Dessert Wine

Dessert wine is known for its high sugar content, achieved through late harvesting, fortification, or the use of special grape varieties. The sweetness is balanced by acidity, making them pleasant to drink. These wines capture and enhance the flavours they are paired with, making them popular with wine lovers.

The grape varieties used in dessert wine are critical to their flavours. Muscat grapes often produce wines with floral and fruity notes. At the same time, Riesling can add crisp acidity and stone fruit to dessert wines. In addition, the production method – such as late harvest, Ice Wine – adds unique characteristics ranging from rich, honeyed flavours to fresh, vibrant acidity.

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Ice Wine Cabernet Sauvignon dessert wine captivates from the first glance.

Notes of quince jam and strawberry dance gracefully. As you take a sip, the wine unfolds on the palate with intensity and persistence.

The harmony of strawberries and candied pears flavours take center stage in this sensory delight.

With its medium to high acidity, it strikes the perfect balance, leaving you craving another sip.

Experience the magic of Ice Wine Cabernet Sauvignon – a treasure to be savoured, a moment to be cherished. Cheers to unforgettable memories!

$45.00

With two bottles of each exquisite wine, Double Ice Wine Pack offers double the delight for your tasting pleasure. This Pack includes:

2x Muscat;
2x Cabernet Sauvignon;
2x Riesling.

Let's start with the Cabernet Sauvignon. Aroma: quince jam, strawberry jam, and chokeberry. Tasting notes: strawberries and candied pears.

Next, indulge in the Muscat. Aroma: shades of basil, honeycomb. Tasting notes: white cherry jam, candied peaches.

And finally, we have the Riesling. Aroma: pineapple, mango, lemon peel. Tasting notes: tropical fruits, honey.

Whether enjoyed on its own or paired with your favourite dessert, the Double Ice Wine Pack is sure to impress. Cheers to unforgettable moments and exceptional wines!

$250.00

Ice Wine Pack features a perfect trio of wines, each offering a unique and refreshing experience. Here's to a taste of Moldovan excellence frozen in time! This Pack includes:

1x Cabernet Sauvignon;
1x Muscat;
1x Riesling.

Let's start with the Cabernet Sauvignon. With its aroma of quince jam, strawberry jam, and chokeberry, this wine sets the stage for a fruity delight. The tasting notes of strawberries and candied pears dance on the palate, creating a harmonious blend of sweetness and freshness.

Next up is the Muscat. Its aromatic bouquet of shades of basil and honeycomb invites you to indulge in its rich and complex flavours. With tasting notes of white cherry jam and candied peaches, this wine offers a luxurious and indulgent experience.

Last but not least, we have the Riesling. Its vibrant aroma of pineapple, mango, and lemon peel evokes images of sunny tropical paradise. The tasting notes of tropical fruits and honey transport you to a world of pure bliss.

Elevate your wine collection with Ice Wine Pack and treat yourself to the extraordinary – because every sip is an adventure waiting to be savoured. Cheers to unforgettable moments and exceptional wines!

$130.00

Ice Wine Muscat is a testament to the magic of late harvesting.

Muscat flavours mingle with notes of honey and shades of basil.

As you take your first sip, revel in the refreshing acidity perfectly balanced by the sweetness of white cherry jam and candied peaches. It's a sensory experience like no other, leaving a lasting impression with every taste.

Whether enjoyed on its own or paired with your favourite dessert, Ice Wine Muscat is sure to delight even the most discerning palate. Cheers to unforgettable experiences and exceptional wines!

$45.00

Introducing Ice Wine Riesling – a golden elixir that captures the essence of overripe tropical fruits and citrus notes. From its rich-gold colour to its long-lasting taste, this wine promises an unforgettable experience with every sip.

Let's start with the aroma – a bouquet of pineapple, mango, and zesty lemon peel that transports you to a tropical paradise.

As you take your first sip, tropical fruits mingle with hints of honey, creating a symphony of taste that is both luxurious and refreshing.

But what truly sets this wine apart is its unexpected freshness, due to its acidity.

Whether enjoyed on its own or paired with your favourite dessert, Ice Wine Riesling is sure to delight even the most discerning palate. Cheers to unforgettable moments and exceptional wines!

$45.00

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Types of Dessert Wines

Late Harvest Wines

Late harvest wines are made from grapes that are left on the vine longer than usual, allowing them to over-ripen and accumulate higher sugar levels. This extended ripening period concentrates the natural sugars and flavours in the grapes, resulting in a rich and sweet wine. Popular late-harvest wines include Sauternes from France and Trockenbeerenauslese from Germany.

Ice Wine

Ice wine is made from grapes that have frozen on the vine. These frozen grapes are harvested and pressed while still frozen, producing a small amount of highly concentrated, sweet juice. Ice Wines are known for their intense sweetness and vibrant acidity. Notable examples come from Canada, Germany, and Moldova.

Fortified Wines

Fortified wines are made by adding a distilled spirit, usually brandy, to the wine during fermentation. This process increases the alcohol content and stops fermentation, leaving residual sugar in the wine. Popular fortified dessert wines include Port from Portugal, Sherry from Spain, and Madeira from the Madeira Islands.

Botrytized Wines

Botrytized wines are made from grapes affected by Botrytis cinerea, also known as noble rot. This fungus dehydrates the grapes, concentrating their sugars and flavours. The result is a lusciously sweet wine with complex aromas and flavours. Tokaji from Hungary and Sauternes from France are prime examples of botrytized wines.

 

Pairing Dessert Wines

Chocolate Desserts

Rich, dark chocolate desserts pair well with sweet wines such as Port. The sweetness of the wine balances the bitterness of the chocolate. For milk chocolate desserts, try a sweet wine such as a late-harvest wine or Sauternes.

Fruit-Based Desserts

Fruit tarts, pies, and cobblers are best served with a light, fruity wine such as a late-harvest Riesling or ice wine. The wine's acidity and sweetness enhance the fruit's natural flavours without being overpowering.

Creamy Desserts

Creamy desserts such as cheesecake, panna cotta, and crème brûlée pair well with rich and sweet dessert wines. A Tokaji or late harvest Chenin Blanc will perfectly balance the sweetness and creaminess.

Nutty Desserts

Nut-based desserts like pecan pie or almond biscotti pair well with the nutty and caramel flavours of Madeira or sweet Sherry. These wines enhance the richness of the nuts and make for a delightful pairing.

 

Methods of Production

Natural Sweetness in Dessert Wines

Natural sweetness in dessert wines is achieved by allowing the grapes to ripen fully on the vine. Prolonged exposure to sunlight increases the concentration of sugars in the grapes. This results in a sweeter wine without the need for additional processes.

Chaptalisation: Enhancing Sugar Content

Chaptalisation is the process of adding sugar to grape must (unfermented grape juice) before or during fermentation. This process increases the alcohol content without overly sweetening the wine. It allows winemakers to produce dessert wines even in regions where grapes do not naturally reach high sugar levels.

Süssreserve: The Sweetening Technique

Süssreserve is a German technique of reserving unfermented grape juice and adding it to the wine after fermentation. This adds natural grape sugars back into the wine, increasing its sweetness. It maintains the original flavor profile of the grape.

Fortification: Strengthening Dessert Wines

Fortification involves adding a distilled spirit, typically brandy, to the wine. This not only increases the alcohol content but also stops fermentation early, leaving residual sugar in the wine. Fortified wines such as Port and Sherry are prime examples of this technique.

Raisin Wine: Utilising Sun-Dried Grapes

Raisin wines are made by drying grapes in the sun or shade to concentrate their sugars before fermentation. This process intensifies the sweetness and flavour, resulting in a rich, sweet wine. Examples include Italian Vin Santo and Greek Vinsanto.

Ice Wine: Harvesting Frozen Grapes

Ice wine is made from grapes that have naturally frozen on the vine. The frozen grapes are pressed, extracting a highly concentrated juice rich in sugar, acid and flavour. This method produces exceptionally sweet wines with vibrant acidity.

Noble Rot Wine: The Botrytis Cinerea Effect

Noble rot wine is made from grapes infected with Botrytis cinerea, a fungus. This fungus dehydrates the grapes while increasing their sweetness and complexity. The result is uniquely flavorful and highly sought-after dessert wines, such as French Sauternes and Hungarian Tokaji.

 

Dessert Wine Tasting

Sweetness Levels and Balance

When tasting dessert wines, it's important to notice the balance between sweetness and acidity. Wines with high sugar levels can be too sweet if there isn't enough acidity to balance them. Checking this balance will help you judge the quality of a dessert wine. Dessert wines range from sweet to extremely sweet, and each type may have varying levels of acidity.

Aromas and Flavours

Dessert wines have rich and complex aromas and flavours. Start by smelling the wine to detect fruity, floral, herbal and earthy notes. As you taste, you may notice flavours such as stewed fruit, honey, spices, nuts, or savoury elements. Learning to identify these layers will make tasting more enjoyable.

Texture and Mouthfeel

The texture and mouthfeel of a dessert wine can enhance your enjoyment. Wines can be light, rich or syrupy, depending on their sugar content and how they're made. A good dessert wine has a pleasant feel that matches its taste and smell and leaves a lasting impression. Tasters should notice how the wine feels in the mouth, noting any changes in texture and the balance between sweetness and acidity.

 

Buying and Storing Dessert Wines

When choosing a dessert wine, consider the following factors:

  • Sweetness Level: Dessert wines range from lightly sweet to intensely sweet. Select a wine that matches your taste preferences and the type of dessert you'll be pairing it with.
  • Region and Producer: Research the reputation of the wine region and producer. Reputable producers are more likely to produce high-quality dessert wines.
  • Vintage: The vintage year can impact the flavour and quality of dessert wines. Some vintages are better than others due to varying weather conditions.

Proper storage is vital to preserving the flavour and quality of dessert wines:

  • Temperature: Store dessert wines at a consistent temperature, ideally between 50-60°F (10-15°C). Avoid temperature fluctuations, which can negatively affect the wine.
  • Humidity: Maintain a humidity level of around 70% to prevent the cork from drying out and allowing air to enter the bottle.
  • Light: Keep dessert wines away from direct sunlight and artificial light, as exposure can cause the wine to spoil.
  • Position: Store bottles on their side to keep the cork moist and prevent it from shrinking.

 

FAQ

What is considered a dessert wine?

A dessert wine is typically a sweet wine served with dessert. There are many types, including fortified wines like Port and Sherry, late harvest wines, and ice wines. Others are made with grapes that are allowed to ripen longer on the vine or subjected to special conditions like noble rot or drying.

What wine is good for dessert?

The best wine for dessert depends on the dessert's flavour profile. Chocolate desserts pair well with rich, full-bodied wines like Port or Banyuls. A sweet Riesling or Moscato can enhance fruity desserts. Cheese-based desserts go well with sweet and creamy wines like Sauternes or a late-harvest Viognier.

What are the rules for dessert wine?

When pairing dessert wines, a general rule is that the wine should be as sweet as or sweeter than the dessert it accompanies. Additionally, consider the flavours in the dessert and try to match them with notes similar to those in the wine. Serving temperature is also essential; most dessert wines are best enjoyed well-chilled.

Is Moscato a dessert wine?

Moscato can be considered a dessert wine, especially when it's on the sweeter side. It's a light, slightly effervescent wine known for its sweet peach and orange blossom flavors. This makes it a perfect match for fruit-based and light desserts. However, dryer versions of Moscato can also be enjoyed as an aperitif.