Dessert Wines 101

Don’t just eat a piece of cake; take a glass of good dessert wine with it and make it a pleasure. Dessert wines are sweet wines, that as their name says, are served with desserts, or fruit. There are 3 categories of dessert wines you should know about, as to determine your preference and to know what to order next time you think of eating cake with style:


Ice Wines

these are rich, with a strong flavor dessert wines. They are made from frozen grapes, which because the freezing, are filled with juice of higher concentration. After being picked, these grapes are pressed before they thaw. Know that ice wines are sweet, but are also balanced with high acidity. Try this Canadian wine : 2012 Canadian Dream Icewine, $105. It has an elegant luscious taste, excellent if you are into extra sweet wines.

Raisin Wines (Also Known as Straw Wines)

these wines are made from air-dried grapes. The technique of making these wines include air-drying the grapes on a straw, or hanging them from the rafters. Mostly present in Malta and the Tuscany Region in Italy, you can find this type of wine as passum, or Vin Santo in Italy. The Vin Santo is very popular, it has a caramel flavor, and a deep golden color; with an alcohol concentration of 14-17%. It’s definitely worth a try. Here’s a good example: NV Sanchez Romate Cardenal Mendoza Solera Gran Reserva Brandy – $123.50

Noble Rot

these dessert wines are specific for Hungary. So, if you ever find yourself there, make sure to try it. The mainly have a fruity strong taste, resembling an apricot. The interesting thing about these dessert wines is the way they are made: there is a fungus that vine makers use, that produces the so called “noble rot” in grapes. The fungus sucks the water out of the grapes leaving the taste of honey and apricot to the wine that’s going to be made. For you to try: 2010 Geoff Hardy GMH Noble Sweet White, $119.88.

Finally, how to serve dessert wines. Dessert wines are to be served slightly chilled. Their sweetness allows them to be as served as the only dessert in some occasions, rather than as an addition to a tasty piece of cake.

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