Sweet wines battle sour times

The wine webzine Palate Press tweeted on July 5 "Sweet wines are back, and they're delicious," after attending the seventh edition of Vinoble. The four-day biennial professional international sweet wine conference and competition was held May 30-June 2 in Jerez de la Frontera, Andalusia, Spain.

 

For a number of years sweet wines have been battling difficult times due to the economy and misconceptions. As many people have shied away from sweet wines thinking they are for novices without a sophisticated palate, will cause raging headaches and can only be paired with desserts.

However, Palate Press highlighted that sweet wines have "for centuries ...been successively known as ‘the wine of kings, the king of wines.' And it wasn't that people had bad taste for the preceding 400 years."

The ‘Queen of Wine' Jancis Robinson agrees and tweeted during En Primeur Bordeaux week, annual wine futures event, "Sauternes 09? Mmmmm. Can this please be the vintage that reminds pple how good these wines are?"

Charlie Matthews, who develops tailored Bordeaux tours for Bordeaux Uncorked, concurred, "I can confirm that 2009 Sauternes is liquid gold."

In 2010, sweet wines are becoming increasingly more popular and often paired with appetizers (anything fried, foie gras) and fatty or spicy main courses (especially Asian dishes). Over 10,000 professionals representing 25 wine regions worldwide were in Jerez to taste hundreds of sweet wines. This could mean a whole new selection will pop-up at your favorite wine shop.

So enjoy discovering a whole new world of decadent flavors if you have not ventured into the sweeter wine aisles. You may enjoy tasting late harvest Rieslings, Vino Santo, Muscatos, red and white ports, Roussillon, Tokajs, Fondillions, Moscatels, Vin de Pailles, sherries, ice wines and much more. 

The battle continues for sweet wines as the global economic crisis has lessened demand. According to Vinoble.org, the Spanish Wine Market Watchdog (OEMV) calculates Spanish sweet wine "exports showed a drop of 10% in volume and of 13.5% in value."

For a quick primer on sweet wines, visit: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/sweet-wine-for-beginners.html

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