Oct 27

Choosing a Sweet Red Wine

Chocolate Torte with Port Wine Sauce

Chocolate Torte with Port Wine Sauce

When shopping for red wines, you’ll notice that there are a lot more dry red wines than red wines that are sweet. But, if you’re a sweet wine lover, you can find some red wines that will suit your palate.

The sweetest red wines are ports. These wines are fortified (usually with brandy) and have a higher content of sugar and alcohol. Port wines are perfect for drinking after dinner or with dessert. Port wines come in the following categories:

  • Ruby – Ruby ports are the youngest. They are not casked for very long, so they keep their bright color and fruity flavors..
  • Tawny – These are aged longer and are less sweet than the Ruby. The time they spend in the cask makes them a darker color and gives them a nutty flavor.
  • Vintage – These ports are aged the longest and have the least sweetness. They are smooth and mellow.

In addition to port, there are some other red wines that tend to be sweet. Lambrusco is an Italian red wine that is served chilled. It has quite a bit of sweetness and the flavors of blackberry and plum. It’s considered the perfect red wine for a picnic or barbecue when you want something cold, but with the complexity of a red wine. Beaujolais is a French wine that is also usually quite sweet. If you want a light variety, choose the Beaujolais Nouveau.

When choosing other red wines, there are some characteristics you should look for if you’re trying to find a red wine that is a bit sweeter. First of all, steer clear of anything labeled as “dry”. But, you can also find sweeter wines by choosing red wines that are:

  • As wines age, the fruit mellows, making the wine less sweet.
  • Check the tasting notes on a red wine before you buy. Any wine listed as fruity is likely to be somewhat sweet.
  • Choose a wine labeled “dessert”. Dessert wines are usually quite a bit sweeter than other wines.

When we think of red wines, we often think more of dry wines than sweet. And, it’s certainly true that, as a rule, there are more dry red wines than sweet. But, that’s no reason for the lover of sweet wines to avoid drinking red wines. Just be a bit more selective in your choices, and you’re sure to find red wines that are sweet and satisfying.

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