Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Wine Making Club: Dessert Wines

The SSC Wine Making Club has bottled a few dessert wines now, so it's good to know what a dessert wine actually is. The ones the club has bottled are called "Port Wines", which are typically red. White dessert wines are typically called "Icewine".

"Dessert wines, sometimes called pudding wines in the United Kingdom, are sweet wines typically served with dessert. There is no simple definition of a dessert wine. In the UK, a dessert wine is considered to be any sweet wine drunk with a meal, as opposed to the white fortified wines (fino and amontillado sherry) drunk before the meal and the red fortified wines (port and madeira) drunk after it. Thus, most fortified wines are regarded as distinct from dessert wines, but some of the less-strong fortified white wines, such as Pedro Ximénez sherry and Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise, are regarded as honorary dessert wines. In the United States, by contrast, a dessert wine is legally defined as any wine over 14% alcohol by volume, which includes all fortified wines—and is taxed more highly as a result. This dates back to when the US wine industry only made dessert wines by fortification, but such a classification is outdated now that modern yeast and viticulture can produce dry wines over 15% without fortification (and German dessert wines can contain half that amount of alcohol)."

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