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Dessert wines are meant to be enjoyed in small glasses and treasured. There are hundreds of different types of dessert wines available in the market, but most fall into 5 main styles: sparkling, lightly sweet, richly sweet, sweet red, and fortified wine.

The carbonation and high acidity in sparkling wine make it taste less sweet than it actually is. Certain grape varieties smell sweeter than others. This tricks our brain into thinking they taste sweeter too.

Lightly sweet wines are refreshingly sweet; perfect for a warm afternoon and are best enjoyed as close to the vintage date as possible. Expect these wines to be exploding with fruit flavors.

Richly sweet wines are made with the highest quality grapes in an unfortified style. Many of these wines can age 50+ years because sweetness and acidity preserve their fresh flavor.

Sweet reds are on the decline, but there are many red dessert wines in the US made with grapes such as Zinfandel, Mourvedre, Malbec, and Petite Sirah. These wines explode with sweetness and heightened alcohol content.

Fortified wines are made when grape brandy is added to a wine and can either be dry or sweet. Most fortified wines are higher in alcohol content and have a longer shelf life after they are opened.