Types of Dessert Wine - Top 5 Wines

What is a Dessert Wine?

Dessert wines are decadent, sweet treats typically served with or as dessert. There is no simple definition for "dessert wine".

The flavors range from milder muscats to more rich dessert wines such as port. Varietal dessert wines like Tokay usually vary between dry and sweet levels of sweetness, while fortified dessert wines have additional alcohol added that can give it an extra kick! Whether you’re going for something simple or savory, dessert wine is sure to tantalize your taste buds.

The Sweetest Wines are Typically Considered "Dessert Wines"

Even though there is no simple definition of a "dessert wine". The top sweetest wines are Port, Moscato, Ice Wines, Meads and Tokaji Eszencia. Mead in particular is sweet, fruity and made with honey.

Interested in learning more about sweet wines? We run through the top 8 sweet wines.

5 Most Popular Types of "Dessert Wines"


Port is a dessert style wine that typically has a residual sweetness of 100 g/L. Due to it’s richness (some would describe as “thick”), it’s also not something you would probably want to drink on a hot summer day.

Port is widely known as a “dessert” wine. It’s high in alcohol content, typically 19%, and high residual (leftover) sugar. It’s a Portuguese fortified wine produced in northern Portugal. There are different types of Port including Tawny, Ruby and White Ports.


Moscato is considered a sweet, and sometimes dessert wine. The residual sugar level of Moscato is typically 14% RS. It comes in both red and white (plus, you might be familiar with the “Pink Moscato”). This is fruit-flavored to the max, with a flavors like sweet peach, orange blossom and nectarine. Alcohol percentages range from 5-10%.

Moscato also comes in three different styles, still (like most wines), slightly sparkling (or frizzante), and sparkling. If you’re one for carbonated alcoholic beverages, Moscato is an option. Moscato is made from the Muscat grapes, also used for raisins. Grab one of the most popular bottles of Moscato here.


Ice wine is considered a dessert wine, with residual sugar levels of 180-320 g/L. This dessert wine is produced from grapes grown in colder climate regions, typically the grapes are picked once they freeze on the vine, hence the term "ice wine".

Typically Ice Wine is very fruity with high acidity and high sugar content to give a lucious dessert like taste. The alcohol percentages vary for ice wine, but typically 6-10%. You can order Ice Wine from Wine.com.


Mead is typically considered a sweet wine, but it can also be dry, off-dry and semi-sweet depending on the fermentation. The residual sugar of mead can very from 10 g/L to upwards of 450 g/L depending on the fermentation.

The mead-making process is taking honey (no grapes or grains) and fermenting with yeast and water. Mead is gluten free and can be traditional or fermented with fruit or spices for fun sweet fruited wines. Learn more about all the types of mead.

What’s your go-to sweetest wine? Something on our list or something else? Curious about trying mead?

Order our award winning meads (we have several sweet honey wines!)


Tokaji Eszencia is considered the sweetest wine. It's a rare wine with 450 g/L residual sugar (even upwards of 800 g/L!) from the Tokaj region of Hungary. Although dry wines are produced from grapes in Hungarian Tokaj, they're most well known for the luciously sweet dessert wines. Yes, you did that math right, that's upwards of 80% Residual Sugar!

Order a bottle of sweet Tokaji wine.

How to Serve Dessert Wine

Fruity and sweet, dessert wines have long made a perfect addition to the ending of any meal. Serving these special wines can seem intimidating, however, thankfully there are some easy tricks to make it effortless.

Dessert wines can be served at room temperature, chilled or even just poured over a few cubes of ice for an enjoyable treat. They also pair amazingly with lighter desserts such as fruit tarts and tiramisu.

Exploring various dessert wine styles such as icewine, sherry and port can open up even more delightful flavor possibilities. Next time you're in search of the perfect after-dinner indulgence consider what type of dessert wine could fit the bill!

About Us


We started Batch Mead in 2019 to leave our Silicon Valley tech careers and pursue our real passion, MEAD!

We love locally sourced honey, apples and other ingredients. We focus on small batches to keep taps rotating and deliver delicious meads and hard ciders.

We believe mead is an experience, and our tasting room reflects all the notes of that ideal experience.

We recently won Best in Show from the San Diego International Beer Festival (2020, 2021 & 2022)! As well as several other wine, beer & mead awards!

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