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Dessert wine

Dessert wine is perhaps one of the oldest winemaking options in the world. Since ancient times, people have added honey and various spices to improve the taste of the back then uncontrolled spontaneous fermentation.

More

Dessert wine

Dessert wine is perhaps one of the oldest winemaking options in the world. Since ancient times, people have added honey and various spices to improve the taste of the back then uncontrolled spontaneous fermentation.

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Picolit DOCG 0.500ml 2004
Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
Picolit
BGN 162.90
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  • -40%
Andrian Gewurztraminer Passito DOC Juvelo 2018
Alto-Adige, Italy
Gewürztraminer
BGN 78.90
BGN 47.34
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Вила Юстина Десертно вино 2015
Thracian valley, Bulgaria
Gewürztraminer
BGN 54.00
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Picolit DOCG 0.500ml 2008
Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
Picolit
BGN 134.90
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Дизеньо Пти Мансен 2018
Black Sea region, Bulgaria
Petit Manseng
BGN 29.90
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  • -45%
Framingham Noble Riesling 2018
Marlborough, N. Zealand
Riesling
BGN 58.90
BGN 32.39
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Picolit 0.500ml 2012
Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
Picolit
BGN 86.00
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Dandelion Legacy of Australia Pedro Ximenez
South Australia, Australia
Pedro Ximenez
BGN 65.60
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  • -45%
Moscadeddu 2015
Sardegna, Italy
Muscat
BGN 110.90
BGN 61.00
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  • -40%
Sebastiano DOC 0.500ml 2001
Tuscany, Italy
Malvasia
BGN 87.00
BGN 52.20
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  • -45%
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  • -35%
Domaine Josmeyer Pinot Gris Grand Cru Brand 2011
Alsace, France
Pinot Gris
BGN 99.90
BGN 64.94
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  • -40%
Gewurtztraminer IGT 0.375ml 2011
Alto-Adige, Italy
Gewürztraminer
BGN 53.60
BGN 32.16
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  • -45%
Framingham Select Riesling 2016
Marlborough, N. Zealand
Riesling
BGN 81.90
BGN 45.04
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  • -35%
  • 88
Oro Di Caiarossa 2014
Tuscany, Italy
Petit Manseng
BGN 99.90
BGN 64.94
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Ice Riesling Tsarev Brod 2020
Danubian Plain, Bulgaria
Riesling
BGN 35.90
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Disegno Petit Manseng 2021
Black Sea region, Bulgaria
Petit Manseng
BGN 36.30
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  • -40%
Trockenbeerenauslese Weissburgunder 0.375ml 2015
Niederösterreich, Austria
Weissburgunder
BGN 78.90
BGN 47.34

Dessert wine is perhaps one of the oldest winemaking options in the world. Since ancient times, people have added honey and various spices to improve the taste of the back then uncontrolled spontaneous fermentation. Over the centuries, the style of dessert wine has changed and evolved many times until it reached the variety we enjoy today. First, we must distinguish between the two ways to achieve dessert wine - by interrupting the fermentation process and by adding alcohol. In this section we consider the first type. For more information on the latter, see the fortified wines section. In Seewines’ Dessert wines section you will find carefully selected bottles of almost all variations of dessert wine - from the sweetest to almost semi-dry, from the world-famous bottles from Tokaj and Sauternes to their less popular counterparts from Italy, Australia and others.

How is dessert wine made?
Naturally, dessert wine is sweet. This is due to the residual sugar because of the interrupted and unfinished fermentation process. Depending on how early it is interrupted, the degree of sweetness in the final product is determined. Apart from the sweetness, however, dessert wine also differs from the way in which the sugars are concentrated in the grapes, as usually in the world-famous regions only one of the possible ways is established and legitimised. The most standard way is late harvest - the grapes are harvested in late November, even December sometimes, when the sugar concentration is at a maximum. In Tokaj and Sauternes, they use the presence of so-called botrytis, a fungal infection that forms on grapes in late autumn while they are still on the vine. To achieve this, it is necessary to have very specific natural conditions which cannot be achieved with certainty everywhere, or even every year. In Italy, the well-known and widespread method is by drying the picked grapes on special mats - the Passito method, which is used for Vin Santo, for example. Germany and Canada are famous for the production of ice wine, for which the grapes are harvested after freezing on the vine - December, January, very early before sunrise - and are directly pressed, where the water content that is frozen remains in the press and the resulting juice is a real elixir with a strong concentration of sugars and aromatic substances.

Which are the most suitable grapes for dessert wines?
Virtually all varieties can be used for dessert wine, as they contain sugars and if harvested late, they will invariably accumulate enough for this type of wine. However, there are certain varieties that are traditionally used specifically for this production. In Tokaj it is Furmint, in France - Semillon, Sauvignon blanc, Muscat, Chenin blanc. In Italy - Malvasia, Muscat, and in Germany and Canada - Riesling and Muscat.

The most famous sweet wine regions in the world
Tokaj in Hungary and Sauternes in Bordeaux are well known for their intense sweet white wines produced by the interaction of botrytis or noble rot on grapes. Germany also produces excellent specimens of Riesling affected by botrytis - Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese are wonderful examples of these sweet German wines. The cold winters of Germany and Canada - especially the region around Niagara - favor ice wine production. Italy creates magnificent sweet wines with raisins (where the grapes are additionally dried on mats after the harvest), such as Vin Santo, Recioto and Passito.

How to choose a good dessert wine?
The truth is that there is no wrong choice, so long as you choose a reputable manufacturer. It is important to be aware of your taste - how sweet the wine is and what you will want to consume it with. Of course, the most obvious food would be dessert. But this is not always the right combination actually. Try Sauterne with foie gras and you will be amazed. Combine Tokaj with blue cheeses and you will not go wrong. Vin Santo and Recioto are traditionally served as digestifs but can also perfectly accompany fruit cakes and traditional Italian cantuccini. If you still have difficulties, trust our sommelier specialists - they will be happy to help you navigate the sweet world of dessert wines.