There are hundreds upon hundreds of different dessert wines. Despite all this variety, there are a few basic wine making techniques used to make dessert wine. Dessert wines are defined by what part of the meal they are best suited to be enjoyed. Most dessert wines are sweet but there are also some classic dessert wines made in a dry style.
One of the processes to make dessert wine is through fortification which means adding spirits to the wine. The spirits added is typically clear, neutral-tasting grape brandy spririts. You’ll see the addition levels of spirits range from just a few points to about 30% of the blend. Not only does this raise the alcohol level, but it stops the wine from fermenting which preserves the natural sugars in the wine. In France, fortified wines are called Vin Doux Naturel and this is also the basis for all Port wine. Fortification of a wine can take place during the fermentation or after the fermentation. The main difference is that the wines that are preserved after the fermentation is complete will be dry. A classic example of a dry fortified wine is
Sweet wine comes from extra-sweet grapes! To make a sweet wine, the fermentation is stopped before the yeast converts all grape sugars into alcohol. There are several ways do stop fermentation, including super-cooling the wine or adding neutral brandy to it. The result is a rich wine sweetened with natural grape sugars. Here are some of the dessert wines that can be found on our Platform 62 wine list, White Muscadel,Red Muscadel and Hanepoot, than we also stock some local produced Ports such as Cape Ruby,Cape Vintage,Cape Tawny and Cape LBV, VLW, Noble Late Harvest.
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