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Dessert wine

Dessert wines are those wines which are typically served with dessert or drunk alone, not with food. They are often sweet wines such as ice wine, Sauternes, and Commandaria or fortified wines such as sherry and port.

Legally in the USA, dessert wine refers to wines of 14% alcohol or greater. Historically these were fortified, as table wines were typically 12.5%. With a greater emphasis on ripe fruit, many dry unfortified wines, particularly Zinfandels, reach 15% or more and are thus legally considered dessert wines, and are taxed at a higher rate.