What are some good sweet red wines?

Answered by Roy Gibson

As a sommelier and brewer, I have had the pleasure of tasting and exploring a wide variety of sweet red wines. These wines are a fantastic choice for those who enjoy a touch of sweetness in their glass, and they can be a great accompaniment to a range of dishes. Here are some of my favorite sweet red wines that I highly recommend trying:

1. Zinfandel: Zinfandel is a classic California known for its fruity and jammy flavors. It often exhibits notes of blackberry, raspberry, and cherry, with a touch of spice. The sweetness in Zinfandel comes from the ripe fruit flavors, making it a great option for those who prefer a sweeter . It pairs exceptionally well with grilled meats, barbecues, and spicy dishes.

2. Malbec: Malbec is a bold and full-bodied wine that originated in Argentina. It is known for its deep purple color and flavors of blackberry, plum, and chocolate. While not as sweet as Zinfandel, Malbec still has a pleasant sweetness that balances its robust tannins. This wine pairs wonderfully with grilled steaks, roasted meats, and hearty stews.

3. Lambrusco: Lambrusco is a red wine from Italy that is slightly sweet and incredibly refreshing. It has vibrant red fruit flavors, such as cherry and raspberry, and a lively effervescence that adds a playful touch to any occasion. Lambrusco is an incredibly versatile wine that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with a variety of foods, including charcuterie, pizza, and spicy Asian cuisine.

4. Brachetto d'Acqui: Brachetto d'Acqui is a sweet red wine from the Piedmont region of Italy. It is made from the Brachetto grape and is known for its aromatic profile and light effervescence. This wine is bursting with flavors of strawberries, raspberries, and roses, making it a delightful choice for dessert or aperitif. It pairs beautifully with chocolate-based desserts, fruit tarts, and creamy cheeses.

5. Port: Port is a fortified sweet red wine that hails from Portugal. It is typically rich, intense, and full-bodied, with flavors of dark fruits, caramel, and chocolate. Port is often enjoyed as a dessert wine and pairs wonderfully with strong cheeses, nuts, and decadent chocolate desserts. It is a wine that ages exceptionally well and can be enjoyed for years to come.

6. Banyuls: Banyuls is a sweet red wine from the Roussillon region of France. Made from Grenache grapes, it is fortified with grape spirit and aged in oak . Banyuls exhibits flavors of ripe red fruits, cocoa, and spices, with a touch of sweetness that is beautifully balanced by its acidity. It is a fantastic pairing with chocolate desserts, blue cheeses, and foie gras.

7. Recioto della Valpolicella: Recioto della Valpolicella is a luscious and sweet red wine from the Veneto region of Italy. It is made from partially dried grapes, which concentrates the sugars and flavors. This wine is rich and velvety, with notes of ripe cherries, raisins, and baking spices. It pairs wonderfully with rich chocolate desserts, dried fruits, and aged cheeses.

These are just a few examples of the many delicious sweet red wines available. Exploring different regions and grape varieties can lead to delightful new discoveries. Whether you prefer a slightly sweet wine or a full-bodied dessert wine, there is a sweet red wine out there to suit your taste. Cheers to the joy of discovering and savoring these delightful wines!