Full-flavoured desserts poured into a glass of wine might be the best definition of a perfect sweet wine. These wines are made with special techniques to provide the best drinking experiences, especially when matched with suitable foods.
The key factor to producing fine sweet wine is using high-quality grapes which are processed by an experienced winemaker. Some wines are made from ultra-sweet grapes. Sweet wine can be made in several different procedures, such as stopped fermentation, using extra ripe grapes, filtration and grape-drying.
The process of stopped fermentation occurs before all the grape sugar is converted into alcohol. The final product is a fine wine with natural, residual sugar.
In some cases, the winemakers use extra ripe grapes for sweet wine production. When the alcohol content rises to 10-16 per cent, the yeast loses its power ( dies down) and the fermentation process is ceased. Since extra ripe grapes were used in the first place, the resulting wine will have a higher level of residual (natural) sugar.
Another way to increase the sugar content in grapes is to expose them to the sun which will lead to water evaporation, resulting in higher sugar content after fermentation.
Many wine producers use the filtration method once the desired sweetness level is obtained. The process of filtration eliminates the yeast which stops the fermentation.
Residual Sugar Disambiguation
The term “residual sugar” in sweet wines is commonly misunderstood and confused with extra sugar added to the wine. Residual sugar is a natural by-product of the grape fermentation commonly found in sweet wines, and it is measured by grams of sugar per litre. A quality sweet wine does not contain extra added sugars and the best way to find one is by reading the producer`s name and wine-making region found on the label.
There are many fine sweet wines on the market, produced by the best wineries from the high-class winemaking regions, at affordable prices. Moreover, there are many intense sweet vines which are favourite among wine collectors due to their rich ageing potential.
Take a look at the top affordable sweet wines for 2022.
Italian Moscato d`Asti
The Italian Moscato d`Asti is a world-famous sweet wine with low alcohol content and seductive sweetness perfect for a dessert pairing or as an aperitif. Light and slightly sweet, these wines typically come with seductive aromas of white blossoms and ripe peach and/or apricot flavours. La Spinetta Bricco Quaglia Moscato 2021 is produced by a highly renowned Italian estate which embraces chemical-free and organic vinification methods. This Piedmont wine reflects the character of the local terroir, with a soft spritz hint, lower alcohol content and refreshing acidity, and complemented orchard fruit, citrus and floral aromas. Excellent quality for the price.
Known as the “cradle of wine”, Georgia is highly reputed for producing unique value wines from traditional grapes, in traditional (qvevri) methods. A unique semi-sweet wine with powerful, but not too strong alcohol content, Winiveria Kindzmarauli is a quality Georgian wine with soft tannins and fruit-forward aromas of strawberry, cherry and blackcurrant. The wine makes a perfect match with nutty, caramel and chocolatey sweet treats. Organic, sweet, boutique, best value for money.
Sweet Riesling wines have an amber-yellow colour and distinctive vibrant acidity, intense citrus and tropical fruit notes, and potent sweetness. Most sweet Rieslings are made with 100% Riesling grape variety, coming from the most popular regions of Germany and Austria. But, many years ago, a Sicilian young boy came to Niagara and founded today`s distinguished Pillitteri winery in a beautiful spot of the world. The Sicilian boy had a long family tradition of winemaking in Sicily. Today`s estate is run by three generations of the family who produce one of the most beautiful wines in Niagara. This winery crafts an impressive white sweet variant made from Riesling and Gewurztraminer grape varieties. For those who want to escape from the classic sweet Riesling, Gewurztraminer Riesling 2017 is an exceptional idea for the next sweet wine tasting. It reflects the natural Niagara terroir, with striking acidity, light body and craftily balanced honeysuckle and citrus flavours.
Sicilian Dessert Wine
Crafted on a small volcanic island in Sicily, with the seductive golden-amber colour and delicious sweetness of the Malvasia delle Lupari grapes, this classic dessert wine is a must for this summer season. The grapes are grown at 150 meters altitude above sea level. Next, the fruit is exposed to the sun for 15 days to obtain the desired concentration of sweetness and flavours. The result is a sweet, white wine with perfumed aromas of dried apricots, figs and honeysuckle. It has an elegant touch of acidity lingering finish of flower nectar and dried fruit.
Recioto della Valpolicella
Another intense sweet wine coming from Italy, with intense chocolate-fruit flavours, made with a special method of using dried grapes to improve the body and complexity of the existing wines. The method is popularly known as “recioto” and is commonly practised in the Veneto region, North-East Italy. Recioto della Valpolicella are raisiny, rich wines with a fountain of fruit aromas and dark fruit, chocolate and coconut flavours which become more intense with age. Perfect match with chocolate desserts and berry cheesecake. Excellent age-worthy bottle!