For some, drinking sweet wine is a sign of the unsophisticated. For others, it's a sign of an excellent sommelier.
According to Good Food, any good sommelier or winemaker knows that there is a time and place for sweet wine. For Sydney-based wine consultant Sophie Otton that time is dessert, and it's usually in place of an actual dessert. For her, dessert wine is the treat following a main meal and is best served by itself or with cheese. No need to feel guilty over delving into a rich chocolate mousse cake.
Leanne De Bortoli agreed, and she should know – her family are the epitome of sweet wine makers, with Noble One being one of Australia's best loved drops.
Whether you choose to drink it alone or match it with a soft blue cheese, there are some tips and tricks to buying sweet wine:
Tip 1: Muscats and muscadelles are perfect accompaniments for rich chocolate desserts. The Victorian Rutherglen region produces some of Australia's finest muscats, with Rutherglen's chief executive Eliza Brown claiming them to be some of "the most sensuous wines imaginable".
Tip 2. The method behind botrytised wine may not sound so appealing, but the technique produces some of Europe's greatest sweet wines. Known as "noble rot", grapes are infected during moist weather and later exposed to drier weather to create a "raisined" characteristic. The end result is an intensely sweet wine, perfect for dessert. In Australia, look for wines labelled "nobel" or "botrytis", typically made from semillon or riesling.
Tip 3: Try cleansing the palate with a good sparkling wine or champagne after dinner, especially when teamed with fruit such as figs. The freshness of fruit or a light pavlova perfectly complements the fizz from a sparkling moscato.