What is the difference between sweet and fortified wines?

by sarahrichardier

Confronted to the vast choice of wine available on the market we often have to take difficult decisions when it comes to choose one. Don?t forget the original flavours of the sweet and fortified wines! These are two options to consider when you are facing the wide (and wild?) world of wines.

The most important difference between a regular wine and a sweet wine is its residual sugar content. Sweet wines are those that have a high percentage of alcohol and are sweet thanks to a long aging. The grapes are crushed and put to fermentation. The yeast then converts the sugar into alcohol. The idea is to stop the fermentation process before it?s complete and enjoy the sweet taste that the natural residual sugar gives to the wine.  Different techniques are used, from the choice of a very sweet grape variety, to freezing the water present in wine, passing by the elimination of the yeast.

Most sweet white wines are made with Moscatel or Macabeo, while most red ones are made with Grenache.

The fortified wine’s average alcohol content is around 15 and 23 degrees. It is usually made from Palomino and Pedro Ximenez grapes. It is fortified by adding alcohol to the base. This alcohol added is named ?Natural grape spirit?. It is distinguished from liquors because the spirit is not made by distillation but simply added to it. While most fortified wines are made in the sweet style, the fortified wines can also be dry.

The sweet wine complexity can be revealed thanks to the contrast with food that has a completely different taste. Also, it can then be reaffirmed with similar sweet food.

The ideal mix in order to enjoy the fortified wine is the Roquefort cheese, blue cheese, nuts, cream-based desserts and chocolate.  Want to try some? Today we recommend 2:

 TAGS:Ximenez-Spinola Pedro XimenezXimenez-Spinola Pedro Ximenez

Ximenez-Spinola Pedro Ximenez, a sweet wine

 TAGS:Muscat de Beaumes de VeniseMuscat de Beaumes de Venise

Muscat de Beaumes de Venise, french taste

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