover was what I’m assuming to be a Hawaiian woman because she was wearing a lei.

  6. I’m looking for a good sparkling wine. I’m new to wine all together, and last night I had the best sparkling wine I’ve ever had. It tasted like the sparkling cider you give kids to drink on holidays. Sort of like sparkling grape juice with alcohol. I don’t remember the brand, only the taste. I’ve had others that tasted to dry and winey, and kind of hard to enjoy. But I would like a suggestion on a good sweet dessert sparkling wine.

  7. I lived in virginia for awhile and have moved back to maine. I loved the Abisso at linganore wines however they do not sell it up here. I plan to order from linganor however I need the equivelnt for a sweet dessert wine for the dinner I am putting on tonight. Something with at least a 12% residual sugar.

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