In a market of wine consumers who are becoming more sophisticated over years, it is not strange to see opportunities of niches like that experienced by sweet wines, recommended by experts to pair with desserts and different types of cheeses.
Argentinians’ fascination for Malbec-based red wines is being left behind. Now, it is time “to widen the palate”. So, it is turn to taste sweet wines, demand of which has been growing thanks to women and young people, who are attracted to these varieties with higher level of sugar and lower alcohol (in general around 10°), making them easier to drink.
Although there are different types of sweet wines like ice, fortified or botrytized ones (those affected by the fungus Botrytis Cinerea), Argentina produces only two varieties: natural sweet and late harvest wines.
In the case of late harvest wines, the aim is to delay to the maximum the harvest of clusters so as to make grapes ripen as much as they can, thus reaching higher sugar content. Generally, this picking is carried out at the end of April, that is to say two months later than the rest, when grapes have already lost a lot of water and sugar is more concentrated.
In general terms, both types of wines are characterized by displaying aromas of overripe fruits. The most used varieties in Argentina are all whites: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillón, Torrontés, Viognier, Gewürztraminer and Chenin Blanc.
Consumption of these wines has been subject to the sophistication of consumers, who did not see attractive before the fact of uncorking a bottle to pair with the dessert or, in the case of a different course menu, of selecting different wines for each dish.
Undoubtedly, sweet wines are also an ideal partner to blue and strong cheeses, or like an aperitif, making them a very versatile option. However, specialists recommend that sweet wines should have certain acidity for dessert not to be sickeningly sweet. They suggest drinking it very cold, between 44° and 53°F, depending of the variety chosen.