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Dessert wines or sweet wines are characterized by the high content of sugar and alcohol.
We can define the wines "sweet" when the sugar concentration is more than 45 g/l.
There are different methods of production to increase the amount of sugar in the final wine:
- Natural sweetness
Certain types of grapes are sweet in nature, such as ortega, muscat and huxelrebe, and with natural crops winemakers can improve this feature.
- Adding sweetener
Sweetener like sugar or honey can be added before fermentation (Chaptalization) or after fermentation(Süssreserve, literally meaning "sweet reserve")
- Adding alcohol (typically brandy)
The alchol is added before all the sugar is fermented (Fortified Wines or Liqueur Wine)
- Removing water to concentrate the sugar
Sweet wine can be reached by air drying the grapes to get Raisin Wine or by freezing out some of the water to get Ice Wine