My Criteria For What Makes A Good Wine:
- I made an account of all the wines I tried and rated them on a scale from 1 to 10, 1 meaning that the wine was not very good at all and 10 being so delicious I might consider a glass with breakfast.
- The list of wine you see below includes only those wines that I rated with a 7 or more.
- All of these wines are affordable and cost less than $20 Canadian each.
Ros Comes In A Range Of Flavors
If your only exposure to rosé has come from poor-quality New World sweet zinfandels or sugary-sweet blended wines like Arbor Mist, you might have the idea that rosé is a sweet wine only suited for brunch and desserts.
Hopefully thanks to this guide, youll have an idea of just how much variety there is in the rosé world and what to try next!
Ros Wine Tends To Be Dry
Even though there is a preconception that rosé wine is sweet, most rosé wines lean towards a semi-dry flavor. The profile of rosé changes from vintage to vintage, with rosé wines spanning the gamut from very dry French rosé varieties to sweet white zinfandel. However, many rosé wines feature strawberry notes and other fruity flavors.
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What Kind Of Wine Is Sweet White Wine
Sweet wines are wines that contain some residual sugar after the process of fermentation. The residual sugar left behind becomes a preservative, which makes sweet wines ideal for long-term storage.
A wines sweetness is also determined by the levels of acids, tannins, and alcohol present in it. Alcohol and sugar increase a wines sweetness whereas tannins and acids reduce it.
However, sweet can often be a confusing term because some wines are very sweet while others are a little less sweet. Here is a list of popular varieties of sweet white wines:
List Of White Wines By Dryness
What is the driest white wine? Here is a list of some of the top dry white wines. When looking for a dry white wine make sure it does not say late harvest, dessert, fortified, sec, demi-sec on a bottle of wine or champagne as this would indicate that the wine is most likely sweet. The sweetness of white wines:
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Dolce Late Harvest Semillon/sauvignon Blanc Blend
California’s answer to Sauternes is a treat beyond a treat. Made from Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc grapes that are left to overripen on the vine, you’ll taste orange zest, vanilla bean, and butterscotch. Because of the overripe grapes, lots of dried fruit comes through in this pretty little bottle. It’s worth skipping a few weeks of Starbucks to buy this bottle.
Three Italian White Wines To Buy On The Hottest Day Of The Year
There are many times when the best wine for the moment is not necessarily the best wine you have. The hottest days of summer definitely prove this theory. When the thermostat rises, few things refresh as well as a crisp, citrusy and mineral Italian white wine.
Frascati hails from Lazio and lies just to the south of Rome. This light-bodied and refreshing wine quenches the thirst of patrons of the capital citys cafés.
Native to the Marche region, the recently re-discovered Pecorino is quickly becoming one of Italys hottest white wines. Producing structured wines with high acidity, Pecorinos herbal-citrus notes are reminiscent of Sauvignon Blanc.
Orvieto is Umbrias best-known white wine. Though the appellation produces a wide range of styles and quality levels, at the most basic, these wines are pleasantly bracing and refreshing.
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White Wine Sweetness Chart
Weve organized the white wines here on a scale from dry to sweet. Youll find that there are more dry wines than sweet wines. In fact, most of the white wines that youre probably familiar with are dry white wines. Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay are both dry, as is Sauvignon Blanc.The dry white wines have been organized into groups by tasting notes. Even though these white wines aren’t sweet, they still have a lot of variation in flavor! For example, Sauvignon Blanc is dry and acidic, with citrus and herbal flavors. On the other hand, oaked Chardonnay is rich and creamy, with apple pie and pineapple flavors.If youre a person who likes sweet white wine, but youre looking to branch out a little bit, you can learn which dry white wines to try based on the flavors in this chart. A rich Chardonnay, with its dessert-like flavors, may be a good place for you to start.The chart also shows sweet wines, from Moscato and Riesling to dessert wines. You can learn more about those types of sweet white wine below.
Is Pinot Noir sweet? How about Merlot? Find out in this helpful article. Red Wine Sweetness Chart
What Is Sauternes Made From
Bordeaux winemakers use three white grape varieties to make Sauternes wine:
- Sémillon grapes are the main ingredient. Their thin skins make them easy targets for the Botrytis fungus, so they are perfect for making noble rot wines.
- Sauvignon Blanc grapes are high in acidity. Thus, vintners use them to balance the relatively low acidity of Sémillon.
- Muscadelle adds delicious floral notes to the flavor mix.
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How To Store Sauternes
The best way to store Sauternes wine is to keep it in a dark and cool place. Shield it from temperature changes, sunlight, aggressive chemical smells, and vibrating devices, and it will be fine.
A spot in your basement is fine a wine fridge is even better. In any case, you should store the bottle lying on its side, so the cork is in touch with the wine and wont dry out.
Innocent Bystander Pink Moscato 2011 $12
Courtesy of Innocent Bystander
This light pink, slightly sweet Australian Moscato offers a flirtatious mix of strawberries and cream with a whisper of rose petal on the nose. Intense sweet fruit, playful frizz ante bubbles, and an unexpected, enduring finish all collide to make this a must-try Moscato.
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Factors Affecting Sweetness & Taste Of White Wine
A wine that smells sweet and ripe is likely to taste sweeter. If a white wine has sweet floral aroma notes, like Moscato smelling of a tropical fruit may taste sweet.
- Wine Acidity
Dont get confused between acidity and tannin. While acidity is a flavor, tannin is more of a sensation.
Acidity gives wine a sour, crispy and tart taste but that doesnt mean sweet white wines arent acidic. It helps in balancing the sweetness in wines. Sweet German Riesling, for example, has high acidity.
Tannins come from the grape skins, stems and seeds, which are sometimes negligible in white wines. Its presence causes an astringent feeling in your mouth and a bitterness making your lips pucker.
Useful Tip: How To Tell If A Wine Is Dry Or Sweet Just By Looking At The Label
Finally, the best way to determine how dry a white wine is, take a look at the label. White wine dryness is in direct correlation with alcohol level. Wines with lower alcohol tend to be sweeter. So when youre out shopping for wine, flip the wine bottle over and find the ABV. Wines that are under 10% alcohol will likely be sweet. From 10-12%ABV, the wines will be off-dry, and over 12% they should be quite dry. Based on what youve learned above, you know that there is less residual sugar when there is more alcohol. Wine brands are pretty good about letting you know if the wine is sweet or dry on their labeling, but alcohol content is an extra tip if youre debating between two different wines and are looking for the dryer one.
Need help shopping for dry white wine? This cheat sheet will tell you all the dry white wine types.
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A Definitive Guide To Varieties Styles And Winemaking Methods
GettyImages | Maren Caruso
Sweet wines often provide a gateway to understanding wine and converting would-be wine enthusiasts away from other sweet alcoholic beverages such as cocktails and mixed drinks. Sweet white wines come in a wide array of styles and flavor profiles that have been produced for centuries before becoming popular and trendy in recent decades. They offer a dazzling array of profiles, from floral, bright, and citrusy to fruity, unctuous, and honeyed.
Best For The Cellar: Chteau Coutet Barsac
Region: Barsac, Bordeaux, France | ABV: 14% | Tasting notes: Apricot, honey, canned peaches
Barsac is located in the southwestern area of Bordeaux and is known for its lusciously sweet dessert wine production. Here, sauvignon blanc and sémillon are left on the vine to be infected by noble rot , otherwise known as botrytis. This rot sucks the moisture out of the grapes, which in turn, concentrates the fruit and leads to rich, sticky-sweet dessert wines. Coutet is one of the most renowned producers within the appellation. At a great value, this wine will withstand the test of time.
Enjoy it with pungent blue cheese, foie gras or French-inspired pastries for an incredible experience. “Savory and salty foods pair so nicely with sweet wines,” says Strong. “I love roasted chicken or bacon with any sweet, botrytized white wine from Bordeaux, Hungary or Austria.”
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Sauterns And Barsac Wines To Try
If you’d like to try these sweet Bordeaux wines, you can find many examples in varying price ranges in wine shops. Some to try include:
- Chateau d’Yquem: This is the most famous Sauternes wine of all, which is often reflected in the price which can start around $350 and up. Collectors seek Chateau d’Yquem wines from good years, which may raise the price even more.
- Chateau Doisy Däene: This Sauternes wine maintains a lot of consistency from vintage to vintage and is a top rated dessert wine.
- Chateau Grillion: This is an affordable Sauternes that is typically quite well rated by experts.
- Chateau Climens: This sweet wine comes from Barsac, and it is quite affordable compared to similar wines that may cost several times more. It was also featured in Vivino’s 2019 Wine Style Awards.
The Best Sweet And Fruity Wines
I was never much of a wine drinkerexcept for an occasional bottle of Arbor Mist, a brand a true wine lover might write off as juice rather than wine. Maybe I was only an “alcoholic juice” drinker? So I decided to do some experimenting to see what other types of wine I would enjoy .
I tried as many sweet, fruity-tasting wines as possible without breaking my bank account. I was not about to drop a lot of cash on a bottle of wine only to find out that the sink drain would enjoy it more than I would. In my search, I specifically looked for rosé, blush, moscato, and dessert varieties, as they usually have the sweeter taste that is more pleasant to the taste buds of an “alcoholic juice” drinker.
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Great Pairings For Sweet Wine:
- Salty snacks: We all know sweet and salty go great together, so a super-sweet wine is also the perfect counterbalance for your favorite salty dish, like savory almond and black walnut pesto.
- Spicy foods: For example, a glass of cold, sweet white wine that has low alcohol content pairs wonderfully with hot and spicy dishes like these Korean fried chicken wings.
- Acidic bites: Highly acidic sweet white wines, like Rieslings, go nicely with sour, vinegary foods, like tomato fresh tomato bruschetta.
- Bitter foods: Artichoke, citrus, pickles, radicchio, Brussels sprouts, and sauerkraut all have a bitter flavor that tastes even better with a sweet wine. In fact, bitter and sweet go so well together they form their own word: bittersweet. Try sipping sweet wine with candied citrus peels dipped in dark chocolate.
- Light meats: The deep flavors of dark meats might overwhelm a sweet wine, but white meats and protein , with their lighter flavors, pair nicely.
- Sweet things: Sweet wines make sweet sauces like teriyaki or other Asian sauces with sugar, honey, or tamarind taste extra good.
- Desserts: There’s nothing wrong with pairing sweet wines with sweet desserts. In fact, “dessert wine” is a category of extra-sweet wines intended to do just this: take dessert to another level.
Both bitterness and tannin will counterbalance and reduce the impression of sweetness in a wine.
Best Sweet White Wine To Try
Let’s talk more about white wines that are actually sweet.Our sweet white wine list includes: Moscato, Gewurztraminer, and Riesling. Very sweet white wines include: Sauternes, ice wine, and late harvest wine.Whats the difference between slightly sweet white wines and dessert wines?Sweet wines like Moscato are still light and crisp, while dessert wines like Sauternes are rich and dense. Think of it like the difference between a soda and hot chocolate. Soda is sweet, but its still light enough to enjoy with a meal. Hot chocolate is rich and very sweet, and you probably drink it for dessert.Moscato and Riesling are two of the most common types of sweet white wine. We recommend these as great starting points if you want to try something new and a little sweet.Heres a list of some of our favorite Moscato and Riesling wines:
What is Moscato wine? Find out all about one of our favorite sweet white wines here. What is Moscato? Learn Why Were Sweet on this White Wine
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Why Some Dry Wines Taste More Dry Than Others
Wine writers to the concept of dryness for years and food scientists have actually studied why some wines taste more dry than others. Both groups claim that aroma, , and are key components to why a wine tastes dry.
You might be more sensitive to tannin than others
Whats interesting is that a recent study demonstrated that some people have higher sensitivities to tannin based on the amount of proteins naturally present in their saliva.
Paradise Peak Sweet Gewurztraminer
When you first smell this light-bodied sweet wine, you will be greeted with floral, apple blossom, baking spice and lychee notes quite unique but amazing, nonetheless. As this gorgeous drink touches the palate, those aromas will turn into beautiful flavours but this time, joined by a crispness which balances it out.
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The Best Substitutions For Wine When Cooking
There are a number of alcohol-free options you can use instead that still lend flavor to whatever youre cooking. For something that almost mimics wine, try verjus, which is the pressed juice of unripened grapes. Beyond these, good ol chicken or vegetable stock, enhanced with a dash of lemon or vinegar, is a great choice that you likely already have on hand.
Do you have a go-to white wine when youre cooking? Tell us about it in the comments below!
Jayme is an aspiring wine-maker and Certified Sommelier, and when away from the restaurant, she can be found in the garden or the kitchen. She blogs at Holly & Flora, where she writes about cultivating, cocktailing, and creating, from garden to glass.
How To Choose A Sweet White Wine
This article was co-authored by Christopher Lucchese. Christopher Lucchese is a Certified Sommelier affiliated with Home Somm, a Los Angeles, California-based business that does private wine tastings, education and paired wine dinners. Christopher was also a Sommelier for Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak, a Michelin-rated restaurant for three years. He is a Level 4 Diploma Student with the WSET . He is also a Certified Sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers and has trained with the Wine Scholar Guild and The Culinary Institute of America. He took two semesters at UC Davis for winemaking, viticulture and enology.There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 13,002 times.
Sweet wines get a bad rap , but there are so many incredible winemakers out there who know how to do a sweet wine right. If you’re new to the world of sweet white wine or you’re ready to jump back in after an unpleasant experience, you’re probably wondering where to start. Don’t worrywe’ve put together a comprehensive guide to sweet white wines that will walk you through everything you need to knowfrom the different types of white wines to popular food pairings to understanding wine labelsso you can find the perfect wine for you.
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What Kinds Of Wine Are Sweet And Fruity
When looking for a sweeter-tasting wine, it is best to stick to these types:
- Port: Coming from Portugal, port wines are well-known for their sweet taste. During their making, brandy is usually added. This not only increases the sweetness of the wine but the alcohol content, as well.
- Moscato: Moscato is an Italian wine that often comes in peach and/or apricot flavors. Moscato is usually enjoyed with dessert and therefore has a sweeter taste.
- Zinfandel: A light, fruity, easy-drinking wine. Zinfandel is usually the first choice of those just getting started with drinking wine.
- Riesling: Coming from Germany, the Riesling wine can either be very dry or very sweet, so be careful about which one you choose and be sure to read the label before purchasing.
- Sauternes: From the Sauternais region in Bordeaux, France, sauternes is made from grapes that have been affected by “noble rot,” a specially cultivated type of mold that concentrates the fruits sugars and flavors, producing a golden, extra-sweet and fruity wine.
Wine: The sweeter, the fruitier, the better.