Sweet Wines

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

sweet wines, are widely under-appreciated, especially in view of how difficult some of them are to make (see sweet winemaking). Sweet wines have been popular for various periods since ancient times; indeed most of the most admired wines of classical rome were sweet and white, many of them dried-grape wines made by deliberate raisining to concentrate the sugars. In the Middle Ages the great city states of Italy such as venice and genoa profited from the popularity of wines made so much sweeter than northern European wines by the effects of the mediterranean climate. By the late 17th century. the dutch wine trade was energetically profiting from the sweet wines of western France. And subsequently the sweet wines of constantia and tokaj in particular were considered the height of fashion.