Wine comes in many different forms, shapes and style, from red dries to sweet white, each wine has its own unique flavor and qualities that make them special. Now there are three types of wine; white, red and rose. Each wine is made from a combination of different grapes, and from that point, how the wine is made will determine the style of wine or the type of red, white, or rose wine. It’s all in the process; the way the wine is made will determine not only the quality of the wine but also the type of wine. For example, let us take a look at the production process of sweet wine; but first what is sweet wine? To beginning, there are both sweet red wines and sweet white wines, although generally speaking sweet white wines are much easier to find. Sweet wines are wines that lie on the sweeter side of the spectrum; they are the opposite of a dry wine and have certain flavors and qualities that are very different from other wines. Most sweet wines don’t go that well with full meals but they do go very well with desserts. So when a person is asking for a sweet wine what they are saying is they prefer a wine that is not dry.
Now the production of sweet wine is fairly similar to any other wine, such as it goes through the picking of grapes, the crushing with or without its skin, the fermentations and so on, all the way to the bottling and storage. Now what makes the process different is more about the types of grapes, the varieties, and one major step during the fermentation.
Grapes, the types of grape really determines what type of wine it is going to be, since a Sweet wine can be red, white or rose, this first step of the process is generally up to the winemaker in which grapes he wishes to use, now the important thing about the grapes though isn’t its diversity but rather it’s age. Wine producers who make Sweet wine will choose grape that had a late harvest, if a grape is left on the vine past the normal harvest time, the grapes will develop more concentration in sugar and flavors. Late harvested grapes will have too much sugar in them when it comes to being converted by yeast to alcohol, meaning that there will be what is called residual sugar, added to the wine which makes it sweeter. Another important fact to know about the grapes that are chosen for Sweet wine production is something called Botrytis which is basically also known as noble rot. This rot is a fungus, why would wine producers who want to make a clear sweet wine want fungus in the wine? Because the fungus saps in moisture from the grapes which leaves the grapes with a higher concentration of sugar and acidity, so in this case fungus means good. Another interesting grape fact about sweet wine is something called Passito; Passito is made with grapes that have been semi-dried and turned into raisins. Passito have significant amount of residual sugar and are very concentrated in flavor.
Now after the grapes have been chosen, plucked, and crushed they go on through the process from grapes to must, which is the liquid or grape juice. The must is then placed into a vessel which means it enters the next stage of the wine process, the fermentation stage. During this stage the grape’s natural sugars start to convert into alcohol by the yeast that is also added. Now the difference is in this stage from the dry wines, during this stage instead of fully going through with the fermentation, the wine makes will stop the fermentation process short meaning that some of the wine’s sugar remains unconverted into alcohol and makes up for the wines residual sugar. Now it is this residual sugar that offers the sweet factor in a Sweet wine. From that point on the process is fairly similar compared to the dry reds or dry whites. After fermentation it will go through the other process such as draining the unwanted materials through whichever methods the winemakers decide on, bottling, labeling and then storage for aging. The main difference that a sweet wine undergoes in its process is the types of grapes and the short process during its fermentation.
Now Sweet wine can come in many different styles instead of just the regular Sweet white or red, there are also something called dessert wines which are also very sweet, such as Ice wine. Ice wines are really unique because they are made from frozen grapes off the vine, the grapes are literally frozen when picked, and they are then pressed and fermented. The result from a frozen grape is an incredibly, rich, ultra-sweet wine. Another interesting Sweet wine is Moscato; these are semi-sparkling, semi-sweet to sweet wines that are made from Moscato grapes. These wines take aromatics to a whole new level, with fresh floral, ripe stone fruit and exotic spice mark, an extraordinary component to this unique sweet wine. Another Sweet wine is known as a Cherry, this is a fortified wine that is produced in Spain within the “Sherry Triangle” from white wine grapes. Sherry’s are very rich and depending on the style can range from dry to Super Sweet.