Those who appreciate the finer things in life often turn to dessert wines after a hearty dinner. Sweeter than the average bottle of wine, they also contain more alcohol. Most dessert wines are between 10% to 15% ABV.
These wines are made using white or red grapes, like any other wine. The range of options to choose from includes sweet, dry, sparkling, and still. There is more to dessert wines that many people realize.
One of the main differences is that this type of wine is served in smaller glasses than the ones that are commonly used for a formal dinner. However, dessert wines also come in single-serve size bottles.
When it comes to flavor, everyone has his or her preferences. The sweetest wines contain dolce, dulce, doux, or moelleux. Those that aren’t as sweet are often labeled semi-dry.
For many people, one of the best parts of dessert wine is pairing it with specific foods. For example, Port, which is often sweet red wine, pairs well with chocolate truffles, cake, and even salted caramel. Rose and white port wines are best paired with lemon meringue pie and strawberry angel food cake.
Madeira is a sweet dessert wine with a distinct flavor of nuts, burnt caramel, and brown sugar. It is darker than other wines and pairs well with tiramisu and toffee pudding. But it can also be served with spicier desserts for something unusual.
For a taste of France, Sauternes is a sweet wine that contains hints of butterscotch, apricot, caramel, and peach. Laced with the fungus (botrytis) that gives it a sweet flavor, Sauternes pairs well with various custards, as well as creme brulee and cheesecake.
One drink not everyone thinks to have with a dessert is Sherry, which is often dark and rich in flavor. Sherry is most often paired with ice cream desserts but also goes well with anything containing dark chocolate.
Another popular dessert wine is Riesling. This German wine can be sweet or dry. Its level of acidity means that dry versions of it pair well with cheesecake. Sweet Riesling is often served alongside lemon-flavored desserts such as creamed pie or even pound cake, though sorbet and pear tarts also compliment this type of wine.