About Dessert wine
Wikipedia Article About Dessert wine on Wikipedia
Dessert wines are those wines which are typically served with dessert, although they are also drunk on their own, i.e. not accompanying food. They are often sweet wines such as ice wine, Sauternes, Tokaji Aszú, Beerenauslese, Bermet, Trockenbeerenauslese and Commandaria or fortified wines such as sherry and port. Often these wines are very sweet and people tend to not drink them in large quantities. For this reason dessert wines are popular in smaller 375 ml bottles in addition to larger ones.
Legally in the United States, dessert wine refers to wines of 14% alcohol or greater. Historically these were fortified, as table wines were typically 12.5%. With a greater emphasis on ripe fruit, many dry unfortified wines, particularly Zinfandels, reach 15% or more and are thus legally considered dessert wines, and are taxed at a higher rate. Many dessert wines have a much lower alcohol level. For example, many German dessert wines only reach 7-8%.
Despite their name, many of these wines are not particularly well suited for consumption with desserts but are more suitably consumed on their own or with very rich savoury foods such as foie gras. Additionally dessert wines are drunk with pudding, as they are thought to bring out the flavor. Sweet wines of this type are often served as dessert.