WHAT DOES VIN DOUX NATUREL MEAN?
Many powerful red wines come from Languedoc-Roussillon, including Pic-St-Loup (see photo), but the region is also known for its sweet Vin Doux Naturel.
VIN = WINE
DOUX = SOFT
NATUREL = NATURAL
So: wine with a sweet taste thanks to the natural sugars from the grape. It works like this:
Sweet wines are made from grapes with a high sugar content. When the fermentation stops, so much sugar remains that the wine tastes sweet.
Fermentation can stop naturally when an alcohol percentage of around 15% has been reached, but it is rare that the wine still contains enough sugars to make the wine taste sweet.
That is why alcohol is added to Vin Doux Naturel during fermentation so that the yeasts die, fermentation stops and the rest of the sugar remains in the wine. In the same way that fortified wine is made. Vin Doux Naturel contains between 15 and 18% alcohol.
Well-known VDN’s: Banyuls, Muscat de Rivesaltes.