After-dinner dessert wines are known for being extra sweet. They’re great alone or paired with other desserts. If you’re looking for something indulgent to try after your next meal, consider one of these varieties.
To make this dessert wine, alcohol must be added during the fermentation process. This kills the yeast, leaving residual sugar behind. The result is a sweet wine with higher alcohol content (usually 15 to 20 percent).
Port is a type of fortified dessert wine with a deep red color and ripe berry, plum and spice flavors. Fortified wine pairs well with chocolate.
Late Harvest Wine
As the name suggests, this wine is made from grapes left on the vine longer than usual, making them extra ripe and sweet. During fermentation, the yeast dies before it converts all the sugar into alcohol, resulting in a sweeter-than-usual wine.
Riesling grapes are a particularly good choice for late harvest wine because their naturally high acid content prevents excessive sweetness. The crisp, refreshing taste of late harvest wine pairs well with crème brulee and apple pie.
Noble Rot Wine
Some of the most decadent dessert wines are made from rotten grapes. It doesn’t sound appetizing, but it’s true. “Noble rot” is a fungus that grows on grapes as they start to decay, causing them to shrivel. Water leaches out, and extra sweet pulp remains, which is the part that winemakers press for juice.
Making noble rot wine is a labor-intensive process. Thus, this is one of the most expensive wine varieties in the world. Thick, lush, noble rot wines come with complex flavors, including spices, honey and exotic fruits. They pair well with rich desserts and cheeses.
Making ice wine is tricky. It involves leaving the grapes on the vine long after the typical harvest until temperatures drop and the grapes freeze. Then, harvesters pick the grapes quickly and press them carefully to separate the ice from the sweet nectar of the frozen grapes.
Icewine harvests are often small because vineyards must survive bad weather, hungry birds and rot before they freeze into the ideal state. As a result, true ice wines are rare and expensive. If you get your hands on one, you’ll appreciate the crisp, intense flavor, which pairs wonderfully with hazelnuts, caramel and fruit.
Dried Grape Wine
Consider the sweetness of a raisin compared to a grape. Dried fruit is sweeter because all the sugar remains even after the water has evaporated. To make dried grape wine, grapes are dried on the vine, laid out to dry in the sun or hung from indoor racks. The result is a rich bouquet of fruits and spices. Pair dried grape wine with candied fruit or blue-veined cheese.
If you’re hoping to try a new dessert wine, check out the offerings at Vinum Bar in Newark, CA. Our wine list is extensive, giving you plenty of reds, whites, rosés and many more to choose from. Stop by Vinum Bar tonight or call 510-285-3585 to make a reservation.