Sticky and dessert wines

CHOICE’s expert tasters found some heavenly dessert wines that don’t cost the earth.
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  • Updated:18 Aug 2008


glass of wine with grapes

In brief

  • The expert tasters picked six dessert wines to make up the CHOICE Selection, costing from $9 to $43, to suit a range of pockets.
  • Late harvest, botrytis-affected, ice wine — they’re all dessert styles, but different, and all included in our taste test.
  • One wine was in the gold medal class, and all the other wines in our CHOICE Selection would have won silver.

Their luscious sticky texture and appealing golden glow give dessert wines a quality of sumptuous indulgence. Yet ‘stickies’, as they’re affectionately known, make up less than 5% of the wine we enjoy in Australia. They deserve greater popularity. The right one can add that special touch to a dinner party, and leave you with money left over for the perfect dessert to accompany it.

The CHOICE expert panel tasted 38 dessert wines that you should find in bottle shops. They knew the type of dessert wine they were tasting, but otherwise they were identified only by numbers. The experts are trained to ignore personal preferences and look only for attributes that indicate a wine is well made and has no obvious faults. Out of 20 points:

  • A score of 14–15 points indicates the wine is OK but nothing special.
  • A wine that scores 15–16.9 points is awarded a bronze medal at wine shows.
  • 17–18.4 points earns a silver.
  • 18.5 points or more a gold medal.

Please note: this information was current as of August 2008 but is still a useful guide today.



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