If you have a penchant for sweet flavors, delving into the realm of prestigious wines can be tricky, especially with reds, since the dry or complex flavor is more in focus. Believe it or not, we have this list of the 13 Most Popular Sweet Wines you can try!
|Sweet Red Wine||ABV||Texture||Flavor Notes|
|Ruby Port||19-22%||Full-bodied and Smooth||
|Recioto della Valpolicella||12-15%||Full-bodied||
|Lambrusco||11-12%||Light-bodied and Slight Fizz||Red berries|
|Black Muscat||5.5-7.5%||Light-bodied||Dark Fruits|
|Roscato Rosso Dolce||7%||Light-bodied||Fruity|
1. Ruby Port
Created in Portugal’s majestic Douro Valley, Ruby Port is a part of the Port wine varieties. It combines multiple grape varieties such as:
- Touriga Nacional
- Touriga Franca
- Tinta Roriz
It’s created by adding brandy to fortify the drink. The result is a very sweet wine with high residual sugar that boasts rich flavors of dark fruit and earthy notes.
Aging the wine in oak barrels for two to three years creates an intense, full-bodied beverage with a lovely ruby hue. Ruby port is sweet and fruity on the palate while holding a lingering finish that perfectly blends after-dinner drinks or decadent desserts if served slightly chilled.
2. Brachetto d’Acqui
Brachetto d’Acqui is a unique, sweet red wine crafted in Italy’s Piedmont region with a native grape: the Brachetto grape. It delights the senses with its vibrant ruby hue and aromas of fruits that tantalize taste buds. Once you indulge yourself in its light body—you’ll see an irresistible blend between tart acidity and subtle sweetness.
Brachetto d’Acqui’s light texture and low ABV make it a perfect, flavorful match to tart desserts and velvety cheeses. For those who prefer something lighter than heavier red wines yet still full of flavor—this pleasant varietal is the ideal drink for you!
3. Recioto della Valpolicella
Experience a delectable, sweet red wine from the Valpolicella region of north-eastern Italy: Recioto della Valpolicella. The making of this wine is unique. It uses Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara grapes harvested late in the season and dried on mats for several months.
This process enhances their sugars and flavors, giving this wine its unique taste profile. Full-bodied and sweet, this Italian drink boasts a deep-red hue and pleasing scents of dark red and black fruits and earthy hints of spice. Enjoy this velvety dessert wine alone, or pair it with luscious desserts like cake or fruit tarts!
Lambrusco is an intricate red wine from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. Crafted with several distinct grape varieties, it has vibrant notes and fruity aromas that burst on your tongue in rich shades of ruby.
Through its subtle sweet twist and medium acidity, Lambrusco is an incredibly versatile, flexible wine with various flavors. From charcuterie boards to pizza and pasta dishes, the light-bodied alcohol content will pair perfectly with many fine-dining dishes.
Banyuls is a delicious and sweetly-fortified red wine from the Roussillon region in France. The Grenache grape variety gives this elixir its ruby hue and an array of intense aromas, including cherries and earthy spices. Once you take your first sip of Banyuls’ flavor profile, you won’t want to put it down!
Banyuls delights with a rich and sweet flavor palette, boasting notes of dark berries, dried fruits, and an ever so slight bitterness. Perfect for pairing with desserts such as chocolate truffles or blue cheese. That said, it can also be served as an aperitif to start your meal before savoring the richness of your meats.
6. Black Muscat
The Black Muscat grape variety, or the Muscat Hamburg, is praised for its intense aroma and flavor, featuring notes of black fruits. Utilized to craft a range of wines from light-bodied and delicate to full-bodied texture!
Black Muscat wine is low in alcohol content yet bursting with a rich ruby hue. It pairs as an aperitif or after-dinner drink but also plays nicely with fruit desserts.
7. Roscato Rosso Dolce
Roscato Rosso Dolce is a sweet red from Lombardy in northern Italy. This drink consists of three wine grape varieties: Croatina, Teroldego, and Lagrein. The result is an exquisite ruby color, tantalizing aromas of berries, and a subtle hint of earthy spice.
This well-balanced wine brings a delightful sweetness to the palate, balanced with zesty acidity. Light-bodied and low in alcohol content, it’s ideal alone or paired with your favorite fine-dining dishes. A popular variety that can appeal to novice and devoted wine fans alike!
Bursting with black fruit aromas and high acidity levels—Bonarda pairs perfectly with any occasion! Also, aging in oak barrels adds intricacy to its flavor profile, making it even more satisfying. Primarily harvested in Argentina but also found in Italy and other countries.
With a deep ruby hue, Bonarda serves up medium to full-bodied flavor with a sweet finish that lingers on the palate. Perfectly paired with roasted meat or any spice-infused dish—this versatile wine is also pleasant as a meal appetizer.
For those seeking a full-bodied sweet red wine, look no further than Mavrodaphne. This noted drink hails from the Peloponnese region of Greece, where Mavrodaphne grapes are abundant. It boasts a gorgeous ruby color and delightful aromas of dried fruits, caramel, and spices that tantalize your nose. Aging in oak barrels also lends complex flavors to this beloved wine’s flavor profile.
Enjoy Mavrodaphne’s intense, velvety texture and sweet flavor – a perfect addition to any dessert (especially fruit tarts and nuts). Whether served alone as an aperitif or with food, this wine’s high acidity will leave your palate refreshed.
Maury, a sweet red wine from the region of Roussillon in southern France, is a blend made with the Grenache grape variety. This delicious concoction is aided by a fortified spirit that preserves residual sugar. Each sip offers intense dark fruit flavors and aromas while delighting your eyes with its striking deep ruby hue.
The Maury wine has an exquisite, full-bodied texture and a sweet yet tangy flavor. It perfectly completes desserts and savory cheeses. Such intricacy of the flavors should be cherished slowly and relished to its fullest potential.
Dornfelder is a sweet red wine mainly produced in Germany, made from the grape variety of the same name. It is known for its deep, ruby color and rich plum and cherry aromas. Dornfelder is typically aged in oak barrels to add intricacy and depth to the wine.
This wine has a rich, velvety texture and perfect harmony between its sweetness and acidity. Dornfelder is ideal for savory dishes like roasted meats or stews and desserts. This versatile wine can be enjoyed alone or as an aperitif.
12. Tawny Port
Are you a fan of sweet wines? Search no further; the Tawny Port is the perfect wine for you! As opposed to Ruby Port, Tawny offers a distinct sweeter taste and nuances of dried fruit, caramel, and hazelnut.
While other port wines are aged in large oak barrels, Tawny Ports are placed inside smaller pipas to ensure more contact between the wood and wine. This enhanced interaction leads to quicker evaporation, increasing flavor depth and aroma.
Commandaria is a unique red dessert wine from ancient Cyprus renowned for being one of the oldest wines. This intriguing ancient drink is blended with two distinct grape varieties – Xynisteri and Mavro- before aging in oak barrels for two years minimum. Its prestige has been cherished by many through time!
Commandaria is a one-of-a-kind and complex wine, boasting an abundant amber hue with intense aromas of dried fruits, nuts, honey, and caramel. Its taste is sweet yet full-bodied, delivering flavors of raisins, figs, and spices that linger on the palate. Perfect as an after-dinner drink or pairing desserts – it’s sure to be savored by all!
What types of grapes are used to make sweet red wines?
If you want to craft a luscious sweet red wine, the types of grapes utilized will vary wildly according to region and style. Some popular wine grape varieties include:
- Cabernet Sauvignon
What foods pair well with sweet red wines?
Turn your dessert or main course into a flavor-packed experience with the perfect accompaniment – sweet red wines! These complex yet delectable drinks pair well with various dishes, such as indulgent dark chocolate, luscious berry tarts, mouthwatering barbecue ribs, and tantalizing Thai/Indian curries.
What is the ideal serving temperature for sweet red wine?
While the optimal serving temperature for sweet red wines is generally slightly lower than room temperature, 55-65°F (12-18°C), this may vary depending on personal taste and type of wine.
Can sweet red wine be used in cooking?
Sweet red wine can function well in cooking to infuse dishes with unique and complex flavors. For example, it is often present as a base marinade for meats or sauces for desserts.
You may also find sweet red wine included in classic recipes like beef stews, risotto, and poached pears. Unleash your inner chef by adding some delicious sweetness from sweet red wine!
Start your exploration of the flavors and aromas found in these 13 Best Sweet Red Wines! Pop open a bottle, grab some wine glasses, and savor the distinct tastes of each vintage. Enjoy all that sweet red wines have to offer today!