Refined and sweet desire, the sweet is perfect at the end of a holiday meal. Eve of Christmas or the new year, we do not forget to put a bottle to cool. And even for other occasions...
Choose sweet sound
What is the sweet?
It is a wine made of grapes "botrytised", i.e. clusters were parasitized by Botrytis Cinerea, a fungus also known as "noble rot". Well yes it exists! "Expected that grains ofgrapes are dried, wrinkled and covered with a whitish down to harvest," said Emmanuel Delmas, sommelier. Sign of maturity and extreme sweet taste: a sweet wine contains more than 45 grams of residual sugar (remaining after fermentation)! Note: sweet typically refers to a white wine (you can also find sweet reds... But this is another story!)
Natural sweet wines, liqueur wines, naturally sweet wines, what is the difference?
All three are part of what is called the sweet, but they do not have the same characteristics...
Natural sweet wines are wines to which spirits or sugar during fermentation to stopit and retain the residual sugar. We find among them the rivesaltes, banyuls, muscatFrontignan, muscat Beaume-de-Venice...
Liqueur wines result from the addition of brandy at the beginning the ferment grape juice (called mistelle). This is the case of macvin du Jura (mistelle + marc spirit), the Pineau des Charentes (mistelle + Cognac brandy), Floc de Gascogne or Pommeau of Normandy.
Naturally sweet wines often occur in areas where the morning mists of autumn appear and promote grain overmature. The grapes are so naturally rich in sugars. It comes to sauternes, monbazillac, Jurançon fluffy, Alsace late harvest or the coteaux-du-Layon in the Loire, for example.
The safe values by region
ALSACE: Late harvest, Sélection de grains nobles from Alsace: gewurztraminer, muscat, riesling, pinot Grigio
JURA: Straw wine
LOIRE: Sweet Vouvray, montlouis semi-dry, coteaux du layon, coteaux - de - l'Aubance
Bordeaux: Sauternes, barsac, loupiac, Sainte-Croix-du-mont, cadillac, Cérons
Southwest: Sweet Jurançon, saussignac, soft gaillac, monbazillac, rosette
Languedoc-Roussillon: muscats from Rivesaltes, Frontignan, Lunel, maury
RHÔNE: Rasteau, muscat Beaume-de-Venice
How to recognize a good sweet?
You need the nose but also the Palace! Good sweet wine can be drink easily and isnever sickening. Because although it is quite rich in sugar, it must not hide the aromas. "Sweet coupons are sweet but balanced by the acidity, so the sugar seems not to dominate the whole, explains Emmanuel Delmas. Acidity gives the wine more impetus and freshness. Thus, without really realizing it, we go down the bottle in no time, even at 4!
At what point in the meal serve him?
Avoids to serve at the beginning of meals because it will weigh down the Palace and cut the appetite. It is rather ideal served with a creamy cheese and salty like roquefort, or with a dessert as a red fruit tart to counteract the acidity of fruit, or a Mocha,or even a fluffy chocolate, with a slight bitterness. To appreciate it fully, served coldbut not frozen, at a temperature between 10 and 12 ° C.
We retained or not?
It is possible to keep it (for some, decades) provided you put the price, no less than€12, and find it in the right place, directly at a winemaker or a merchant of proximity, so as to be sure that the conservation of the wine is made in good conditions
Thanks for advice to Emmanuel Delmas, sommelier, consultant and author of the book 'tasting 20 lessons', Editions de La Martinière