There are hundreds of wine types in the world, all with their own individual style and flavor. Wine drinkers with a sweet tooth will usually prefer the sweeter varieties. These are often “late harvest” wines, whose grapes are picked when sugars have had more time to collect and develop a sweeter taste. Sweet wines can vary, from just a bit of sweetness to sticky sweet dessert wines ladened with residual sugar. Semi-sweet refers to a table wine that is marginally sweet on a producers’ sweetness scale.
Liebfraumilch is a late harvest, semi-sweet style of white wine from Germany. Literally translated, Liebfraumilch is a German word meaning “milk of our lady.” It is commonly produced in the wine-growing regions of Rheinhessen, Palatinate, Rheingau and Nahe. A popular wine, Liebfraumilch is produced and exported in massive quantities. Sometimes unfairly described by wine critics as an unchallenging, mass-market wine, Liebfraumilch has its supporters who like this light and fruity, easy-to-drink wine.
Typically found in the Loire Valley of France, Chenin Blanc is also successfully produced in South Africa and California. Chenin Blanc is made from a late-ripening grape, which needs plenty of warm weather and heavy, clay-based soil. Trademark characteristics of this table white wine include a honeyed, floral warmth, combined with a zesty freshness.The sweetness of Chenin Blanc usually depends upon the decisions of the wine maker. It is a wine that ages well and can be left to age for two to four years. Produced in high volumes and widely available, Chenin Blanc is an inexpensive wine to buy.
White Zinfandel is a blush wine, formed from the red Zinfandel grape. After the red grapes are crushed, the grape skins are quickly removed to stop the red pigment permeating the wine. The result is a pinkish color and it tends to taste light and fruity. The intensity of flavor depends upon the vineyards where it is produced. Made from a young grape, White Zinfadel is usually intended for immediate consumption. Commonly a new world wine variety, the exact origin of the grape has been the subject of debate for many years. It is thought to be part of America’s wine heritage and a large quantity of White Zinfandel is produced in California.
References and ResourcesWine Tastings Guide: Sweet Wine
Wine Intro: Liebfraumilch
The Wine Doctor: Germany
Wine Pros: Chenin