The following contains a listing of sweet wines generally paired with desserts. The sweet wines list below provides an overview of the various wine varietals and some baseline information. If you are looking to learn about a sweet wine, check out the list below. These sweet wines are used in Chef Vivant’s professional wine pairing algorithm for all of our dessert recipes.
Late Harvest Riesling
Late Harvest Riesling wines where the Riesling grape is left on the vine very late in the growing season until the grapes are so ripe they are not able to be fermented to dryness resulting in a very sweet wine with wonderful primary fruit flavors and aromas. Typically they show intense apricot, peach, pear to tangerine fruits. They can either be drunk young or aged for a long time.
Sauternes are very sweet wines from the Sauternes and Barsac Communes of Bordeaux. They are made from a blend of Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle grapes that have been affected by the Botrytis Cinerea fungus which turns the grapes in to raisins and concentrates the flavors and aromas. These are intense wines that are supremely rich and sweet with flavors and aromas of fresh and dried apricot, golden raisin, fig and pear.
Tawny Ports are fortified wines that are aged for long times in wood casks slowly oxidizing them and imparting complex flavors to the resulting sweet wines. Flavors and aromas of hazelnuts, walnuts, caramel and butterscotch with dried fruits. Tawny Ports are ready upon release and are not vintage labeled but labeled by how much time they have spent in cask.
Vintage Port’s are fortified wines from the Douro Region of Portugal made entirely from grapes from one declared vintage year. While the wine is fermenting, spirits are added to stop fermentation thus not all the sugar is converted to alcohol leaving the wine sweet. Vintage Ports are dark on color and have from primary black fruit to complex raisin, fig and spicey balsamic aromas and flavors. Vintage Ports age well and are best drunk from 10-30+ years from vintage date.