Best Dessert Wines

Dessert wines are an underappreciated delicacy, and that's great news for us drinkers because it keeps the prices down! They're also more versatile than the name suggests, try a Sauternes with pâté or cheese as a starter to see what we mean. Dessert wine is often made from late harvested grapes, which contain a higher concentration of sugar.

This concentration may be further increased by ‘noble rot,’ a fungus which removes water from the grapes, leaving the concentrated sugar behind. It also adds a beguiling complexity to the wines, such as Sauternes, which it affects. Yet another method is achieved by harvesting frozen grapes during the winter time and pressing them before they thaw. This allows the grapes to be pressed, separating the sweet grape from the frozen water, resulting in a rich and concentrated fruit juice with a very pure fruity taste. Dessert wine produced in this manner is known as ice wine and can have a spicier and fuller bodied texture compared to late-harvested varieties.