Dessert Wine

Dessert wines are sweet wines typically served with dessert, such as Sauternes and Tokaji Aszú. Despite the name, they are often best appreciated alone, or with Foie Gras, cheese or bakery sweets. 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 some sherries 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. Modern yeast and viticulture can produce dry wines over 15% without fortification, yet German dessert wines can contain half that amount of alcohol.

 

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