There are some wines that tastes sweet (off dry wine) and there are some that tastes extra sweet. The sweetness of White wines varies with the type of wine and the taste also varies with every person. It basically means not all wine tastes a like with person to person. There are different kinds of white wines but not all white wines are considered sweet. That is why in this post, let us talk about sweet white wine and the further talk about the different types of sweet white wine. Read on here to know more.
Different Types Of Sweet White Wine
How is the sweetness of White wine determined
The sweetness of white wine is determined by the amount of residual sugar the wine has. Residual sugars are sugars or fructose that we get from grapes that stays with the wine after alcoholic fermentation process. The amount of sugar is measured in grams in a liter, which means that for every 1% of sweetness on the white wine is equivalent to 10 grams/liter of residual sugar.
How to choose a sweet white wine
If you want to know the sweetness of white wine, you have to check its Alcohol By Volume label (ABV). If the ABV is less than 12.5%, the wine is definitely sweet. Wine that has an ABV below 10% are Asti Spumante, Rose wine, Riesling and Moscato.
Different factors to consider that affects Wine sweetness
You can also tell if a wine is sweet because of its smell. If it smells sweet or smells ripe, it is likely to be sweet. Sweet wines have different aromatic variety.
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Acidity is different with Tannin. While the former is the flavor, the latter refers to the sensation of the wine. But that does not justify that white wines that are sweet aren’t acidic. As a matter of fact, acidity balances the sweetness on the wine.
The acidity of the wine also depends on the climate. Grapes from cooler regions have high acidity level but with lower sugar content, whereas grapes warm climates tends to have a low acidity level but with high sugar content.
Well, of course, the final taste of the wine greatly depends on the winemaker.
As mentioned, tannin refers to the sensation of the wine. It is produced from the skin, stems and seeds of the grapes. And since some white wines is not made using the skin, stem and seeds of the grapes, therefore tannin is not on its content.
Although, white wine such as Gewürztraminer does have a tannin content since the skin of the grapes remains while processing the grape juice.
Food pairing suggestions with sweet white wine
Hot and spicy
Best paired with Moscato wine
Best paired with Ice wine in addition to salty or cheese.
Sour and Vinegary foods are best paired with white wine that are highly acidic.
Best paired with dessert wine and caramel
Best paired with Riesling wines.
Here is a guide on the White Wine sweetness level for your reference
- Ice Wine
- Vin Santo
Types Of Sweet White Wine
Now that that wine sweetness chart is already mentioned above, listed below are the details of each of the sweet white wines that you can try.
Belonged in the semi sweet wines level on the wine sweetness chart is Moscato, an Italian fizz. It is commonly paired with dessert and appetizers since this type of white has low alcohol content.
Moscato are produced with Muscat grape. It is a grape used for raisins with hints of sweet peach, nectarine and orange blossom flavor.
Though Moscato is a popular white wine, it is not considered to be a high end white wine. In fact, Moscato is an affordable and cheap wine despite its popularity.
Another sweet white wine variety is Gewurztraminer. Also known as Gewürz in English and Gewurztraminer when written in French. A product of Germany, France, California and Australia that comes from hints of lychees and roses.
Although Gewurztraminer is a sweet wine, it can also be dry white wine. Though mostly made to be sweet.
Gewurztraminer sweet wines tastes like lychee fruit. But it can sometimes tastes and smells like pineapple and apricot.
A sweet white wine on the sweetness scale made from France. A product from Sauternais region in Bordeaux. A unique type of sweet white wine grapes used to produce the wine are uncommon and rare.
Sauternes is made by combining Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle grapes.
The Full sweetness taste of Sauternes that also contains flavors of Apricot, honey and peaches.
The color of most of Sauternes Sweet white wine is golden yellow there is a slight difference depending on the age of the wine. Not to mention that this wine has a significant potential for aging.
The most oldest sweet wine is the Tokaji Aszu wayback in the 1600s. A product from Tokaj region located in the northeastern of Hungary.
Tokaji Aszu or also known as Tokay, is made with grapes that is affected by noble rot. Noble rot also known sa Botrytis Cinerea is a type of fungus, a good one of course. These good fungus attacks the grapes, the ones that are very rice and are thin-skinned grapes. As a result, the grapes will start to lose its moisture- just like that with the raisins-therefore the flavors of the grapes and its sugar will be more concentrated.
Tokay also has a nice balance between acidity and sugar content.
Ice Wine belongs to the very sweet variety of white wine. The term “Ice Wine” refers to how the wine is being made using a unique technique wherein grapes are being frozen while the grapes are still connected and hanging on to the vines.
Typically done during winter season, since it can only be referred to as Ice wine when grapes that are used are frozen naturally.
The grape juice are then processed and pressed to create a very concentrated very sweet white wine.
Although the water of the grapes are frozen, the sugar and and solids are not creating a more flavorful and sweet wine.
A sweet white wine product from countries such as US, Germany, South Africa, Italy, Russia and Australia. Although most of the popular Riesling wine are made from countries such as Germany and France wherein Riesling wine in Germany is referred to as Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Trockenbeerenauslese, and Eiswein (lesser sweetness to most sweetest)
There are different varieties of Riesling White wine. Most of the types of Riesling wines have a lesser level of sweetness, but most of the time Riesling wine is known to be a sweet white wines.
Riesling wine has a distinct fruity flavors of apricot, pineapple, lemon and lime flavors.
A sweet dessert wine that is made from Tuscany in Italy. Belongs to the very sweet variety of white wine.
A full-bodies white wine that have hints of different flavors such as hazelnut, caramel, and honey.
In Italy, Vin Santo wines are best paired with Biscotti, a delicious Italian biscuit or sometimes paired it with a mature cheese.
Ideally, Vin Santo should be consumed and placed in a large glass. It should be chilled for about 14 to 16 degrees.
Dessert wine is considered to be an expensive wine due to the effort and time that are involved in making the wine. Also, dessert wines are commonly seen served in restaurants.
When it comes to drinking wine, either white or red, every individual has its own preferences in terms of the taste, flavor and sweetness of the wine. Some individual likes red wine, while other prefer white wine. Other like sweet wine, whole some like dry white wine.
The only way to know which wine suits you best is to give in a little time and effort to at least try the different types of wine out there. If you can, try to go to any winery in your place and sample the different types of wines.