June 4, 2008

Muscat de Beaumes de Venise, Rhone, France

By Andrew Barrow In Wine Notes
Muscat de Beaumes de VeniseWhy are dessert wines so expensive? Is it the producers simply trying to create a cache, a luxury item just like those rosé champagne producers? The production techniques are pretty standard and really, just like pink champagne, shouldn’t command a premium.

Perhaps because they are so expensive, people simply do not purchase them in quantities required to grasp a profit. But wouldn’t reducing the price entice people to buy more?
As an example, this half bottle of sweet Muscat costs £6.99. A full bottle therefore would retail at around £12. Why so expensive?

Many would baulk at paying this for a Sunday splash out wine let alone a simple, dessert wine. One that also happened to be the cheapest off the dessert wine shelf at my local supermarket. With long lived, small production, wines such as Sauternes the high prices are comprehendable; but for a relatively simple, are I say bog-standard, wine…?
Don’t misunderstand; it’s a nice enough wine. I just ponder the elevated price.

Dessert/Sweet Wine Review/Tasting NoteWine Tasting Note: Muscat de Beaumes de Venise, NV, Rhone, France
Stockist: Waitrose Price: £6.99 half bottle. [More on Adegga]
Simple, lightly honeyed with a slightly elderflower, grapey aroma. Sweet palate with a correspondingly cleansing level of acidity that keeps it fresh and clean. Floral, lemons, lychee’s. Reasonable length. Alcohol 15%.

Scribblings Rating – 84/100 [3 out of 5]

Half this bottle was used in the making of Baked Figs with Muscat; a rather nice dessert that was a little too sweet to match harmoniously with the wine. The baking reducing concentrating the sugars I guess.

  1. duck June 4, 2008

    I think you are being a little unfair – a decent dessert wine will be late harvested by hand from a small residual crop. If it is made from botrytis-affected grapes, then it is quite a risky business because the conditions for creating noble rot are finely balanced and noble rot can easily turn into something less attractive. The grapes themselves will be shrivelled and very concentrated so more will be needed to make a bottle.
    Many dessert wines are also barrel-fermented, incurring more expense and time. There is also a premium on half-bottles, because in the UK we drink less of them at the end of a meal whereas the French will also drink dessert wines as an aperitif!!

  2. Douglas June 6, 2008

    …Muscat been love

  3. Andrew June 6, 2008

    Bet you have been waiting months to use that one… :-)

  4. […] simple really – take some whole dried figs, a half bottle of sweet Muscat, three swathes of orange peel and a large tablespoon of flavoursome thick honey, mix all and bake […]


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