What Is Sweet Wine?Fortunately if you want to learn about sweet wine there is plenty of information on this blog about that subject, especially about sweet wine for beginners. Sweet wine is becoming increasingly popular in the ever-growing world of wine today. For the novice, a heavy red table wine can equate to the bitterness of your first beer. Think of the effect of sucking a lemon. Yes, that face. You won't have a very enjoyable experience if you start big right away.
The best way to start learning about wine is to start sweet and work your way up to the drier wines over time. While you can find a sweet red wine or, more aptly, a semi sweet red wine like port, dessert wines are more common types of sweet wine for beginners and are typically meant to be sipped. They can be a little pricier than other wine options but they will set you on the right path to developing your wine palate. Sweet, syrupy and fruity are the easiest to get down for beginners and can slake anyone's thirst who is not yet accustomed to the drier, more tannic red wines that more experienced wine drinkers are used to.
What Makes Sweet Wine Sweet?
What makes sweet tasting wines sweet is residual sugar. That's just the natural sugar left in the wine after the fermentation process of wine making has completed.
Sidenote: If you don't know what I'm talking about when I mention fermentation, let's start from the beginning. Wine is made from grapes. To get alcohol into the wine you must let the juice ferment. This allows the sugars in the wine convert to alcohol. The longer the fermentation process, the more sugar converts, thus the higher the alcohol content in the wine and the drier the wine will be. But for sweet white wines the sugars usually are not allowed to ferment all the way out and a little residual sugar remains.
Sometimes sugar is added after fermentation to cut the bitterness of the wine or to balance the acidity common in most white wines. And then sometimes residual sugar comes from harvesting the grapes later than normal, which allows the grapes to ripen more. There is less water in the grape at this stage which makes for more concentrated sugars.
Late-harvest wine is the most common sweet white wine. One popular late-harvest variety is "ice wine", which is made from grapes that have frozen on the vine. Port, Sherry, Madeira, Sauternes, most German wine like Riesling and Auslese are all sweet wines that every wine newbie should look to as a sweet wine for beginners.
Enjoy this video on sweet wine.