Preferring sweet wine over dry (which is how a vast majority of wines are) is a matter of preference. But in a nutshell, it is the fermentation that determines the sweetness in a wine. During the process of fermentation, the yeast converts the sugar in grape juice to ethanol, or alcohol. If the fermentation is allowed to continue until the sugar in juice gets exhausted in its entirety, the result is a dry wine. In case it is stopped much before all the sugar was converted to alcohol, the resulting wine would be sweet. The best wines that are sweet show a great balance between acidity and sweetness. Hence, they are not only for those with a sweet tooth.
One of the world’s favourite sweet wines is Moscato d’Asti from Italy. Crafted using Moscato Bianco grapes, it is slightly fizzy, low in alcohol and is classified as a dessert wine. As per the law, it can only contain no more than 5.5% alcohol by volume and hence, the fermentation is stopped once that amount of ethanol is produced, retaining a substantial amount of sugar in the wine. While it is a sweet wine, it is not syrupy, rather light and refreshing. The flavour profile shows characters of blossom, melons and nectarines. While as a dessert wine it can be consumed as the last course of a meal, it is delish with mango tarts, filled with vanilla-scented, silky pastry cream. For a simpler pairing, a small bowl of farm-fresh strawberries is a great idea. If you are a cheese lover (Who isn’t, though?), team it up with some lovely gorgonzola.
Moscato d’Asti is consumed whilst young, usually within just a few years from bottling. It should also be served slightly chilled. A bad Moscato d’Asti is very rare – and hence if you are looking for the best wine that is sweet, you now know which one you should opt for!