When wine lovers think of sweet wines, the elixirs of Chateau d’Yquem may come immediately to mind, or perhaps the bottlings being crafted by Istvan Szepsy in Hungary.
The Niagara region of Canada also has been producing some wonderful “ice wines” in recent years, and Germany remains a world capital of such bottlings.
To that list of dependable makers of sweet wine, add Alois Kracher, who lives in the Austrian village of Illmitz, about 50 kilometers outside Vienna.
Kracher is a passionate vintner — a trait he inherited from his father — but he’s also a savvy businessman. He understands that one or two bad-weather years… which aren’t all that unusual in Austria… could put him out of business.
So, in addition to making those much-coveted dessert wines, Kracher also is making fine cheeses and gourmet chocolates. It’s an ideal marriage of products, he says, because all can (and some would say should) be enjoyed at the end of a meal.
A 50-gram bar of Kracher chocolate sells for approximately $4.68. And consumers don’t even blink because of the quality.
Kracher told Bloomberg News that his foray into the worlds of cheese and chocolate was made in order to protect his wine business.
“That’s my insurance against a year or two with bad weather,” he says, “and I want to make sure the wine production is secured for future generations.”
And that’s good news for all of us with “sweet teeth.”