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Encyclopedia > Dessert wine

Dessert wines (or pudding wines) are sweet wines typically served with dessert, such as Sauternes and Tokaji Aszú. Despite the name, they are often best appreciated alone, or with fruit or bakery sweets. For other uses, see Wine (disambiguation). ... Not to be confused with Desert. ... A half bottle of Sauternes from Château dYquem Sauternes is a type of dessert wine made from Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle grapes that have been affected by Botrytis cinerea, also known as noble rot. ... Tokaj cellar Tokaji, meaning of Tokaj in Hungarian, is used to label wines from the wine region of Tokaj-Hegyalja in Hungary. ...

Glass of Sauternes

There is no simple definition of a dessert wine. In the UK, a dessert wine is considered to be any sweet wine drunk with a meal, as opposed to the white fortified wines (fino and amontillado sherry) drunk before the meal, and the red fortified wines (port and madeira) drunk after it. Thus most fortified wines are regarded as distinct from dessert wines, but some of the less strong fortified white wines, such as Pedro Ximénez sherry and Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise, are regarded as honorary dessert wines. In the United States, by contrast, a dessert wine is legally defined as any wine over 14% alcohol by volume, which includes all fortified wines - and is taxed more highly as a result. 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dates back to a time when the US wine industry only made dessert wines by fortification, but such a classification is outdated now that modern yeast and viticulture can produce dry wines over 15% without fortification, yet German dessert wines can contain half that amount of alcohol. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 450 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (480 × 640 pixel, file size: 271 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) This image is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License v. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 450 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (480 × 640 pixel, file size: 271 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) This image is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License v. ... A glass of tawny port. ... Madeira is a fortified wine made in the Madeira Islands of Portugal, which is prized equally for drinking and cooking; the latter use including the dessert plum in Madeira. ... Pedro Ximénez (also known as PX, Pedro Jiménez, or Pedro) is the name of a white grape grown in certain regions of Spain, and also a varietal wine, an intensely sweet, dark, dessert sherry. ... Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise is a wine-growing AOC in the southern Rhône wine region of France. ... Alcohol by volume (ABV) is an indication of how much alcohol (expressed as a percentage) is included in an alcoholic beverage. ... Typical divisions Ascomycota (sac fungi) Saccharomycotina (true yeasts) Taphrinomycotina Schizosaccharomycetes (fission yeasts) Basidiomycota (club fungi) Urediniomycetes Sporidiales Yeasts are a growth form of eukaryotic microorganisms classified in the kingdom Fungi, with approximately 1,500 species described. ... wine grapes Viticulture (from the Latin word for vine) is the science, production and study of grapes which deals with the series of events that occur in the vineyard. ...

Contents

Methods of production

Château d'Yquem 1999, a noble rot wine
Château d'Yquem 1999, a noble rot wine

Makers of dessert wines want to produce a wine containing high levels of both sugar and alcohol, yet the latter is made out of the former. There are many ways to increase sugar levels in the final wine: Image File history File links Download high resolution version (391x664, 38 KB) Summary A 1999 vintage half-bottle of Château dYquem, the greatest of the Sauternes châteaux. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (391x664, 38 KB) Summary A 1999 vintage half-bottle of Château dYquem, the greatest of the Sauternes châteaux. ... The sweetness of a wine is defined by the level of residual sugar (or RS) in the final liquid after the fermentation has ceased. ...

  • grow grapes so that they naturally have sugar to spare for both sweetness and alcohol.
  • add sugar, either:
    • before fermentation as sugar or honey (Chaptalization)
    • after fermentation as unfermented must (Süssreserve).
  • add alcohol (typically brandy) having not fermented all the natural sugar in the grape juice - this is called fortification, or 'mutage'.
  • remove water to concentrate the sugar:
    • In warm climates, by air drying the grapes to make raisin wine
    • In frosty climates, by freezing out some of the water to make ice wine
    • In damp temperate climates, by using a fungal infection, Botrytis cinerea, to desiccate the grapes with noble rot

For must meaning compulsion, see wikt:must. ... Binomial name Botryotinia fuckeliana (de Bary) Whetzel 1945 Botrytis cinerea is a fungus that affects many plant species, although its most economically important hosts are wine grapes[]. In viticulture, it is commonly known as botrytis bunch rot; in horticulture, it is usually called grey mould or gray mold. ...

Natural sweetness

In the absence of other techniques, makers of dessert wine have to produce their sugar in the vineyard. Some grape varieties, such as Muscat, Ortega and Huxelrebe, naturally produce a lot more sugar than others. Unfortunately this tends to be at the expense of flavour compounds, so the wine is sweet but boring. Environmental conditions have a big effect on ultimate sugar levels - the vigneron can help by leaving the grapes on the vine until they are fully ripe, and by green harvesting and pruning to expose the young grapes to the sun. Green harvesting reduces the number of bunches on a vine early in the summer, so that the sugar production of the leaves is divided between fewer bunches. Unfortunately the vigneron can't control the sun, but a sunny year can help sugar levels a lot. The semi-sweet Auslese wines in the German wine classification are probably the best example of this approach, most modern winemakers perceive that their customers want either fully dry or 'properly' sweet dessert wines, so 'leave it to nature' is currently out of fashion. But most of the Muscats of ancient times were probably made this way, including the famous Constantia of South Africa. For other uses, see Muscat (disambiguation). ... The Huxelrebe is a white grape vine. ... German wine is officially classified by the ripeness of the grapes, rather than an attempt to classify terroirs as in the French Appellation dOrigine Contrôlée system, vinification methods and grape varieties as in Italy, or region as in American Viticultural Area. ... Constantia is a South African dessert wine. ...


Chaptalization

See also: Chaptalization

Honey was added to wine in Roman times, for sweetness and to increase the final strength of the wine. Perhaps surprisingly, 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, in any case chaptalization is banned from the top tiers of German wine which contain their great dessert wines. Chaptalisation is the process of adding sugar to unfermented wine must in order to increase the alcohol content after fermentation. ...


Süssreserve

The 'reserve of sweetness' is a German technique in which unfermented must (grape juice) is added to the wine after fermentation. This increases the sweetness of the final wine, and dilutes the alcohol somewhat - in Germany the final wine can contain no more than 15% Süssreserve by volume.[1] Süssreserve allows winemakers to fully ferment the wine without having to worry about stopping fermentation before all the sugar has gone. Since sulphites are used to stop fermentation, this technique reduces the usage of sulphites. Süssreserve is used by other makers of German-style wines, particularly in New Zealand.


Fortification

See also: Fortified wine

The main fortified wines drunk with dessert are sweet sherry, particularly Pedro Ximénez, and vins doux naturels. The Pedro Ximenez dessert wine is pretty much unique in being a raisin wine that is then fortified and aged in a solera system like other sherries. Other sweet sherries such as Bristol Cream may also be drunk as dessert wine. A fortified wine is a wine to which additional alcohol has been added, most commonly in the form of brandy (a spirit distilled from wine). ... Sherry solera For other uses, see Sherry (disambiguation). ... Pedro Ximénez (also known as PX, Pedro Jiménez, or Pedro) is the name of a white grape grown in certain regions of Spain, and also a varietal wine, an intensely sweet, dark, dessert sherry. ... Pedro Ximénez (also known as PX, Pedro Jiménez, or Pedro) is the name of a white grape grown in certain regions of Spain, and also a varietal wine, an intensely sweet, dark, dessert sherry. ... Sherry solera A solera is a series of barrels or other containers used for aging liquids such as sherry, Madeira, Marsala, Mavrodafni (a dark-red fortified dessert wine from Greece), muscat, muscadelle, and balsamic vinegar. ... Harveys Bristol Cream is a leading Spanish sherry, which has been imported into and bottled in Bristol, England since 1796 by Harveys of Bristol. ...

Vin de Paille, a straw wine from France
Vin de Paille, a straw wine from France

The production of vins doux naturels was perfected by Arnaud de Villeneuve at the University of Montpellier in the 13th century and they are now quite common in the Languedoc-Rousillon of southwest France. As the name suggests, Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise, Muscat de Rivesaltes, Muscat de Frontignan, Muscat de Lunel, Muscat de Mireval and Muscat de St-Jean Minervois are all made from the white Muscat grape, whilst Banyuls and Maury are made from red Grenache. Regardless of the grape, fermentation is stopped with up to 10% of 95% grape spirit. The Muscats are made in a somewhat oxidised style, the Grenaches less so. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 484 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (808 × 1000 pixels, file size: 145 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) fr:Vin de Paille du Jura en Franche-Comté Photo de madame Marie Thérese Grappe - Libre de droit File historyClick on a date/time to... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 484 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (808 × 1000 pixels, file size: 145 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) fr:Vin de Paille du Jura en Franche-Comté Photo de madame Marie Thérese Grappe - Libre de droit File historyClick on a date/time to... The University of Montpellier, (Université de Montpellier), is a French university in Montpellier. ... Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise is a wine-growing AOC in the southern Rhône wine region of France. ... Muscat de Rivesaltes is an Appellation dOrigine Contrôlée for fortified wines (vin doux naturel) made in the Roussillon wine region of France. ... Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains is a white wine grape that is a member of the Muscat family of Vitis vinifera. ... For other uses, see Muscat (disambiguation). ... Banyuls is an Appellation dOrigine Contrôlée for wines made in the Roussillon wine region of France. ... Maury is an Appellation dOrigine Contrôlée for wines made in the Roussillon (Northern Catalonia) wine region of France. ... Grenache is a sweet red grape variety grown primarily for the making of wine. ...


Raisin wine

See also: Straw wine

In ancient Carthage a sweet wine called passum was made from air-dried grapes, and across the Malta Channel from the site of Carthage, similar wines are still made called Moscato Passito di Pantelleria. Such wines were described by the Romans, and northern Italy is home to a number of 'passito' wines, where the grapes are dried on straw, on racks, or hung from the rafters. These wines include Vin Santo (into which almond biscuits ('cantucci') are traditionally dunked), Sciachetrà, Recioto di Soave (drunk with the local version of panettone) and the sweet red Recioto della Valpolicella (which stands up to chocolate better than most wine). Across the Alps, the French make 'straw wine' (vin de paille) in the Jura, Rhone and Alsace, the Spanish start off making a raisin wine with Pedro Ximénez before fortifying it, the Cypriots have their ancient Commandaria and there have been recent experiments with the style in South Africa and the USA. Vin de Paille Straw Wine, or raisin wine, is a wine made from grapes that have been dried to concentrate their juice. ... Passum was a style of raisin wine (wine from semi-dried grapes) apparently developed in ancient Carthage and transmitted from there to Italy, where it was popular under the Roman Empire. ... vin santo (holy wine) is an Italian dessert wine. ... Panettone (this isnt the original shape). ... Alsatian wine has a long history. ... Pedro Ximénez (also known as PX, Pedro Jiménez, or Pedro) is the name of a white grape grown in certain regions of Spain, and also a varietal wine, an intensely sweet, dark, dessert sherry. ... Commandaria is an amber-colored dessert wine made from the indigenous Mavro and Xynistery varieties of red grapes in the Commandaria region of Cyprus (centered near the city of Kolossi). ...


Ice wine

See also: Ice wine
Grapes for ice wine.

Most wine laws require temperatures below at least −7 °C (19 °F) before the grapes for ice wine can be picked. At such temperatures, some of the water in the grapes freezes out, but the sugars and other solids remain dissolved in the remaining juice. If the grapes are pressed whilst frozen a very concentrated must can result, which needs special yeast and a long time to ferment. The resulting wines are very sweet but with lots of balancing acidity. Sadly the minuscule yields mean that they tend to be very expensive. The most famous ice wines are German Eiswein and Canadian ice wine, but apart from these, ice wine is also made in the United States, Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Australia, France, and New Zealand in smaller quantity.
Grapes for ice wine, still frozen on the vine. ... Image File history File links Ice_wine_grapes. ... Image File history File links Ice_wine_grapes. ...


Noble rot wine

See also: Noble rot

Some of the most famous dessert wines of them all, such as Château d'Yquem of Sauternes and Tokaji from Hungary, are made from mouldy grapes. But not just any mould - Botrytis cinerea sucks water out of the grape whilst imparting new flavours of honey and apricot to the future wine. However, it may also release metabolites that can retard fermentation - in fact Recioto della Valpolicella from Italy relies on a premature stop to fermentation to keep it sweet, otherwise it becomes the dry wine Amarone. Noble rot (French: La Pourriture Noble) is the benevolent form of a grey fungus, Botrytis cinerea, affecting wine grapes. ... A half bottle of Yquem Château dYquem is a Premier Cru Supérieur (French, Great First Growth or Great First Vintage) wine from the Sauternes region in the southern part of Bordeaux. ... A half bottle of Sauternes from Château dYquem Sauternes is a type of dessert wine made from Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle grapes that have been affected by Botrytis cinerea, also known as noble rot. ... Binomial name Botryotinia fuckeliana (de Bary) Whetzel 1945 Botrytis cinerea is a fungus that affects many plant species, although its most economically important hosts are wine grapes[]. In viticulture, it is commonly known as botrytis bunch rot; in horticulture, it is usually called grey mould or gray mold. ... Vin de Paille Straw Wine, or raisin wine, is a wine made from grapes that have been dried to concentrate their juice. ...

Riesling grapes with noble rot.
Riesling grapes with noble rot.

Unfortunately the fungus is very fussy about the conditions required for such 'noble rot', if it is too damp the same fungus causes the destructive 'grey rot'. So vignerons walk a fine line between maximising the amount of noble rot and losing the whole crop to grey rot. Typically noble rot forms best in conditions where morning mist from a nearby lake or the sea gets burnt off during the day by hot sun. The wait for noble rot to form is the reason why noble rot wines are usually late-harvested. No doubt the first noble rot wines were created by accident - both the Hungarians and the Germans have similar stories of how the harvest was delayed for some reason, but the mouldy grapes were vinified anyway and then found to be delicious. Given that propensity to noble rot was a factor in Hungarian vineyard demarcations some 50 years before a messenger was supposedly mugged on his way to Schloss Johannisberg in Germany, the Hungarians probably have a better case. Noble rot is responsible for many of the greatest dessert wines, not just Tokaji, Sauternes and Recioto, but the Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese of the German wine classification, Romanian Grasă de Cotnari, French Monbazillac, Austrian Ausbruch and several wines from the New World. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1200x800, 319 KB) Summary Photographer: Tom Maack, Botrytis cinerea auf Riesling-Weinbeeren, Edelfäule / Botrytis cinerea on Riesling grapes, noble rot. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1200x800, 319 KB) Summary Photographer: Tom Maack, Botrytis cinerea auf Riesling-Weinbeeren, Edelfäule / Botrytis cinerea on Riesling grapes, noble rot. ... Riesling is a white grape variety and varietal appellation of wines grown historically in Germany (see German wine), Alsace (France), Austria, and northern Italy. ... Noble rot (French: La Pourriture Noble) is the benevolent form of a grey fungus, Botrytis cinerea, affecting wine grapes. ... Late harvest is a term applied to wines made from grapes left on the vine longer than usual. ... Schloss Johannisberg is a German winery that has been making wine in the Rheingau for over 900 years. ... Tokaj cellar Tokaji, meaning of Tokaj in Hungarian, is used to label wines from the wine region of Tokaj-Hegyalja in Hungary. ... A half bottle of Sauternes from Château dYquem Sauternes is a type of dessert wine made from Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle grapes that have been affected by Botrytis cinerea, also known as noble rot. ... German wine is officially classified by the ripeness of the grapes, rather than an attempt to classify terroirs as in the French Appellation dOrigine Contrôlée system, vinification methods and grape varieties as in Italy, or region as in American Viticultural Area. ... Grasā de Cotnari (IPA: ) is a a Romanian wine variety that belongs to the old Cotnari vineyard, where it has been grown ever since the rule of the prince Stephen the Great. ... Monbazillac is a sweet white wine produced in the village of Monbazillac on the left bank of the Dordogne River just across from the town of Bergerac in Southwest France. ...


Serving

Vin Santo with almond biscuits
Vin Santo with almond biscuits

A general rule is that the wine should be sweeter than the food it is served with - a perfectly 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- and toffee-based dishes. Red dessert wines like Recioto della Valpolicella and fortified wines like the vin doux naturel muscats are the least bad matches for such challenging desserts. Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ...


Quite often the wine itself can be a dessert, but bakery sweets can make a good match, particularly with a little bitterness like the almond biscuits that are dunked in Vin Santo. A development of this matching of contrasts is a rich savoury dish like the foie gras that is a traditional partner to Sauternes. White dessert wines are generally served somewhat chilled, but can be easily served too cold. Red dessert wine are served at room temperature or slightly chilled.


References

  1. ^ Süssreserve on Wine Dictionary

  Results from FactBites:
 
Dessert Wine - Quady Elysium Black Muscat 375ml Dessert Wine - 20403 (515 words)
On the red side the general rule of thumb is to serve dessert wines that are sweeter than the dessert.
If the dessert wine is sweeter than the dessert you don't notice the change in the wines acidity as much.
Many times it is assumed that a sweet wine will combine with the sweetness of the dessert but actually it is just the opposite.
Dessert wine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (280 words)
Dessert wines are those wines which are typically served with dessert, although they are also drunk on their own, i.e.
Despite their name, many of these wines are not particularly well suited for consumption with desserts but are more suitably consumed on their own or with very rich savoury foods such as foie gras.
Additionally dessert wines are drunk with pudding, as they are thought to bring out the flavor.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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