Late harvest wine refers to a kind of wine that consists of grapes or various other fruits left on their plants for longer than normal. This results in the fruits getting more sugar and resulting in a richer and sweeter wine overall. A lot of these wines are put to use as dessert wines due to their very high content of sugar.
Normally, wine grapes get harvested in early fall so they can get processed into wine. After their harvest, the sugar content gets measured and the higher it is, the sweeter the results will be. This sugar content will depend on the year, the conditions and the grapes themselves.
Whenever grapes get left behind on their vines, they dry up and become sweeter. Several grapes even end up like raisins at late harvest because they get to wither completely beforehand. Afterwards, the grapes get turned into late harvest wine by means of pressing, fermenting, and aging. In the end, the wine becomes very rich, thick, and sweet – traits that many consumers enjoy.
In several cases, grapes can freeze prior to the harvest to produce ice wine, which is only made in places where the winter can generate enough ice. This results in a wine with a distinctively sweet taste with a clearness and crispness that can be attributed to its high acidity.
A lot of wine shops have late harvest wine available that are placed inside smaller bottles. This is because the intense and rich wine is best consumed in smaller glasses instead of in bigger servings as other wines are served. People who want to try out this kind of wine can find it at wine tastings, as well. Also, vineyards that produce this kind of wine are usually glad to speak to consumers about the one-of-a-kind taste that these late harvest wines have. Ideally, these wines should be matched with various desserts – from chocolate tortes to cheeses – though they are also enjoyable alone.