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What Is a Sweet WineThere always seems to be a little bit of discourse around whether or not sweet wines are “real wines.” Some self-proclaimed wine snobs may look down on those who enjoy wine with higher sugar content, and we think that is just plain silly. Wine should be enjoyed, whether it be the highest-dollar Bordeaux on the market or a glass of sweet dessert wine. 

In many cases, wine aficionado’s who besmirch the decadence of sweeter wines haven't had the chance to enjoy the sweet wine themselves. Here is a quick guide that answers the question, “What Is Sweet Wine?” and describes a few of our favorite sweet styles!

What Is Sweet Wine?

Sweet wine refers to a type of wine that has a higher level of residual sugar, which gives it a sweeter taste. There are many different types of sweet wines available, each with its unique characteristics and flavors.

However, it's important to note that sweetness in wine is not only determined by the level of residual sugar, but also by the balance of acidity and tannins. Tannins are compounds found in the skin, seeds, and stems of grapes, as well as in oak barrels, that give a  wine its astringency and bitterness.

Each style of sweet wine is made using various methods and is fermented with different types of grapes. Some are better suited to be paired with certain types of food, and some are more suitable for certain occasions. However, all sweet wines can provide a unique and enjoyable taste experience.

Types of Sweet Wine

  • Dessert wines are typically served at the end of a meal as a complement to dessert. These wines are often made from grapes that have been allowed to over ripen on the vine, which increases their sugar content. Some examples of dessert wines include Sauternes, a sweet white wine from the Bordeaux region of France, and Tokaji, a sweet white wine from Hungary.
  • Another type of sweet wine is a fortified wine, which is a wine that has a distilled spirit, such as brandy, added to it. This process increases the alcohol content of the wine and also contributes to its sweetness. Examples of fortified wines include Sherry, a fortified wine from Spain, and Port, a fortified wine from Portugal.
  • There are also sweet sparkling wines, such as Moscato d'Asti, a sweet sparkling wine from Italy, and Asti Spumante, a sweet sparkling wine from the Piedmont region of Italy. These wines are made using the traditional method of secondary fermentation in the bottle, giving them their bubbles.
  • Additionally, there are sweet red wines, such as Lambrusco, a sweet red wine from Italy, and Banyuls, a sweet red wine from the Roussillon region of France. These wines are typically made from grapes that have been allowed to over ripen on the vine, which increases their sugar content.
  • Lastly, there are sweet rosé wines, such as White Zinfandel, a sweet rosé wine from California, and Rosé d'Anjou, a sweet rosé wine from the Loire Valley in France. These wines are typically made by leaving the grape juice in contact with the grape skins for a short period, which gives them their pink color.

Sweet Wines at MetroWines

At Metro Wines, we strive to offer a wide range of unique and hard-to-find wines, as well as many other options. Our focus is on finding the perfect wine for any meal or occasion. Our team of wine experts is always on hand to answer your questions, make recommendations, and work with your caterer or event planner.

In addition to our extensive selection of wines, we also offer a variety of events and tastings. Each month, we host social gatherings, weekly tastings, and wine classes. Keep an eye out on our website for upcoming events, weekly tastings, and special occasions.

So whether you're feeling thirsty or looking to expand your wine knowledge, visit us at Metro Wines. Be sure to check out our online collection of wines as well. We look forward to serving you!