In Hungary there are two main techniques behind the creation of sweet wines:
1) Botrytis cinera (Nobel Rot)
This is a spore-like fungus that attacks healthy grapes and spreads over them, feeding on the sugar in the fruit. If the correct temperature combination of damp nights and warming days occurs whilst the grapes are under attack from the fungus, they will naturally dry and dehydrate beneath it, which concentrates their sugar content. This technique is used in making the famed Tokaji Aszú, which balances high sugar and moderate alcohol with high acidity.
2) Late Harvesting
The later grapes are picked, the riper they will be, and if they are left on the vines well into autumn they will ripen to their fullest. Leaving the grapes to dehydrate concentrates their sugars by removing the natural water content, creating sweet wines that are full of sticky honey and intense fruit flavours. Example for late harvested wine is the Nyakas Budai Sauvignon Blanc (sweet, 0.5l) 2011
Harvested in mid-October, this sweet wine contains high natural residual sugar. Overripe apricot, citrus and honey in the nose. This wine offers good balance between acidity and fruitiness. Long ageing potential.
Food pairing: with desserts, cakes and fruits, as well as blue cheese
Premium sweet/dessert wine
Very good balance and complexity to this sweet wine. Deep, roasted fruit notes are complemented by lively fresh apricot and quince. The wine is luscious yet sprightly with a beautiful blossomy scent and fresh finish. Peach and honey flux on the nose, conterbalanced by lovely earthy nuances.
Wine Spectator 2013: 93/100
Food pairing: "Foie gras recommended. Fruit desserts, cream desserts, even chocolate can be wonderful. It even works with some Chinese, though not with chilli - the spice has to be adjusted to meet the sweetness. Szechuan pepper is good. Havana cigars are splendid. So is the naked sip." - Hugh Johnson