Fortified wines: Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise

“How SWEET it is to be loved by you”

Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise
Fortified wine
Sweet wine

Some wine lovers will probably shiver only by the thought of sweet wine. Nevertheless, my recommendation is occasionally stepping out of your comfort zone and taste something else.
The fortified wines made from the Muscat perhaps?

Different varieties

There are various Muscat grape varieties that all are called Muscat. There are, however, common characteristics. They often have a low to medium acidity. But also lavishly perfumed aromas with scents of roses, blossoms or grapes.

Warm climates

The Muscat grapes all grow in warm to hot climates. This allows them to build up a lot of sugars and those wonderful aromas. It is important that there are cooling factors in the vineyards so that the acids can also develop well. The presence of sea breeze, altitude in the hills, the difference in day/night temperature. These are factors that you should think of.

Styles of fortified Muscat wines

The fortified Muscat wines are made in 2 styles.
1. Young and youthful wines.
2. Developed and matured wines
Muscat de Beaumes de Venise is an example of a young and youthful style. The ripe grapes are crushed to separate the juice from the skins. Sometimes short skin contact is allowed to get stronger aromas. The fermentation takes place, as with most white wines, at low temperatures. To get a sweet wine, not all sugars have to be converted into alcohol. To achieve this, a distillate of 96% is added. The alcohol causes the yeast cells to die and the fermentation to stop. This leaves a lot of residual sugars. And as a result a sweet wine with a fantastic aroma.
Matured style
To try the second style you should try a Muscat from Rutherglen (Australia). Clearly different in color: amber to light brown. This shows that the wine has developed oxidatively for a long time. Sometimes it takes decades. Sometimes these grapes are dried to get an overwhelming sweet wine. The fermentation of this wine takes place, in contrast to the first-mentioned style, on the skins. This also gives more expressive characteristics of the grape. With this style too, fermentation is stopped during fermentation. The long aging period in old oak barrels, sometimes under warm conditions, makes the wine taste really different from the young style.

Have fun tasting.

Spring and your winechoice

“No matter how long the winter. The spring is sure to follow.”


Spring has arrived

Spring has arrived in the Netherlands. Let’s enjoy the sunshine with a good glass of wine.
In the vineyards, we also see the changes in temperature. The first buds appear on the vines in Europe. Soon they will open and the first tiny leaves will appear.

wine; wijn; Champagne; Albariño
 Verdejo ; Grüner Veltliner; Soave 
 Grillo; Sauvignon Blanc ; Pinot Gris; Pinot Grigio; Tokaj ;Spätburgunder; Pinot Noir; Beaujolais; Barlodino;

Wine suggestions and alternatives

It will not a long time until small clusters will appear. These will unfold into the blossom flowers. In April/ May, they will evolve into small bunches after pollination. Already after a month, you can see the small green clusters looking like mini grapes.
Early spring is exciting for winemakers. Night frost, hail, storm … any extreme weather type can disrupt this promising phase and with it the future harvest. They will do everything to prevent major damage to the blossom or young fruit. But we do not yet know how it will go this spring. That is up to the weather gods.  

What we can do ourselves is enjoy the early sun with a nice wine. Nothing is as nice as a fresh white wine during spring. I have a number of suggestions and alternatives.

White & crispy

Grüner Veltliner
Sauvignon Blanc
Pinot Gris / Pinot Grigio

If you prefer red wine, I would choose a light and fruity red wine. Nice with that early sun in your face. Be sure to drink it slightly chilled. To give you some ideas:

Red & fruity

Pinot Noir


The warm spring with all its wonderful blossom scents in the air actually asks for a delicious rosé that also carries those wonderful scents. Rosé from Provence is often a good choice. But it is also nice to try a rosé from another country or area.


A glass of sparkling wine is of course always a good choice. You can opt for Champagne. But why not choose a fresh Cava, Crémant de Bourgogne, Crémant de Loire or Sparkling Vonkelwine from South Africa. Or how about a British sparkle?

More than enough to choose from. Wouldn’t you say? Or did I make things too complicated? Anyway: Cheers and enjoy the sun as well as your wine.

Organise your own tasting

-“Train your tastebuds with the help of others”-

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Questions while tasting

Do you ever ask yourself questions when you drink a glass of wine like: What flavors do I taste exactly?
I like this wine very much. Are there any wines that are more or less the same? Will a wine from another country but from the same grape taste differently?
Is a more expensive wine worth the money?

Advice: invite some friends

In order to find this out, I advise you to invite some friends who also like to try a glass of wine. Why? With only yourself in the room, you are not going to buy several bottles and open them at the same time. With some friends you’ve found a good way to taste several wines next to / after each other. You’ll also learn from tasting together. Wine experiences from others can put you on the right track.


I’ll give you some possibilities:
1. Buy 3 wines (from the same grape or from the same country) and share the costs.
2. Take your usual budget as a starting point.
Example: You normally buy a bottle of wine for about € 5. Suppose you are with 5 people. Your budget will be 5x € 5 = € 25. Now you can buy 2 or 3 more expensive wines. You will certainly taste something different and wines of a higher quality than you are used to.

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Enjoy, but drink wisely.

Vin Santo- Holy Wine

“A barrel full of wine can establish more miracles than a church full of Saints”

Italian saying

Holy wine

Vin Santo can be translated into: “Holy Wine”. This is a delicious dessert wine from Tuscany in Italy. It is an amber-colored dessert wine that originates from central Italy. Normally it is made from the white grape varieties Trebbiano and Malvasia that occur frequently in Toscane. Sometimes the red Sangiovese grape is also used for the Vin Santo.

After harvesting

After harvesting, the grapes are dried on straw mats in a well-ventilated attic of a barn. Between November and May, the grapes are pressed, depending on the sugar content that the vintner wants to have in his wine. The drier the grape, the more residual sugar. The wine is then aged in small oak barrels, where oxidation plays an important role. The kegs are sealed with a kind of cement or wax so that the ripening will go extra slow because there is almost no air. Often the small barrels are made of oak, beech or chestnut. This gives the amber tint. The barrels were traditionally stored in a place under the roof, the “vinsantaia”. Hence the name Vin Santo. Or maybe it got this name because in the past the kegs were only opened during the Easter festivities.

Vin Santo Styles

Vin Santo goes from very sweet to bone-dry in style. The dry version tastes remarkably like a dry fino sherry. You will find delicious aromas of flowers, dried fruit, honey, figs … blissful!!
 The people of Tuscany also use this dessert wine to dip their hard almond biscuits, called Cantucci, to ensure that their teeth do not break off. But secretly I also think as an excuse to be able to drink a glass of this delicious wine during the day. Often you’ll get this Vin Santo offered in Tuscany as a welcoming gesture.