Sweet White Wines – Instant Smiles

“What is the definition of a good wine? It should start and end with a smile.” -William Sokolin

Dessert wines, liqueur wines, fortified wines or choose the name you want depending of its origin, but…why we cannot call to this sweet wine club – awesome wines!
Sigh…I feel better now…it’d be your palate which gives the names because your sensations rule 😉

Well, if we’re doing a wine tasting of these sweeties what if we see something more about them; an important characteristic is that winemakers produce them in reduced form, the yields are very low and for that reason they are expensive…but worth them!

Sweet White Wines

Raisins and Wine -Sound a Lavish Dessert-

Yes, it isn’t specifically a dessert, although it could be…the wines are made from raisins (the grapes are dried intentionally with dry-air or in the sun, giving a high concentration of sugar and sweetness later. Typical wine examples but rare, Italian, French and Spanish (quite obvious to mention these origins, aren’t they?)

Similar effects have with late harvest wines, the grapes are left deliberately longer than normal at the vine, getting – a very sweet grape must – for further preparation and /or aging in oak barrels.

Worthy representatives are Riesling, Semillon, Torrontes and to a lesser extent, it can be a Viognier, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Fungus and Wine…Bizarre Combination!

For natural processes or induced –Noble rot -makes that a fungus (Botrytis cinerea) affects grapes, generating raisins -it is necessary to have an especial climate in terms of moisture and heat- to produces the effect of grape dehydration, imparting an aroma and flavor that is typical, shining later in the wine bottle. By the way, have you ever drunk a wine glass of them?

Emblematic French sweet wines are the Sauternes wines in Southern France and the Semillon grape is appropriate.
Wine making is an art and they must do it very carefully, because if there’s too much moisture the fungus can spread and lose the entire crop; it isn’t easy to play with the nature!

Power to the Wines! a.k.a. Fortified Wines

Why fortified? That term is because the sweetness of the wine is accentuated with the addition of alcohol before the fermentation is finished. Yields a wine that has an extra amount of natural sugar unfermented that gives power and strength.

Originally, the addition of brandy was to preserve wine, allowing more time on the long journey of the ships and making them more stable.

Depending on what stage you’re adding alcohol is the ultimate sweetness. In early phases, it’s sweeter and afterwards, gives drier wines. Obviously the most sweets are my preferred 😉
The resulting alcohol levels are 18-20% by volume approx. therefore warning! these wines are very addictives and they lead express to the head!

I haven’t delighted with everyone because there’re many varieties, among others, the Port wine (a.k.a. Oporto a Portuguese type red wine), Vermouth (Originally from Italy white/red wine), Marsala (Italian, great for cooking and for desserts like Tiramisu!) and Sherry (or Jerez, Spanish white/red wine).

Sweet Wine InformationI’d love to hear from you in the comment section if these wine types make you happy 🙂

In general lines, these fine white wines have aromas of ripe fruit (delicious), notes of honey (more in cases when are aged in oak barrels), and they can also have fragrances to tropical fruits.
Depending on the type, if they’re sickly sweet, it is necessary an acidity quota to provide freshness and to counteract that extra sweetness.

Food & Sweet White Wines Pairing

These wine types combine best with all kinds of fruity desserts and fresh fruit tarts, ahh with creamy desserts like mousses or creme brulee are fantastic!

The Noble rot types are ideals with cheeses blue type, Stilton or Roquefort and some types of pates. Not much explored, but they’re very effective with sheep or goat cheeses like Pecorino, Manchego even type Crottin.
Certainly it’s traditional that these wines have high ratings with handmade pastry and the famous Turrones or Torrone in the festivities.

I’ve highlighted the more popular sweet white wines that you can find commonly in the world. Definitely there’re more specifics in some wine countries like (Tokaj) Hungary, (Ice wines) principally from Germany and Canada; I can go on and on…because today the new world winemakers are in the same “wave” with Europe, including US, Australia, New Zealand and South American wines -Hey here Present!-

Interesting wine links that I recommend checking out:

Which remarkable sweet white wines would you like to add to this post?
I can’t wait to hear your thoughts! 🙂

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Hungry for more sweet? Enjoy this post about the power of dulce de leche!


Gera is a techie & foodie passionate about how to succeed in social media. He focuses also on successful blogging tips and food connections. You can connect with him on Google +. Subscribe to his Free WPulsar Newsletter about WordPress Plugin & Theme Reviews, Blogging and Social Media.


I’m embarassed to say I don’t know much about wine either. Thanks for all the great info. and help in choosing wine.


One of the sweetest wines I know is a Hungarian wine:

Royal Tokaj Essencia

(Only 1400 bottles were produced in 1999 and each was sold to $500)

Essencia has a very hard producing process. White grapes are left to “Botrytis Cinerea” (a kind of fungus for good fermentation)process, then before they are sent to pressing, they are let to ooz the first grape water by crashing/pressing on eachother while transporting.

1 ton grapes gives 10 litre (10 quarts) liquid. Rather like “honey” (that sweet kind of liquid)

They live the wine to fermentation for 5-6 years. In the end it comes in to a sweet wine with 2-3% vol. of alcohol, and 600-850 grams (21-30 ounces) of suger per litre (per quart)!

It has taste notes of honey, apricot, quince, marmelade, caramel and almond.

They call Essencia “the liquid gold”. It is said that Essencia was drunk by kings, princes, and cardinals as a potion of youngness and long life through the history.

Essencia is served with a crystal spoon as it’s rather thick, and precious. Essencia can be left to be aged for 50 years.

Meeta K. Wolff

Gera! This is spectacular. I love the easy guide to dessert wines. Very helpful for the Holiday season!


I also had read about a German sweet wine which is made with grapes which gets frozen in vineyard in winter.

Also they put sweet red wines into barrels, and leave them under sun to be cooked in South France. And they call this ‘cooked wine’ Maury. (But this is not sweet white, u see)

btw… I translated the exact informations about Essencia from a Turkish magazine on alcoholic beverage culture , Gusto.


Oh I forgot to say 😀

I’m not a ‘white wine’ girl. I adore red wines like Merlot or Syrah.

On the other hand I could try ‘very very special’ whites as long as they are really very special lol


I skipped “the ice wine” at the end of the article while reading, dear. That’s the same wine I described as the German wine made with frozen grapes.


@Feedback Secrets
Wines are vast theme full of points of view; this is small of part of it! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

I’m not either an expert in wines, but glad this article helps you to explore the fascinating wine world! 🙂

You’ve a sweet tooth like me, I knew that this post would like you hehe ..and for holiday season is a must 😉

Wow great info you have added Bal!
I know Tokay but not the Essencia “the liquid gold” wine; very interesting and these are the reasons, very well explained, why is so expensive and so good too! It sounds that this, specifically is the most high-priced and rare of the Tokay wines!
I skipped also in details the German and or Canadian wines with frozen grapes – very difficult to make- to not making a loooong article.

I haven’t preference for red o white but my sweet tooth rules always, a very dry wine isn’t for me….a sweet one lol!
You should taste the red wine of my country the Tannat, strong and with good body. My country is the only one that produce it, because in France isn’t important but here is the national wine 🙂


yummy. Dessert wines!


Thanks for the great lesson on sweet wines! Riesling with Thai food is really great. I must confess, I’m a sucker for Champagne over any of the sweet wines though 🙂


I’m sure you know, I’m a crazed foodie! LOL…

Sweet wines are my absolute fave!

Living in the Niagara Region, we have so many world-renowned wines at our immediate disposal, and boy am I glad.

One of our region’s fortes is ice wine, which always proves to be sweet and fantastically flavorful!

Great post!

Kimberly 🙂


Dear Gera!
What I like best about sweet wines is that they make the perfect marriage/pairing with strong cheese!
Have you heard of Risevaltes and Banyuls in France?
Cheers and all that!


I like botyzed wines and late harvest.Ányway I am not an expertize, but I learn a little bit after I moved to here. Your blog is so good.


Totally yummy and some of them are great for cooking as well 🙂

Ohh Yeah in general the fruity Riesling matches well with Thai food!
Champagne is a must all the year and of course for me, the sweeter 🙂

@Kimberly @ Cooking With Kimberly Blog
I know you’re a crazed foodie but so I am!
You’ve there gems in the ice wines there in Canada!
Thanks so much for your visit Kimberly 🙂

The blue type chesses are wonderful to get a balance with these sweet wines.
No, I haven’t heard about them but I suppose that they’re great! If you’ve more info, let me know!
Cheers for you Robert!

We’ve the same taste, both are my also favourites…certainly, from time to time 😉
Thanks for stopping by and wonderful times for you at B.A.!


Thanks for enlightening me on wines which I have great interest to learn more 🙂

Natalie MacLean

Hi Gera,

Thanks so much for posting a link to my wine-and-food matcher! There are lots of desserts in there, including 50 types of chocolate, Jell-O, pies and donuts, but I’d love to have more suggestions from your visitors. There’s also main dishes if anyone has ideas.



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Carolyn Jung

I love forified wines. Have you ever tried icewine? It’s fab. Made from grapes frozen on the vine.


@ Carolyn,
Yeah once and I love it!! A pity it’s done with frozen grapes.. impossible here, we’re warmer 🙂


White sweet wines are my favorites. Too bad they go striaght to my head 🙂

I also really like vihno verde b/c it’s refreshing and light.

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