dessert wine

Dessert wine.In defense of sweeties

We break the stereotype that sweet wine is so, it’s not serious, and it’s shameful to love it, and it’s made from unsuccessful raw materials, into which syrup was poured in order to disguise flaws.

Part 1. Stop, my sweetie!

What does “grapes” mean? This means that the yeast processes the sugar contained in it into alcohol. If he does not interfere, he will get rid of all his sugar – and get dry wine. If you interrupt his solitary fermentation, sharply lowering the temperature, the transformation processes will stop, some of the sugar will remain in the future wine – the wine will be semi-dry.

And if the fermentation is interrupted early, leaving more sugar – it will be semisweet, yes. But before making semisweet, do not prevent the grapes from drying in advance – the berries will lose water, accumulate sugar, which is essential for 2 things at once: give the wine a noticeable sweetness and create the desired degree of alcohol. Well, sweet (a serious name – dessert) wine – this is the highest degree of patience of the winemaker. First, we kill the remnants of stereotypes in ourselves, and then we’ll learn how to make sweet.

Part 2. Careful, stereotypes

Stereotype № 1. Semi-dry wine – a drink so-so, someone in general believes that the semidry is diluted with water.

In fact: there are grape varieties that “do not go” to be dry, for example, Riesling. To enter into battle with dry Riesling dare onlylovers of gasoline with lemon juiceconnoisseurs of aesthetics of this sort or those who have a huge schnitzel on a plate and grandiose plans to digest it. Therefore, Riesling semi-dry is not a pathology.

Stereotype №2. A sweet wine is a wine into which sugar has been poured.

It’s not like that: a normal sweet wine has everything of its own, and its own sugar, not alien. But very cheap sweet – it’s really dry, diluted with sugar syrup. Usually shines with holo-hungry labels and erotic names. And next morning from such a budget porno headache. Real dessert wines are hidden in chaste bottles and are not sold cheaply – because with them all is serious, and not just syrup pour in. Sweetness does not bulge outward, it cooperates with acidity – they work for the benefit of balance.

Part 3. How to make sweet wine (dessert wine)

There are 4 ways. One another is more zamorochennee. The winemakers are ready to do anything to squeeze the maximum of the sweetness from the grapes.

1. Late harvest     Laith Harvest     late harvest     Auslese     vendanges tardives

With the harvest are not in a hurry. Grapes are left on the branches, it dries up, in places until full raisins. The liquid evaporates, the sugar accumulates. As a result – less water, more on the case. The wine will turn out thick and perfumed. The dried grapes are harvested, and everything as it should be: part of the sugar is converted into alcohol, but one that remains, gives the wine sweetness.

There is also a false late collection. Only he is not late, sometimes the berries are slightly immature, and there can be no question of the suit. But in special climatic chambers everything quickly ripens and shrivels, you do not have to sit-wait for autumn. And the nerves in order, you can not worry that suddenly rains, and grapes raskisnet and rot.

2. Passito     passito     straw wine     vin de paille

Super-old technology. Nothing complicated. Collect grapes, either white or red. Expand on straw litter. Dry it. And then let him wander, part of the sugar will be given to alcohol, some will save. The favorite method of Italians and residents of the French region Jura. (We wrote about him somehow ).

3. Botrytis     botrytis     noble mold trockenbeerenauslese berenauslese

You will not wind this everywhere, but only where there are special fogs, for example, in France – in Sauternes and Barsak, and here and there in Germany and Austria. In these fogs, grapes are affected by a special, noble mold. Botritis. And then a special wind rises and blows away the mold. But she had already pierced the skin of her grapes with her legs, and through this mini-hole an excess liquid evaporates from it. During the season, grapes are experiencing several such sessions “punctured-blown off.” From what remains of him, do soterny (of course, in Sauternes) and the Barsaks (in Barsak), the Austrian and German Börenausleaus and Trockenbörenausleaus. (What kind of nightmares are these? The details will be below.)

4. eiswein     icewine     ice wine     ice wine     vin de glace

Wine from the frosted grapes, which hung decently on the branches and managed to understand what winter was before they sent him to wander. Harvest is allowed only when the temperature has crossed the line at 7 degrees below zero (in Canada 8) – it’s all officially fixed. The spectacle is beautiful: in the pre-dawn darkness people with lanterns and gloves collect icy grapes. Then it is quickly pressed, and everything that has not frozen and has melted, flows into the fermentation tank. Frosts usually Germans, Austrians and Canadians. What frost? All. The standard option – frost-free Riesling or some Austrian autochthon, non-standard – white aiswein from Pinot Noir.

Part 4. Sweet tour of Europe


They make soterns – the famous dessert of grapes, affected by mold. In the south of the Bordeaux region (yes, it is famous not only for its dry reds) there is a small wine district called Sautern , hence the name of the wine. Sauternes, although full of fruit in honey, sugary do not seem – at the expense of its sour, powerful but cautious. Not far from Sothern, on the other side of the river – there is Barsak , dessert therefrom more pompously, wait for furious candied fruits, rolls, emotions. And a more affordable price tag.

Another dessert is in Alsace , they are produced from 4 varieties: Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Muscat and Pinot Gris. The proportions are different, so the taste of wine can be different: and paradise sweet, and with a powerful sourness, and with an interesting bitterness. The wines are of 2 kinds: Vendange Tardive , that is, late collection, and Selection de Grains Nobles (Seleccion de Gren Noble) – hence, there was a noble mold in the case.


Let’s not talk about sweet muscat and lambrusco. Italians have things more serious.

  • For example, Passito . This is the name for all kinds of wines from dried grapes. There are white Passito (the most famous – Passito di Pantelleria ,  apricots and tropics in honey, you can get to know it better here ). And there are red ones, for example, marjetto Passito , that is wine from the dried grape of Bracketto. Can live for about 100 years, only roses and berries in taste and aroma eventually turn into dried flowers, dried fruits and decay.
  • Or here is a wine with a religious overtones, Vin Santo . Holy, strong (16%). It can be red, pink, white. And the taste is cherry, where red, where white and grillage is everywhere.
  • And one more sweet, it is only red: rechoto . In the glass we sniff out a library with leather sofas, cherries in a liquor and chocolate.

Germany, Austria

Here they like to frost grapes. The standard set of dessert – temptation, tropics, honey – in the  icebergs “sounds” more refined and without hysteria. But the promised decryption of terrible words on the labels. This is the classification of Austrian and German sweet wines, from the lowest to the highest:

  • Auslese   auslese = late collection. In the bottle we are looking for exotic flowers, peaches and apricots.
  • Berenausleuse   beerenauslese = moldy late harvest. Wine with a taste of candied fruits and autumn apples.
  • Trockenberenausleuse   trockenbeerenauslese = moldy-dried late harvest. In the bottle – the sea of ​​candied fruits, in general, the higher the classification, the more zukatnee.

New World

In Argentina, Chile and South Africa make a good leit harvester. Yes, they are without claims and sometimes sin with sarcasm, but they are inexpensive. If you get a sample, which is very difficult to drink, – water them with ice cream and apple pies.

Part 5. To not stuck together

Here are the reasons to reconsider their relationship with the sweet, stop drinking it exclusively with fruits and on dates and snort at one mention.


  • sharp Asian dishes , dessert wines – the perfect fire extinguisher;
  • cheese with blue mold ,  to soterna real, to leyt harvester can be Krasnodar;
  • foie gras , okay, goose liver pate on French bread of Bakery No. 3.

More interesting:

  • pancakes with cheese or cottage cheese , patriotic;
  • baked chicken , carefully smear it with spices;
  • liver , does not sound very, but worth a try – everything, you are already a fan;
  • cheese in batter , fry any “rubber” Caucasian or Greek cheese.

Part 6. Important details

Cool dessert necessarily, degrees to 10-12. If it is too pounced on you from the glass – cool a little more, it will quiet down. Pour is recommended in small, tapered glasses, narrowing is necessary so that it does not fall under the pressure of aromas. But it’s not important, you can drink from a regular glass – just do not pour a lot.

And more, it is worth taking note: dessert is often bottled in mini bottles, at 0.375 liters, it is convenient to carry around with you in order to occasionally give in to sugar in difficult times.

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