Also known as Pudding Wine, Dessert Wines are sweet and typically served along with dessert. However, there is no simple definition and Dessert Wine is expected to be a sweet wine which can be drunk with meal. Dessert Wine in United States was earlier defined as any wine which contains over 14 percent alcohol by volume. Moreover, these included fortified wines as well and were highly taxed as a result. But then this classification is outdated now with modern yeast and viticulture producing dry wines which contain over 15 percent of alcohol by volume, without any fortification.
Making Dessert Wine
Tokaji Aszu & Sauternes are best examples of Dessert Wine. Since Dessert Wine makers have to produce sugar within the vineyard, grape varieties like Ortega, Muscat and Huxelrebe are excellent due to the fact that they naturally produce a lot more sugar in comparison with other varieties. However, environmental conditions do make a great difference on ultimate sugar levels within grapes. Moreover, techniques like green harvesting which reduce number of bunches on vine early in summer effectively contribute to sugar production since the division is between fewer bunches. It is also true that a sunny year can help sugar levels a lot.
Serving Dessert Wine
As a rule, Dessert Wine should be sweeter than the food which is being served. Perfectly ripe peach is considered as an ideal partner for several Dessert Wines. However, it is pointless to drink Dessert Wine with chocolate and toffee based dishes. Red Dessert Wines like Recioto della Valpolicella is a good match for difficult to pair desserts. On several occasions wine itself can prove to be dessert, although bakery sweets make a good match. This is especially true, when little bitterness similar to that which is concealed in almond biscuits dunked in Vin Santo. Rich savory dishes like Foie Gras can ideally develop a matching contrast with Dessert Wines such as Sauternes. White Dessert Wines are usually served somewhat chilled or too cold, while Red Dessert Wines are mostly served at room temperature or slightly chilled.