Everything You Need to Know About Dessert Wines

Dessert Wine 101 education coming your way from NoJa! Dessert wines seem to not be on the radar for most wine lovers. However, they should not be forgotten! Dessert wines should be used to enhance your post-dinner experience. While some dessert wines can be enjoyed on their own, most are best when paired with food. The act of using wine to enhance dessert and vice-versa can lead to some pretty incredible combinations. Below is the ultimate guide to dessert wines, no matter the occasion!

Fortified Wines

Fortified wines are made by adding grape spirit to a wine either during or after fermentation; this is dependent on whether the winemaker wants the wine to be dry or sweet!  If a wine is fortified before fermentation is finished, the wine will be sweet. Whether it is dry or sweet, fortified wines are notably high alcohol.


Sherry is a very versatile dessert wine, but a lot of wine lovers steer clear because it can be somewhat intimidating! Sherry is produced in different styles in the Spanish region of Jerez and has many personalities. The easiest way to categorize Sherry is dry versus sweet and oxidative versus non-oxidative. Dry, non-oxidative such as Flor and Manzanilla will have a fresh, but unique flavor. Dry, oxidative sherry such as Oloroso has a darker brown hue and tastes of coffee.


Port is usually made from the local grape Touriga Nacional. If you prefer a sweet dessert wine with fresh red fruit flavors, you should seek out Ruby Ports. Ruby Ports carry a deep ruby-red color and have berry and chocolate flavors. If you enjoy dried fruit or toffee flavors, Tawny Port is the way to go!


Marsala style wines range from dry to sweet, depending on when fortified and whether or not a cooked grape is added. Marsala has an amber hue along with honey and dry fruit flavors.


Are you a die-hard red wine lover? If so, Banyuls is destined to be your dessert wine. Banyuls is fruit-driven with aromas and flavors of baked red berries, prunes, and spice.


Riesling can sometimes get a bad rap as a maker of inexpensive wine; however, it is actually one of the most versatile grapes in the world!

The above listed are just a few incredible dessert wines that you should consider following your entrée. If you cannot make up your mind on which wine you would like, be sure to ask your server at NoJa and they will be happy to assist you!

It’s NoJa’s attention to detail and our focus on farm-fresh ingredients that has allowed us to continue to serve this area for so long. For an intimate meal in one of the Port City’s longest-running restaurants in Downtown Mobile, make a reservation to NoJa. We have both indoor and outdoor seating in a secluded area, just steps from Dauphin Street in LODA at 6 N. Jackson Street. To reserve a table now, call 251-433-0377. Learn more about our cuisine and offerings at www.nojamobile.com or on our Facebook page.

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