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Italian Dessert Wine

Italian Dessert Wine

Serving dessert wine is one of the most common practices in Italy. Let us find out more about this unique type of wine.
Sujata Iyer
If there's one thing the Italians know how to do in style, it's their food. They are passionate about everything related to food, right from the preparation, to the cooking to the serving, to of course, the eating. They take a lot of care to blend all the right spices to render the right flavor to their food. And they serve it in style, with the best seasoning and a whole lot of love. A common tradition in Italy is to serve and sip a light and delicious dessert wine during snack time or before mealtimes. Mind you, Italian dessert wine has nothing to do with the actual Italian desserts, though it can be accompanied with cookies or biscotti. Given below are names of some of the most popular ones. Read them and you can pick out the one you'll try out this weekend.

Best Italian Dessert Wines

Italian wines are definitely worth trying. Italian dessert wine is a blend of white wine and red wine. The base of the wine is generally sweet, as a majority of the wines are made from sweet grapes that grow in areas where sunlight is abundant. Given below are the names of some of the best dessert wines that can be suggested for a light drink before dinner or a drink to accompany your snack at sunset. Enjoy them.

Chaudelune: This is a golden wine that is brewed in the glaciers surrounding the Alps. The Cave du Vin Blanc de Morgex et de La Salle is the producer of this wine. Its vineyards are the highest in Europe. The grapes that grow are handpicked after the temperature falls a little below freezing point. This is done because when the temperature falls below freezing point, the juice of the grapes gets frozen, but not the sugar. This sugar is used to create a wine that is deeply sweet with a slight tinge of apricot flavor in it. It is brewed in barrels, then aged in bottles.

Vin Santo: The name's literal translation is 'Holy Wine'. There are many legends that surround the naming of this wine. To make this wine, the grapes are handpicked and dried in bright sunlight. For drying, they are either hung on rafters for some months. As the grapes dry and turn into raisins, the juice in them gets saturated within them. The juice is pressed out and is preserved in barrels that are shaped like cigars. This way they get exposure to air and can breathe. They are stored for a period of ten years in these barrels until they develop the desired golden color and flavor that has a touch of apricot.

Moscato d'Asti: This is a sparkling Italian dessert wines. What wine makers do to prepare this wine is they begin crushing the grapes and preserve the un-fermented wine as it is. They refrigerate it so that it does not go bad. As and when the requirement arises, they begin to ferment the wine until the alcohol level in it is just 5.5% or so. By doing this, there is an innate sweetness that lingers in the wine and it also remains fresh all year round.

Brachetto d'Acqui: No list of Italian dessert wines is complete without the mention of this wine. Brachetto d'Acqui is brewed in a region in Italy called the Piedmont region. Here, the main grapes that are used to make this wine are Aleatico and Moscato Nero. They are grown in the provinces of Alessandria and Asti. The grapes are crushed to produce a rich red wine which has a sweet taste and a low content of alcohol in it.

Passito di Pantelleria: This is one of the oldest dessert wines that has been served in Italy. The wine gets its name from the small island called Pantelleria. It earned the sobriquet of 'daughter of the wind' because handpicking the Zibibbo grapes in the midst of heavy winds on this island was very difficult. After picking them, the grapes are sun dried for weeks, being turned over every single day, so that they do not rot. After drying, they are pressed, the juice is extracted, and it is allowed to ferment for a long time. The final wine has a deep amber color, and subtle hints of fig, date and apricot.

The information on the different options of dessert wine that you read above are sure to have made you want to get a sparkling bottle for yourself. If not, you can always settle for traditional Italian white wine or red wine, and have an enjoyable evening.