About Sweet Wine

About Sweet Wine
A dessert wine is just that, a wine made strictly to pair with desserts at the end of a meal. Dessert wines are sweet wines; while many are naturally sweet, some are sweetned through the addition of grape must.

Famous dessert wines include Sauternes from France’s Bordeaux region, Rutherglen Muscat from Australia and vendages tardives (“late picked”) from France’s Alsace region. Germany also produces many famous dessert wines, ranging from Spatlese to Eiswein (made from frozen grapes).

Dessert wines from Italy include Vin Santo, Recioto di Soave and Recioto di Valpolicella. While some dessert wines have alcohol in the 12-14% range, others such as Moscato d’Asti from Piedmont in northern Italy are very low in alcohol (5.5%).

Dessert wines can accompany certain specific foods, especially cakes, almond tortes and fruit tarts; however, Sauternes and foie gras is a classic pairing.

While some lighter dessert wines such as Moscato d’Asti or Brachetto d’Acqui are meant for consumption upon release, others such as Sauternes or Auslese from Germany can age for decades, thanks to their high natural sugar concentration.

Top Picks for Sweet Wine

Domaine des Bernardins 2017  Muscat
94 points
$40
Steely orange color. Aromas of ripe peach, honey-drizzled apricot, golden raisins, and lime peel with a round, crisp, sweet light-to-medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length orange blossom water and chamomile tea finish. A bright Beaumes de Venise Blanc that offers delicate notes of dried fruit and honey.
Monte De Oro 2015 Legato Dessert Wine Cinsault
93 points
$39
Brown brick red color. Tropical aromas and flavors of overripe pineapple, brown sugar, apricot marmalade, quince, thyme, and fig paste with a satiny, lively, very sweet medium body and a warming, complex, medium-long finish revealing impressions of Spanish peanuts, Madeira cake, cinnamon pastry, and baklava with moderate oak flavor. A distinctive dessert wine with enticing tropical nuance and toasty complexity; a must-try.
Quady 2020 Electra White Moscato
90 points
$15
Straw green color. Interesting aromas and flavors of oatmeal with golden raisins and pecans, saddle leather, dried peaches and pits, and matcha with a supple, bright, moderately sweet medium body and an effortless, complex, long finish that exhibits overtones of honeyed dried apricot, orange marmalade, and ground almond. A vibrantly delicious and concentrated dessert wine that will be a fine end to a rich meal.
Corte Bella  Rosso
90 points
$6.99
Best Buy
Ruby garnet color. Aromas and flavors of strawberry sorbet, pomegranate juice, rosehip preserves, and ume with a satiny, crisp, effervescent, fruity medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length finish conveying nuances of strawberry shortcake, raspberry gelee, and wet stone with no oak flavor. A delicious, fun and fizzy red that is sure to be a hit; drink up.
90 points $6.99 Best Buy
Quady 2020 Electra Red Moscato
89 points
$15
Deep purple color. Aromas of blackberry compote on pound cake, honeycomb, and warm spices with a round, vibrant, sweet medium body and a graceful, engaging, medium-length mixed berry gelato finish with no oak flavor. A berry-laden palate follows a honey-kissed nose in the sweet but sophisticated Moscato sipper.
Jam Jar 2018 Sweet White White Moscato
89 points
$9.99
Best Buy
Bright yellow straw color. Aromas and flavors of honeysuckle, clementine, ripe apricot, beeswax, and orange blossom with a satiny, petillant, moderately sweet medium-to-full body and a warming, medium-length finish with accents of key lime pie. A bright, fresh Moscato for anytime indulging.
89 points $9.99 Best Buy
Oliver NV Sweet Red Indiana
88 points
$8
Best Buy
Garnet color. Rustic aromas and flavors of wild cherry candy, huckleberry jam, and tangerine with a satiny, vibrant, sweet light-to-medium body and a smooth, compelling, medium-length finish displaying shades of hints of tropical fruit with no oak flavor. A bold Concord wine with impassioned varietal character; pleasingly sweet and never cloying.
88 points $8 Best Buy
Salem Oak Vineyards NV Analise Concord
88 points
$19.99
Light garnet color. Candied aromas and flavors of watermelon candies, cherry lollipop, and honeyed grapes with a supple, crisp, moderately sweet light-to-medium body and an even, interesting, medium-length finish. A well-structured, concentrated Concord wine for the cheese course.
88 points $19.99
Barefoot NV Pink Moscato California
88 points
$6.99
Best Buy
Pink coral color. Savory, spicy aromas of pickled melon and nectarine and hint of beeswax with a silky, bright, fruity sweet medium body and a smooth, medium-to-long dried apricot and orange blossom water sorbet finish with no oak flavor. A lively sweet pink wine with nice fruit, acidity, and a refreshing finish.
88 points $6.99 Best Buy
Barefoot NV Red Moscato California
88 points
$6.99
Best Buy
Light siam color. Sweet aromas of honey on pears, honeysuckle, ripe melon, and rose petals with a satiny, crisp, sweet light-to-medium body and a smooth, medium-length raspberry sorbet, tangerine, and lychee finish. A spritzy wine for sweet celebrations.
88 points $6.99 Best Buy