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.

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