The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

The future of sweet wines

rsz_image_-_sweet_winesFor the third consecutive vintage, Giesen Wines’ Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc has tantalised the palettes of wine judges. The Brothers Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2013 has just won the Dessert Trophy at the Six Nations Wine Challenge in Sydney. All three Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc vintages have attracted multiple awards since the style debuted in 2011.

As well as being excited by the win, Founder Marcel Giesen made some interesting observations about sweet wines in general. He started making sweet wines back in 1995 and says they will always have a niche in the market. “They can’t be produced every season so that makes them wonderfully special. You have to wait for nature and the conditions are not always right.”

He says an attraction of sweet styles is their ageing ability. “In the past people have often cellared a vintage port to mark the birth of a child and to open 21 years later. Now there’s a trend towards sweet styles for this because they age so well and New Zealand sweet wines are terrific value for money.”

Sweet wines are always popular to accompany dessert but Marcel says they are also good as an aperitif with pate or blue cheese at the start of a meal, in the way the French drink Sauterne.“But there’s nothing hard and fast. The rules have relaxed. It’s about enjoying the wine whether it be at the start or end of the meal,” he said.

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