Sweet wines of the world
A person with a sweet tooth and new to wines, always finds it difficult to find the right bottle of wine amidst all the well-known whites and reds. A wine is considered a sweet wine when it has a certain amount of residual sugar (more than 30 grams per litre) after the fermentation of grape sugars to alcohol. We’ve put together a list of every sweet wine you should have in your cellar.
BA/TBA Riesling (Germany)
Beerenauslese Riesling is a sweet white wine that results from the selection of the botrytised grapes that remain somewhat longer on the vine following the harvesting of dry Riesling. The best BA is the Grand Cru wine from Rheingau or Mosel in Germany. It contains apricots, roses, fruity, floral and mineral notes which reflect beautifully on your palate.
Ice-Wine (Germany, Austria, Canada)
Ice-wine is made from grapes which are frozen on the vine in frost conditions. These are harvested much later than the normal harvest period. The frozen grapes are pressed and the water in the grapes freeze, leaving concentrated sugars for a sweet wine. The most favoured white grape varieties are Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Sylvaner, Grüner Veltliner, Vidal Blanc and Cabernet Franc. You’ll taste ripe tropical fruits such as lychee, banana, papaya, pineapple in these wines.
It is a lightly sweet and mildly effervescent wine. It belongs to the Piedmont region in north Italy and is made from the Moscato grape. Moscato d’Asti is slightly sparkling or semi-sparkling and Italians refer to it as frizzante. Take a sip and you’re likely to get a taste of peaches, oranges, dried apricots among other tropical fruit.
It is made from the white grape variety Pedro Ximénez from southern Spain. This sweet sherry is stored to age in a barrel for many years till it gains a brownish black color. During aging, the sugar in the wine gets concentrated and makes it sweet. You will observe smoke, herd, pepper, toffee, chocolate and savoury notes on your palate.
Recioto Della Valpolicella
This one’s an intense sweet red wine made by drying grapes (referred to as Passito process). It is made in the Valpolicella zone around the Veneto region of north-eastern Italy. The grapes used to make Recioto della Valpolicella wines are of the local Corvina variety and its sub-variety, Corvinone. It contains flavours of cherries, raspberries, dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla, warm spices and raisins. It’s almost like drinking a dessert!
This sweet red wine from Victoria, Australia is made from a variant of Muscat Blanc à Petit Grains. The grapes are harvested when they become brown on the vine which leads to concentrated sugar. It tastes like strawberries, almonds, dried cherries, toffee and chocolate.
Sauternes is made from grapes that are affected by the noble rot (Botrytis Cinerea). It comes from the Bordeaux region near the Garonne river (this provides ideal conditions for botrytis). White grape varieties like Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle grapes are used. It tastes like honey, coconut, sweet spices, marmalade and has a round texture and smooth finish.
It is a sweet white wine made from botrytised grapes. The grape variety used is called Furmint and is found in the Tokaj and Aszú regions of Hungary. It has a deep golden color and tastes like honey, sweet spices, peaches, apple, cinnamon and flowers.
Port wine is found in the Douro Valley in Portugal. The wine is fortified by the addition of a neutral grape spirit which stops fermentation, leaving residual sugar in the wine which also increases the alcohol content.
There are different styles of Port: Ruby (Red) Port, White Port, Tawny Port, Rosé Port. Higher quality Port is called Vintage Port and can be cellared for 100 years. White Port is made from white grape varieties like Malvasio, Viosinho, Rabigato, while Ruby Port is made from Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tempranillo, etc. What does it taste like? Black fruit compote, raspberries, caramel, toffee, almond, hazelnut, cinnamon and dark chocolate.