10 Best Sweet Red Wine Brands

10 Best Sweet Red Wines From the World Over

While the appreciation for red wines can be acquired, one may choose to explore the fascinating world of spirits with sweet red wines, as the latter also offer health benefits typically provided by their non-sweetened peers. Sweet reds can be classified in three categories; namely, dry wines having fruity, sweet, or jam-like flavors; sweet specialty wines (also called off-dry, demi-sec, or sec) that are intentionally prepared sweet; and sweet red varietals.

Sweet Red Varietals

Post fermentation, the high amount of residual sugars makes the wines sweeter than their dry red cousins. As this extra amount of sugars prematurely ceases the fermentation process, non-fortified sweet red wines happen to contain a lower level of alcohol than that of their dry counterparts.

1. Port

This sweet wine varietal hails from Portugal. Many drinkers consume it as a dessert wine due to its sweetness. There are many kinds of Port, including ruby Ports and tawny Ports. Ruby port is a fortified, thick and creamy sweet red wine. Tawny Port sports a golden appearance and comes with flavors of toffee and raisin. Port is characterized by a higher concentration of alcohol when compared to regular wine, and it can be paired with rich desserts containing chocolate. One can never go wrong with the following Port wines.

  • Yalumba Reserve Antique Tawny port: A dark tawny Port made in Australia having intense toffee flavors
  • Cockburn’s Fine Ruby NV Portocolate: A fruity Port wine prepared by blending numerous vintage wines
  • Taylor Fladgate Special Fine Ruby Port: It is a non-vintage full-bodied Port

2. Madeira

They are fortified wines from Portugal and prepared from an appropriate blend of white and red grapes (Tinta Negra and Bastardo). Not all Madeiras are sweet, but many drinkers consume sweeter Madeiras as desserts. As preparing the Madeira includes heating the spirit, it ends up with a tawny hue irrespective of whether the liquor is made from white or red grapes. A sweeter Madeira typically carries any of the following terms on its sticker.

  • Bual
  • Malvasia
  • Boal
  • Malvazia
  • Malmsey

One can never go wrong with the following Madeiras.

  • Paul Masson NV Madeira: A reasonably priced non-vintage American Madeira
  • Sandeman Fine Rich Madeira: A traditional blackish golden Madeira
  • Blandy’s Malmsey Ten Year: A ten-year-old conventional non-vintage sweet Madeira from Portugal

3. Marsala

This fortified wine from Italy is prepared from both white and red grapes. Rubino is prepared especially from red grapes and has a ruby red appearance. Marsala is available in the range of dry to very sweet. A sweet Marsala typically carries any one of the terms on its sticker.

  • Semisecco
  • Amabilea
  • Dolce

Some Marsalas worth trying are:

  • Colombo Marsala Sweet: A pocket-friendly wine manufactured in Sicily
  • Cribari Marsala: It has got a floral and citrus aroma
  • Lombardo Sweet Marsala: Another moderately priced wine from Sicily

4. Specialty Sweet Reds

Many wine manufacturers have started to cater to the market demands for sweeter red wines. Sweet reds typically carry any one of the terms on their stickers.

  • Sweet
  • Off-dry
  • Sec
  • Doce
  • Demi-Sec
  • Dolce
  • Dessert
  • Late Harvest
  • Dulce
  • Doux

Some sweet red wines worth going for are:

  • FI Horseshoe Hills Sweet Red Missouri Wine: It is a ruby red wine that has flavors of apples and cotton candy.
  • Ca’ Togni: It is a sweet red wine from the Napa Valley in California and is prepared from Black Hamburgh grapes.
  • Khvanchkara: It is semi-sweet and is prepared from Saperavi grapes. It hails from Georgia in the now defunct Soviet Union.

5. Chocolate Red Wine

Red wines infused or mixed with chocolates are relatively new and experimental items. The end product is a creamy, sweet, chocolaty drink containing the Port wine remainings. They are genuinely dessert beverages. Some manufacturers also add other flavors like raspberry.

Some chocolate reds worth mentioning are:

  • Chocovine: a creamy blend of red wine and cocoa
  • ChocolatRouge Sweet Red Wine: A delightful mix of red wine and dark chocolate
  • Chocolate Shop Wine: Specialty wines made by a chocolate wine manufacturer that comes with flavors like chocolate mint and chocolate strawberry.

Dry Wines Having A Distinctly Sweet Edge

Many of the dry wines having a dash of sweetness do not offer the drinker a full-fledged experience of sweetness, But many folks who do not like extremely dry red wines may try the following ones.

1. Amarone

This slightly sweet wine comes from the Vento region in Italy. Its sweet edge is obtained by drying the grapes on mats of straw, and for many months to concentrate the sugars, which is responsible for its bitter-sweet raisin-like flavor. Amarone also happens to contain higher level (about 14%) of alcohol compared to a few other reds. It pairs reasonably well with game meats.

2. Barbera d’Asti

It is a slightly sweet, fruity, and light red wine from the Piedmont region in Italy; and many drinkers find it more accessible when compared to the more substantial red wines.

3. Dolcetto

It is yet another red wine hailing from the Piedmont region in Italy, which can be consumed well before aging. Many drinkers find it pretty accessible and fruity. Dolcetto means “fairly sweet” in Italian. This light-natured red wine is blissfully fruity and contains soft tannins. As it is revered for its freshness, Dolcetto does not include age pretty well, and it is best consumed within twelve months.

4. Dornfelder

This German red wine has a typical sourness that offsets its little sweetness. The wine is quite light, and it also has a low alcohol content.

5. Lambrusco

This Italian red wine is identical to light and fizzy juice of grapes. Although its sweetness cannot be compared with that of a juice, it is reasonably fruity, which bestows it a necessarily sweeter flavor when compared to many of its comparatively more tannic peers.

6. Beaujolais Nouveau

It is a fruity and light wine. Vintners market Beaujolais Nouveau on third Thursday of every November. It hails from the Beaujolais region in France and is supposed to be consumed fresh and in its youth. As it is a wonderfully refreshing wine, vintners introduce the spirit in the very same year. The wine is prepared from the overwhelmingly fruity Gamay grapes.