Recently, Austria was awarded 9 of the ten top spots in the International Sweet Wine Competition, Concorso Internazional di vin Passiti organized by the Academia Della Muffa Nobile a.k.a. the Italian “Botrytis Academy” all of whose board members are part of the Italian Sommelier Society.

Although the Austrian wine were part of the 585 pool of contestants from every wine-making region of the world, their superior quality shown through.

Five different wine makers were honored in this competition: Erwin Tinhof, Franz Heiss (Winemonger), Weingut Elfenhof (Schlossadler), Hans & Christine Nittnaus (Wine Bauer) and Martin Pasler (Winemonger).

It’s no wonder the Austrians did so well in the competition – after all, they’ve been making wine for thousands of years. Although the US market is still just beginning to become familiar with Austrian wines, there is no doubt that these dessert wines are of high quality.

Truth be told, I love a good, sticky dessert wine from just about anywhere, but the Austrians seem to have a knack for it unlike anyone else. These wines aren’t overly sweet. Instead, they are perfectly balanced and delightful.