Wineries across the great state of Missouri offer delicious dessert wines, including Sherry, Port, and Late Harvest. They are typically sweet and rich, with complex flavors that are perfect for sipping after a meal.
Sherry wine is made by adding brandy to a base wine. Winemakers have their pick of which base wine to begin with but typically choose a lighter white wine or rosé. This wine can be diverse in its flavors, ranging from dry and light to rich and sweet. Sherry is aged through a traditional solera system, where younger wines are blended with older ones in a series of barrels.
Port-style wine is also made by adding brandy to a base wine. Missouri winemakers usually choose to make it from the Norton grape. Port-style wine is widely known for its rich, fruity flavors and is often served as a dessert wine. Legally to be called Port, it must be from Portugal. A few older Missouri wineries were grandfathered in to be allowed to call theirs Port. Port-style is aged in wood barrels for various lengths of time, with some varieties aging for decades to develop complex flavors.
Late Harvest wines are made by grapes that have been left on the vine longer than usual. By letting them hang on the vine longer, it allows them to develop a higher sugar content. They are a sweeter wine with flavors of honey, apricot, and peach. Late harvest wines may be aged in stainless steel or oak barrels which can enhance their fruity characteristics.
Whether you prefer the nutty complexity of Sherry, the sweet richness of Port-style wines, or the luscious sweetness of Late Harvest wines, there is a wine to suit every palate and occasion. Which dessert wine will you try first?