Loved by Dickens, Austen and Napoleon, the sweet wines of Constantia were legendary in the 18th and 19th century. But Klein Constantia – the estate revived in the 1980s – is done with looking back. Ahead of the release of the 2019 vintage, Sophie Thorpe caught up with winemaker Matthew Day to find out what…
Sweet wine isn’t just for dessert. Contrary to what some wine enthusiasts believe, sweet white wines can be served with savory dishes or appreciated on their own. In fact, some of these wines are just as complex and elegant as drier styles like white Bordeaux, white Burgundy, or New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Underneath all of that residual sugar, the top rated sweet white wines are packed with layers of flavor; they’re rarely just “sweet.”
Master of Wine Jancis Robinson says, “Not much about wine makes me sad, but the average wine consumer’s attitude to sweet wines does. Good sweet wine is probably the most difficult and expensive wine in the world to make, yet so many people turn up their noses at the idea of sweetness in wine.” This is especially true for sweet red wines. While Sauternes is often praised by wine critics and collectors alike, sweet red wines aren’t given nearly as much attention. This guide will help you find the most incredible sweet red wines on the market today.
Sauternes and Tokaj wines are some of the most sought-after in the world. Both regions are famous for producing sweet, concentrated white wines that can age for decades–some can even age for centuries under the right conditions. These wines share similarities–botrytized grapes are used in both regions, for example–yet comparing Sauternes vs. Tokaji reveals that these are two very different wines. For one thing, they don’t have the same flavor profile. Fine Sauternes is known for tasting rich and honeyed, while Tokaji Aszú is often much fruitier and more acidic.