What makes dessert wine sweet?
The earliest dessert wines were often sweet because they had not completely fermented. The sweetness of today’s dessert wines is often a result of their naturally occurring sugars (glucose and fructose), which increase the longer a grape ripens on the vine. The residual sugars in dessert wine can also be the result of a freeze late in the harvest (as is the case with ice wine), or a mold infection (“noble rot”). Another method used in the creation of dessert wine is the addition of brandy which stops fermentation. The most well known dessert wine from Canada and Germany is their ice wine. France produces many fine dessert wines, their most famous is Sauternes. Italy also produces a wide variety of fine dessert wines.