Dessert and fortified wines are made by stopping the fermentation process before all the sugars inside are converted to alcohol. This leaves a sweeter wine that can be consumed alone or, in the case of fortified wines, combined with distilled liquors. This category includes ice wines, fortified wines like Port, Madeira, and many other wines. The best dessert wines are made from grapes that are very sugary, which is why dessert wines have an intense nose, voluptuous flavor, and velvety texture.
The process to make dessert and fortified wines is so labor-intensive that the price may seem high, but it is well worth it. These wines have an exceptional ability to age, some for upwards of 50 years, so they’re as much an investment as anything else!
Remember: many dessert wines are meant to be consumed in small quantities and should therefore be served cold.