Beyond Port and Sherry, here are a few of our favorites:
Sauternes – the golden wine of the Sauternes region in
Bordeaux, these wines are made with botrytis-affected
grapes and produce a rich, honeyed concoction with an amazing balance of sweetness and acidity.
Don’t discount Sauternes'
neighbor, Barsac, or even the region across the river, Loupiac. Made in the same style, wines from both regions
carry a lower price tag but deliver the same quality.
Ice Wine – Ice wines are made from grapes that are picked in the dead of winter. The
grapes shrivel and then freeze, concentrating the sugar and protecting the grapes. Ice wine is a luscious nectar-like wine
- the best are from Canada (Inniskillin) and
Germany, made from grapes like
Riesling and Vidal (found in Canada).
Tokay – The Hungarian wine from the region of the same name. Drunk by European kings for centuries, Tokay is another
botrytis-affected wine, but made in a different fashion than most. Tokay comes in levels of sweetness, called puttonyos. The
higher the puttonyos, the sweeter the wine. For pure nectar, try Tokay Essencia, a wine so delectable, it's drunk by the spoonful.
Stickies – Australian sweet wines made most often
from botrytis-affected Muscat or Muscadelle.
because that’s what the juice is like. Typically a darker color, stickies are classically from Rutherglen and Glenrowan,
in the Australian state of Victoria.
Late harvest and botrytis – Sweet wines from some regions are frequently labeled as "late-harvest," meaning
were picked later than usual, with increased ripeness levels and sometimes with botrytis. You may see a wine called "botrysized,"
to indicate this. Late-harvest wines are made with grapes with a higher level of sugar.
Some wines to find include: Beaumes-de-Venise,
Alsace Vendage Tardive, Late-harvest Muscats.
Learn More About New Zealand
A few other New Zealand areas include the region of Auckland, high up on the North Island, Nelson, sitting to the west of Marlborough, and Canterbury, just under Waipara on the South Island. Most wines in New Zealand will come from a designated area and say so on the label.
Auckland was one of the first wine growing regions of the country, but now produces very little of New Zealand's wine. It's pretty wet up there so vineyards are planted in the driest spots possible – reds are most popular here. Nelson is the only region along the west coast of the country, producing Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Canterbury's chilly climate is best suited for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.