Lanzarote's bilingual magazine

Sweet on Dessert Wines

There is a vast variety of excellent sweet wines to choose from. Try them on their own or paired with their perfect dessert partners. Which to try? Decisions… decisions!

The world of fine wines offers another jewel in its delectable crown with a broad selection of quality dessert wines available from all corners of the planet. Among the most renowned are the popular Pedro Ximénez (PX), from Montilla Moriles and Jerez (Spain); the well-known Sauternes, from Bordeaux (France); the famous Tokaj from Hungary; the famous Porto (Portugal); Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese from Germany; Eiswine from Germany-Austria; and Icewine from Canada. Along with exquisite sweet wines from lesser-known regions, but of equally high quality, they all boast a balance of flavours that make them true elixirs.

The secret behind the outstanding quality of dessert wines lies not only in the grape variety grown in exceptional regions, but also in the meticulous winemaking methods used to bring them to life. These methods vary a great deal and can include exposing grapes to the sun for raisining; leaving them to dry on the vine for a late harvest; impregnating with the Botrytis cinerea fungus, so making them raisiny; adding alcohol to stop fermentation and concentrate sugars and using grapes that freeze with the frosts.

When it comes to enjoying sweet wines after a meal, they can be paired with all kinds of desserts and even with savoury foie and cheese boards whose strong flavours complement the sweetness of the dessert wines perfectly. Aged wines such as Porto or PX pair very well with dark chocolate or provide the ideal finishing flourish to a meal in their own right.

Our Canary Wines have long been renowned internationally and in the English royal court. Even Shakespeare himself made regular mention of them in almost all his literary works in which he would refer to them as ‘canary’ or ‘sack’.

In Lanzarote we are fortunate to have extraordinary sweet wines made from the white Malvasía Volcánica and Muscat of Alexandria grape varieties as well the occasional sweet wine made from the red Listán Negro grape. Our famed Malavasía Volcánica grapes are renowned the world over and it is thanks to their unique flavour profile that so many of the island’s wines boast such excellence. For these reasons they have long featured on the menus of famous Michelin-starred restaurants such as El Bulli and Celler de Can Roca, to name but a few.

Pedro J. Benasco Curbelo. WSET. OW B Tasting

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