The 10 Best Sweet Wines You Should Try

Are you a fan of sweet wines? If so, you’re in luck! In this article, I’ve compiled a list of the best sweet wines that you can buy. From luscious Moscatos to aromatic Rieslings, there’s something for every sweet wine lover on this list. So kick back, relax, and get ready to discover some new favorite sweet wines.

Moscato d’Asti

This light, effervescent wine hails from the Piedmont region of Italy and is known for its sweet, fruity flavors of peaches and apricots. This wine is perfect for sipping on its own as an aperitif or paired with fruit desserts. It also pairs well with light appetizers such as cheese and fruit platters.

Recommended Moscato d’Asti

Paolo Saracco Moscato d’Asti DOCG

This excellent wine from Paolo Saracco offers excellent value. Well worth a try.
Critic tasting note: (2021 vintage) “This lovely, sweet sparkler opens with heady aromas of yellow stone fruit, spring blossoms and wild aromatic herbs. The savory palate delivers ripe apricot, creamy yellow peach, rosemary and sage. Crisp acidity not only keeps it focused and tangy, but seamlessly balances the sweetness so it’s never cloying but always bright and racy. A refined, foaming mousse provides lots of finesse. Kerin O’Keefe” – 95/100Wine Enthusiast

Caudrina Romano Dogliotti ‘La Caudrina’

Critic tasting note: (2016 vintage) “The nose is fruity , gourmand, fine and quite elegant . It reveals notes of candied green lemon , candied mandarin and small notes of white fruits/ apple associated with a discreet hint of flowers as well as an imperceptible hint of white ppeper . The palate is fruity , well-balanced , supple and offers fat, a nice volume, a slight acidity as well as a beautiful mineral frame. In the mouth this wine expresses notes of candied white peach , cr ystallized mandarin and small notes of candied lemon associated with a subtle hint of flowers , pineapple as well as an imperceptible hint of orange blossom (in the background). Good length .” – 90 – 91/100VertdeVin

La Spinetta Bricco Quaglia

Critic tasting note: (2008 vintage) “This Moscato d’Asti offers beautiful aromatic intensity to match its luminous golden color. The wine is fresh and zippy in the mouth but then that natural sweetness takes over and caresses the palate. This is an excellent example of Piedmont’s favorite sparkling dessert wine.” – 88/100Wine Enthusiast

Riesling

Riesling is a classic sweet wine that is made in a variety of styles, ranging from bone-dry to very sweet. It is known for its floral and fruity aromas, as well as its crisp, refreshing flavors. This wine’s crisp, refreshing flavors make it a great match for spicy foods, as well as grilled pork or chicken. It also pairs well with sweet and spicy Asian dishes.

Recommended Rieslings

Georg Albrecht Schneider Niersteiner Riesling Kabinett 2017

This Kabinett is a fresh, crisp wine with lingering sweetness balanced by tart lemon-lime acidity. Delicate wisps of smoke and earth lend touches of complexity throughout, adding dimensions to its fruity character.

Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese

Spätlese Riesling is richer and more intense in flavor than Kabinett. It comes with a lively minerality that perfectly balances the bright white peach and lemon fruit you’ll find here. Worth seeking out.

Ransom Sunnyside Vineyard Riesling (Willamette Valley of Oregon)

From the vineyard themselves, “This single vineyard, old vine bottling from the South Salem Hills is a classic, terroir-revealing Riesling. Opening with fresh fruit aromas of key lime and pineapple, the palate offers vivid acidity and flavors of Meyer lemon zest and candied ginger wrapped around a mineral vein. The wine finishes fresh and bright, with a beguiling note of honeysuckle blossom. A delight to drink now, but also exceedingly age-worthy.” 

Gewurztraminer

This aromatic wine is made from the Gewurztraminer grape and is known for its spicy, floral flavors and aromas. It is often sweet and can be enjoyed as an aperitif or paired with spicy foods. The spicy, floral flavors of this wine make it a great match for rich, creamy dishes such as pasta carbonara or chicken Alfredo. It is also a good choice to pair with spicy Asian cuisine or a cheese platter.

Recommended Gewurztraminer

Domaine Specht 2019 (Alsace)

The wine’s color is pale straw. The nose has aromas of hazelnuts and mint, with a hint of minerality. When tasted, this wine is very floral with notes alluding to minerals.

Joseph Cattin 2020 Hatschbourg Grand Cru (Alsace)

The nose of this wine has a touch of peach and honeysuckle. The palate deepens the fruitiness first found on the nose but finishes slightly sweet. This wine shows balance and concentration throughout.

Grgich Hills 2020 Miljenko’s Selection, Gewurztraminer, Napa Valley

Outside of Alsace this time. This wine is produced in California. It is pale straw in color with a lychee aroma with a medium body; this wine has light floral notes of jasmine green tea. A richly textured California ‘Napa Valley’ wine that could use some more time in the bottle to develop complexity. 

Sauternes

This prestigious wine comes from the Bordeaux region of France and is made from grapes that have been affected by the “noble rot” fungus. The resulting wine is luscious and sweet, with flavors of honey and tropical fruit. This luxurious wine is best paired with rich, sweet desserts such as crème brûlée or fruit tarts. It is also a great match for soft, ripe cheeses.

Recommended Sauternes

2014 Chateau Suduiraut

Producer tasting notes: “Château Suduiraut 2014 has a deep golden yellow color and is still restrained in its expression. The first nose reveals oaked notes of toasted hazelnut, followed by white flowers, spices such as ginger and white pepper, and finally, very ripe yellow fruit. The wine is full in the attack and continues in rich and fresh form on the palate. Aromas of yellow peach, roasted pineapple, ginger, and preserved lemons mingle in a long, unctuous whole. The finish is absolutely delicious, lingering for a long time with honey and spiced notes.” – Chateau Suduiraut

2017 Chateau Rieussec

Producer tasting notes: “Beautiful pale gold color. The initial nose offers remarkable depth. Aeration reveals the complexity of truly great years. All the characteristics are present: freshness, precision, and purity. On the palate, the wine presents an impressive combination of power and finesse. The finish is tremendously long and harmonious. As is often the case in exceptional vintages, the sweetness is masked by the wine’s balance. A magnificent Rieussec that is already sublime and will still be so in ten and many more years’ time.” – Chateau Rieussec

2019 Chateau Coutet

A less expensive Sauternes than the others but no less wine for it.  

Expert tasting note: “A rich, golden, sweet wine with ripe stone fruit and Smokey, sulfurous notes on the nose. On the palate, concentrated, ripe apricot fruit is lovely & juicy. The wine is full-bodied & has a superb rich texture. Alcohol is in balance & despite the fresh acidity the wine finishes sweet.” – 6/20 DCAMW

Late Harvest Zinfandel

Zinfandel is typically a bold, full-bodied wine, but when left to ripen on the vine longer, it can produce a sweet, fruity wine with flavors of ripe berries and a hint of spice. The fruity, sweet flavors of this wine make it a great match for fruit-based desserts such as berry tarts or fruitcakes. It is also a good choice to pair with chocolate desserts.

Recommended Late Harvest Zinfandels

Dashe Cellars Late Harvest Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley USA

Critic tasting note: (2017 vintage) “With 11% residual sugar, this late-harvest wine spent eight months in oak, soaking in great flavors of baked plum, prune and Christmas ginger cake. With a punch of acidity it remains vibrant and complex within its viscous concentration and supple texture. Virginie Boone” – 91/100Wine Enthusiast

Domaine de la Terre Rouge Easton Obscura Very Late Harvest Zinfandel

Critic tasting note: (2009 vintage) “Made from Sierra Foothills Zinfandel, this smells of grapes dried in the sun. This is delicately balanced, with just the right level of thickness and sweetness. Enjoy with plummy desserts or dark chocolate.” – 88/100Wine Enthusiast

Carol Shelton ‘Black Magic’ Late Harvest Zinfandel

Critic tasting note: (2019 vintage) “This dessert wine is made from a selection of vineyards and blended with 15% late-harvest Petite Sirah. Viscous and delicious, it delivers dense flavors of baked cherry, vanilla and mocha that blend with balanced accents of baking spice and oak. Virginie Boone” – 90/100Wine Enthusiast

Port

This classic sweet wine comes from the Douro Valley in Portugal and is made from red grapes that are fortified with brandy during fermentation. It is known for its rich, sweet flavors and aromas of dark fruit and chocolate. This wine’s rich, sweet flavors make it a perfect match for chocolate desserts or fruitcakes. It is also a classic pairing with blue cheese.

Recommended Port

Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port

Expert tasting note: (1985 vintage) “The wine is starting to lose its deep red color & become quite brickish. The aromas are at a mid-point between plumy & pruney red fruits & dried fig & date. There is an overlaying of spirit & chocolatey notes. There is good sweetness, but its richness & freshness help to balance this. The wine has fresh plummy fruit & a rounder, more developed, figginess. The alcohol is warming & rounds out the finish. There is a lovely long complex finish.” – 06/20 DCAMW

Fonseca Vintage Port

Critic tasting note: (2017 vintage) “(2020) A youthful solidity to this, pure, vinous plum and cherry black fruits, gorgeous silkiness and the sheer concentration of the components – fruit, tannin and acid – are going to give this terrific longevity surely. Price quoted is per bottle, but most retailers are offering in-bond, and by the six-bottle case at time of review.” – 95/100Tom Cannavan

W & J Graham’s Single Harvest Tawny Port

Critic tasting note: (1994 vintage) “Bottled in 2018 after nearly 25 years in wood, this wine is sumptuous with its rich toffee and spice flavors. They contrast with the hints of fresh acidity from the wood aging, giving a dry core to the mature sweet fruits. The wine is completely ready to drink. Roger Voss” – 95/100Wine Enthusiast

Chenin Blanc

While Chenin Blanc is often made in a dry style, it can also be made into a sweet wine that is full of honeyed flavors and the aromas of white flowers. The sweet, honeyed flavors of this wine make it a great match for spicy Asian dishes or rich, creamy desserts such as crème brûlée.

Recommended Chenin Blanc

Aperture Chenin Blanc 2021

This Chenin Blanc has a floral aroma, with notes of cherry blossom and melon. This is a highly-rated Californian wine with hints of pear and lemon.

Ernesto Wickenden Vineyard, 2020 Chenin Blanc

The 2020 Foxen Chenin Blanc begins with hints of honeysuckle and acacia blossoms. This unapologetically fruity nose leads to ripe golden apples, peaches, honey, and plenty more sweet notes.

Lang & Reed 2018 Chenin Blanc (Napa Valley)

The 2018 Lang & Reed Chenin Blanc begins with aromas of ripe peaches, honeysuckle, and a hint of green apple. The palate is full and round, with notes of nectarine and green apple.

Icewine

This Canadian specialty is made from grapes that are left on the vine until they freeze, resulting in a concentrated, sweet wine with flavors of tropical fruit and honey. The concentrated sweetness of this wine makes it a perfect match for rich chocolate desserts or fruit tarts. It is also a good choice to serve with soft, ripe cheeses.

Recommended Icewines

Inniskillin Niagara Peninsula Vidal Icewine

Critic tasting note: (2019 vintage) “With 245g/L residual sugar at bottling, the aromas erupt from the glass, with notes of marmalade, candied pineapple and sugared citrus rind. Sweet, nectarous, well-balanced tangerine and pineapple flavors follow. It’s a perfect end to any evening. Sean P. Sullivan” – 92/100Wine Enthusiast

Inniskillin Riesling Icewine

Another from Inniskillin, this time a Riesling Icewine. 

Critic tasting note: (2019 vintage) “This Riesling Icewine offers sweet, honeyed flavors of apple sauce and peach pie, with accents of candied apricots and dried papaya. The acids balance out the sugar, which is finished at 230 g/L. Paul Gregutt” – 92/100Wine Enthusiast

Jackson-Triggs Vidal Icewine Reserve

While Inniskillin make some of the best Icewines, they are expensive.  If you want something that is just as good but doesn’t cost the earth, check out this reserve wine from Jackson-Triggs. 

Critic tasting note: (2019 vintage) “The 187 ml package—one quarter of a regular bottle—suffices for two sweet toothers given the richness of the wine. A deep gold color, the wine is thick on the palate and loaded with flavors of dried apricot, peach, cooked pear, papaya and crystallized sugar. The acids keep it from becoming too cloying. Paul Gregutt” – 91/100Wine Enthusiast

Vouvray

This wine is made from Chenin Blanc grapes in the Loire Valley of France and can be made in a range of styles, from dry to sweet. The sweet versions are known for their rich, honeyed flavors and aromas of white flowers and citrus. The rich, honeyed flavors of this wine make it a great match for fruit desserts such as tarts or fruitcakes. It is also a good choice to pair with spicy Asian cuisine or creamy, rich dishes such as pasta carbonara.

Recommended Vouvrays

Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Le Mont’ Premiere Trie Moelleux

Critic tasting note: (2010 vintage) “This will be a wonderful wine. Already, it is fine, with lovely acidity, bright and richly sweet at the same time. Yellow fruits mingle with honey, pear, almonds, and the intense sweetness of botrytis.” – 97/100Wine Enthusiast

Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Clos du Bourg’ Premiere Trie Moelleux

Critic tasting note: (2009 vintage) “A majestic, magisterial wine, powered by super-ripe fruit as well as honey and a gorgeous ripeness. With years ahead of it, this will be superb.” – 97/100Wine Enthusiast

Moscato Rosa

Similar to Moscato d’Asti, this wine is made from the Moscato grape in the Piedmont region of Italy. It has a beautiful pink color and is known for its sweet, fruity flavors and aromas of raspberries and strawberries. The sweet, fruity flavors of this wine make it a perfect match for fruit desserts such as berry tarts or fruit salads. It is also a good choice to pair with light appetizers such as cheese and fruit platters.

Recommended Moscato Rosa

Icardi La Rosa Selvatica

Critic tasting note: (2008 vintage) “This Moscato d’Asti seems to have lost some of its fizz and delivers contrasting aromas of sweet fruit, peach, ash and white mineral. The mouthfeel is tonic and clean with the grape’s characteristic sweetness on the close.” – 82/100Wine Enthusiast

Abbazia di Novacella-Kloster Neustift Praepositus Moscato Rosa Sudtirol

Critic tasting note: (2015 vintage) “Made entirely with Moscato Rosa, this boasts heady scents of rose petal, wild strawberry and a hint of lavender. The silky palate delivers raspberry jam, candied orange zest and a hint of cake spice. Refreshing acidity nicely offsets the sweetness.” – 90/100Wine Enthusiast

My Favorite?

It’s hard not like sweet wines. They are just so drinkable.

There are so many great wines to choose from on this list, but my personal favorite is Sauternes. I’ve had it many times but only recently discovered how much better it is when chilled. My wife made a light, fluffy lemon pavlova for dessert one evening (Nigella Lawson’s great recipe), and we shared a chilled bottle of Sauternes with it. I wholeheartedly recommend it.

As ever, my advice is to try some of these and decide for yourself which is your own favorite. These are 10 excellent wines that are accessible and will prove a hit with guests, whether it’s Port with cheese, Late Harvest Zin with chocolate, or Sauternes with Pavlova.

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