Dessert wine or sweet wine is a collective term that describes full-bodied wines with a strong sweetness. Traditionally, in some countries and wine regions such wines are often served at the end of a meal with dessert or cheese . The terms "dessert wine" and "sweet wine" are often used colloquially synonymously , but are not defined in either European or German wine law. Dessert wines are both alcohol- enriched ("fortified") wines ( liqueur wines ) and wines whose strong sweetness is formed by concentrating the must sugar naturally contained in the grapes . The presence of strong residual sweetness is characteristic of all dessert wines . This arises from the fact that either the wine yeast dies due to the high alcohol or must sugar content or the fermentation is stopped by the winemaker before all existing sugar has fermented into alcohol.
Basic processes and manufacturing methods
Two basic processes are used to produce dessert wines, which in turn can be varied in many ways. This results in different, often regionally specific production methods with different styles and degrees of sweetness:
Concentration of the sugar present in the grapes
- Drying up of the grapes on the vine by means of noble rot . Examples: German and Austrian Auslese , Beerenauslesen , Trockenbeerenauslese and Ausbruch (Austria), Tokajer (Hungary) or Sauternes (France).
- Freezing the grapes on the vine, example: ice wine .
- The harvested grapes are dried on reed mats ( reed wine ), straw mats ( straw wine ), wire grids or wooden frames. In France this process is called Vin de Paille , in Italy Passito or Ripasso . It ensures a high must weight , i.e. a high sugar content in the must ( Oechsle grade ). Examples of this are Vin Santo or Reciotos .
- Concentration of the harvested grapes by means of cryo-extraction ; a kind of ice wine process simulation by means of technical freezing in the cooling chamber. Is partly used in France depending on the age, e.g. B. in the production of Sauternes. In Germany and Austria, this method is not permitted under wine law.
Liqueur wine (fortified sweet wine)
The fermentation of the very sugar-rich must is artificially stopped by adding 96% alcohol or thickened, fortified must. This kills the yeast and prevents further conversion of sugar into alcohol.
- Examples: Port , Rivesaltes , Banyuls , Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise , Madeira , Marsala , Málaga , Sherry .
Well-known products traded as dessert wines or sweet wines are labeled with different names.
- Wines through natural concentration: Auslese, Beerenauslese, Trockenbeerenauslese, Eiswein.
- Wines through natural concentration: Ausbruch, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Trockenbeerenauslese, Eiswein, Strohwein
- Wines by natural concentration: Vin Santo and Recioto such as ( Recioto di Gambellara , Recioto di Soave and Recioto della Valpolicella ).
- Wine, by sprinkling: Marsala .
- Wine through natural concentration: Tokaj .
- Wines through natural concentration:
- Alsace: Vendanges tardives or Sélection des grains nobles (comes close to the German design of a Beerenauslese);
- Jura : Vin de Paille.
- Jurançon : Vendanges tardives.
Liqueur wines (fortified sweet wines) are declared as Vin Doux Naturel under wine law , examples are: Rivesaltes, Banyuls, Maury , Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise, Muscat de Frontignan or Muscat de Rivesaltes .
- Wine by sprinkling, example: sherry . Partial split: Málaga .
- Wines by spraying: Port wine, Madeira, Moscatel de Setubal, Moscatel de Duoro
- Sweet wine , from Lebensmittellexikon.de, accessed on November 3, 2015
- CATALOG OF THE GERMAN NATIONAL LIBRARY, search term: dessert wine
- Hans Ambrosi : Wine from A to Z . Gräfe and Unzer, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-7742-5535-0 , p. 86 .
- ↑ Jancis Robinson: The Oxford Wine Lexicon. Hallwag Verlag, Munich 2003, p. 739 f.