Sweet Wine Types: How Many Types of Sweet Wine are There?

Sweet wines are typically Moscato, White Zinfandel, Riesling, Port, Sauternes and mead. Mead in particular is sweet & fruity.

It’s fun talking about mead – we’ve got a lot to say! But sometimes it’s worth sharing the spotlight, and with the summer months upon us, sweet wine drinkers are rejoicing.

A perfect warm weather pairing? An ice cold glass of light and flavorful wine. And while drinking said wine might be the easy part, selecting it requires more attention.

We recently discussed the mead classification process and, specifically, how to make it easier. Like mead and beer, wine has many options. After all, variety’s the spice of life, right?

That is, until all those choices become overwhelming!

With this in mind, here’s your free Sweet Wine 101 course. In it, we’ll discuss what sweet wine is, and a few of the different types of sweet wine available to you. Let’s get started!

What is Sweet Wine?

As the name suggests, a sweet wine is one that’s sweet in taste. Seems like a no-brainer, but that’s the simple contrast when thinking about wine in one of two ways: sweet or dry.

Many people also look at wine in terms of color. While a lot of white wine is considered to be sweeter than red (and white wine over ice is definitely the poolside choice), it’s important to understand that both red and white wines can be sweet or dry.

In the end, a wine’s sweetness is dependent upon it’s fermentation. How much sugar is left over? If there’s less than 1%, the wine is considered dry. Greater than 1%, and you have yourself a sweet wine.

Types of Sweet Wine

Note that this list isn’t exhaustive and, in large part, doesn’t consider the subtle sweetness of many red wines. It is, however, a great starting point for anyone looking to extend their palate to sweet wine.

1. Zinfandel

White Zinfandel is a popular sweet wine and, interestingly enough, is actually pink in color. It tends to be on the upper end of the “sweet” scale and comes packed with fruity flavors.

2. Moscato

Moscato comes in both red and white (plus, you might be familiar with the “Pink Moscato”). This is fruit-flavored to the max and also comes in three different “textures,” so to speak. That is, still (like most wines), slightly sparkling (or frizzante), and sparkling. If you’re one for carbonated alcoholic beverages, Moscato is an option.

3. Riesling

Riesling is a sweet white wine native to Germany. It comes from the Riesling grape and often has undertones of honey flavor to it.

4. Extra Credit: Port

Unlike the other types of sweet wine we’ve discussed, port only comes in red. It’s also not something you would probably want to drink on a hot summer day. In fact, port is widely known as a “dessert” wine. It’s high in alcohol content and leftover sugar.

The result is a dark red libation that’s both rich and sweet.

Extra Extra Credit: Mead

So maybe we wanted to still say something about mead because, guess what? It’s considered a sweet wine!

We’ve discussed the mead-making process before, but an easy way to accept mead as part of the sweet wine family is to consider its spectrum of sweet to dry. Just like wine, mead can be categorized as dry, semi-dry, semi-sweet, or sweet. Where it falls depends upon its fermentation process.

What’s your go-to sweet wine? Something on our list or something else? Curious about trying mead? We got you.

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