Rounding off a meal with a beautiful pudding accompanied by the ideal dessert wine is a huge treat for your guests.
Getting the right combination is essential.
So, here’s our handy guide to how dessert wines are made, and which one you should choose for your pudding.
How are sweet wines created?
Extra-sweet grapes are used to produce dessert wines. The process of fermentation is stopped before it turns all the sweetness to alcohol, wither by adding brandy or by super-cooling the wine. This kills the yeast and stops the fermentation.
There are five main types of dessert wine:
- Sparkling – look for the word ‘dulce’ in Spanish, this is often made using Moscato grapes
- Lightly sweet – including several Moscatel wines, these are more refreshing wines
- Richly sweet – made with the sweetest grapes in an unfortified way including late harvesting, the use of the Noble rot spore, or grapes being laid on straw mats
- Sweet red – the majority come from Italy and the USA and several are made using the late harvesting method
- Fortified – port, madeira wine, or sherry are added to the wine in this method
How is Andalusian fortified sweet dessert wine made?
Sherry is added to the wine-making process to halt the yeast fermentation, leaving sugars in the wine rather than turning them to alcohol.
Sherries are made using Moscatel, Palomino, and Pedro Ximénez grapes. Varying amounts of each of the grapes are used to produce different flavours and they have a nutty aroma thanks to the grapes being oxidised.
Dessert wines are generally produced using Cream, Moscatel or Pedro Ximénez grapes. Cream sherries are a blend of Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez grapes. Moscatel produces a sweet sherry which has the flavours of dates or figs, the perfect accompaniment to desserts which are fruit, creamy, or nutty. Pedro Ximénez grapes produce a sherry which is very sweet, tastes of brown sugar and figs, and is perfect with both chocolate desserts and puddings based on cream.
Which wine will suit your pudding?
Fruit puddings such as apple or pear tarts, cherry clafoutis, or ice cream – Moscatel Hechizo, a fine dessert wine made from grapes cultivated by the sea and ripened in the Andalusian sun or Moscatel Oscuro Playa de Regla, an intense wine with a hint of citrus.
Cakes or pastries – Moscatel Dorado, a traditional dessert wine with floral and citrus notes.
Chocolate puddings – Moscatel Pasas Solera Abuela, a rich, dark, intense dessert wine with the aroma of toasted coffee and cocoa.
Creamy desserts such as rice puddings, Eton mess, or meringues – Pedro Ximénez Hechizo, a wine with a sticky, caramelised taste.
Looking for the authentic taste of Andalusia and need some more inspiration? Check out our