Sweet wines can be compared to a magnet that draws juice or cola drinkers away from these liquids and lures them towards the world of wines. First time consumers of dessert wines should try out white wines lying on the sweeter side, as sweet white wines are considerably easier to find than sweet reds. People who tend to prefer sweet wines generally stay away from dry wines. Some of the best varieties of sweet Australian white wines –
Riesling is a grape variety which is grown in most New World regions. It has the ability to be styled both as a red as well as a white wine. To craft a dessert Riesling wine, the grapes are picked very late with icewine or noble rot in order to enhance their sweetness. Sweet Rieslings generally showcase a higher acidic content and lower alcohol content, matching well with foods like soft cheese, fresh fruits, Thai food and bread pudding.
The Muscat grape variety is known by a number of names – Muscato, Moscato, Muscadel and Muscatel. This grape is used to manufacture a blissfully aromatic wine dessert wine that can either be styled as a sweet wine, or as a sweet semi sparkling (Moscato d’Asti). Being a food friendly wine, Moscato has managed to pull at the heartstrings of many wine lovers, pairing exceptionally well with Thai dishes, lightly spiced cuisines, creamy desserts, berries and souffles among many others.
Initially originating in Loire Valley, the cultivation of Chenin Blanc grapes has spread to various winegrowing regions like Australia, Spain, South Africa and US. Highly acidic, this grape variety is usually harvested late in the year after it has been exposed to as much noble rot as possible. Chenin Blanc wines exhibit green apple aromas with a slight minerality or chalkiness leading to a palate filled with flavours of honey, nuts, chocolate and citrus. Spicy Asain dishes as well as Mexican cuisines are great food partners with sweet and savoury Chenin Blanc wines.
Sauternes is regarded as the King of sweet wines. Sauternes wines generally command respect and appreciation owing to their rich heritage and history, which is why they are often more expensive in comparison to similarly-styled sweet wines. A blend of Semillon, Muscadelle and Sauvignon Blanc grapes, this wine features acidity and chalkiness in addition to its vibrant apricot and honeycomb flavours. Serve Sauternes wines chilled with chocolate, moldy cheeses, fois gras and crème brulee.
Although Sauvignon Blanc wines are generally dry and acidic, some producers in New Zealand and California are known to add residual sugar to their Sauvignon wines in order to enhance texture as well as introduce sweetness. Sav Blanc wines are known to exhibit lime, passion-fruit, kiwi, white peach and nectarine flavours that infuse with ripe aromas of gooseberry, celery, basil and wet concrete to provide a rich and cleansing mouth-feel. Pair New Zealand or Californian Sauvignon Blanc wines with mint, crab, sour cheeses or cucumber salads and they have the potential to be regarded as the best sweet Sauvignon Blanc wines in the world.