What is Dessert Wine?
Dessert wine is a broad classification for a range of scintillating flavours and a long, rich history of development over many hundreds of years. Related wines include our selection of fortified wines, Sherry which includes Pedro Ximenez and Palo Cortado Wines, as well as a range of sweet Moscato.
If you’re already a fan of a lovely bottle of sweet or crisp and refreshing white, you’ll love our selection of classic varieties of sweet dessert wines sourced from producers all over the world, as well as local and boutique wineries throughout Australia busily making a strong name and reputation for themselves as premium producers both at home and internationally.
For a bit of fizz and bubbles, perfect for celebrations or for warm afternoons and hot summer evenings, browse our selection of sparkling white wines. We have a range of options including Italian style and crisp Prosecco, sparkling Pinot Noir, sparkling Sauvignon Blanc, sparkling Rose, sparkling Riesling, and sparkling Chardonnay.
What is a good dessert wine
What you consider a good dessert wine will largely depend on what you like to drink, when you like to drink it and whether you are red wine or white wine fan. It has become quite fashionable in recent years to neglect sweet wines in favour of their more complex savoury cousins, but the dessert wine has and should remain, an exception to this rule. The dessert wine is deliberately created to accompany the final course of a meal: the dessert. They are often developed to be sweet sticky wines so that they accompany sweet meals like chocolate and fruit-based desserts, drawing out more and more complex flavours in both the wine and the food.
White dessert wines like Sherry and Fino are fortified wines designed to be drunk before a meal, as an aperitif, while red dessert wines like tawny port and Madeira are designed to be drunk after your meal. For this reason, there is often a distinction between the types: some fortified wines are considered dessert wines but not all.
There are a couple of different ways dessert wine is made, depending on the region and the type. Ice wine, for example, is a type made from grapes that have been frozen on the vine. This concentrates their sugars and removes a lot of water, resulting in much sweeter alcohol after fermentation. In the case of fortified wines, a strong spirit – usually brandy – is added before all of the sugar is fermented.
Using air-dried fruit like raisins from warmer climate countries is another way to develop a sweeter wine known as raisin wine, straw wine or Italian Vin Santo. It’s sometimes called straw wine after how the grapes are dried, typically on straw mats under the sun.
For damp and temperate climes, desiccating the grapes left on the vine is done to produce noble rot wines. The ‘noble rot’ refers to the type of fungal infection the grapes contract and results in a much higher concentration of sugar levels for making a strong grape spirit.
How long can you keep dessert wine?
Not all dessert wines are made the same way so it will depend on the wine and the method used for creating it. For most dessert wines, you can expect the opened bottle to last a couple of weeks with the exception of many sherries which are often oxygenated while they are made. This means they can last, opened, up to about a month in most cases. They should be stored in your refrigerator or at least chilled for 20 minutes before they have been served.