A beginner’s guide to sticky wines
You don’t have to be a sweet tooth to savour a decadent dessert wine.
Sweet dessert wines date back centuries, but they can be an enigma to even the most enthusiastic wine lover.
Historically considered the epitome of luxury wine, they were the hardest to make and reserved only for royalty and upper classes.
But stickies - the nickname Australians give to sweet dessert wines - are making a mouthwatering comeback and gaining traction on both menus and dinner tables. And with a flavour profile for every palate, there’s no sweet tooth required.
We asked RACV Club sommelier Christian Maier to guide us through the world of stickies - and steer us in the right direction when it comes to both sipping and storing the sweet drops.
Strike the right balance
Stickies come in red, white, and rosé varietals, with moscato, riesling, muscat and port in the luscious line-up. Balancing both acidity and sweetness is essential and quite a delicate task because, in nature, it is one versus the other. “High acidity prevents the wine from cloying, making the wine less sweet, while low acidity can have a flabby effect akin to drinking liquid jam,” Maier says. He says the sweetness should never come across as sugary but rather fruit derived. Expect typical flavours from richer, riper fruits and dried fruits, as well as honey and spices.