Enjoying a delicious sweet wine at the end of a meal has some benefits. It helps to spoil your sweet tooth and the wines are richer and thicker than table wines because they have been sweetened by mother nature's natural processes. They are often classified as digestives - helping to settle stomach acids after a rich and heavy meal.
There are several ways to lift the sugar levels in wine that does not involve adding the dreaded granulated (and illegal) commercial and refined sugars used in the kitchen.
To make a wine sweet, fermentation must be stopped before the yeast present in the tank turns all the natural sugar into alcohol. This can be done by dropping the temperature in the winery or vat to stop the yeast from being able to operate.
In the vineyard you can 'late harvest' the grapes on the vine. If the weather permits it, grapes become sweeter and raisined when left to enjoy the sun's rays after most other grapes are picked.
Noble rot - or Botrytis cinerea - is a type of spore or fungus that grows on fruits and vegetables. It may be quite unattractive but it produces some of the world's most sought-after sweet wines if managed correctly in both the vineyard and the winery. It must only be allowed to attach itself to thin-skinned white grapes, where it 'drinks' all the liquid in the grape and leaves only sugar and acid behind.
Grapes can also be frozen to make a sweet wine. In Canada and Germany, ice wine (eiswein) is expensive, tricky and difficult to make. In the new world we are able to use technology or cryo extraction, which allows the grapes to be frozen with refrigeration then pressed to produce a luscious sweet wine.