What is the Sweetest Wine? Top 5 Wines & Where to Buy
What is the Sweetest Wine?
The sweetest wine is Tokaji Eszencia, a 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 Tokaj, they're most well known for the luciously sweet wines.
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.
Residual sugar (RS) is the measure of sugars, usually grape sugars, leftover in a wine after the alcoholic fermentation finishes. It's measured in g/L, for every 1%, there's 10 g/L. If there’s less than 1%, the wine is considered dry. Greater than 1%, and you have yourself a sweet wine.
It’s important to note that the residual sugar levels are somewhat up to the winemaker and what level of residual sugar that's desired.
Interested in learning more about sweet wines? We run through the top 8 sweet wines.
Sweetest Wine Types (see sweetest wine chart below!)
Note that this list isn’t exhaustive and, in large part, doesn’t consider the intense sweetness of unique wines created by winemakers. It is, however, a great starting point for anyone looking to extend their palate to super sweet wine.
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.
3. ICE WINE
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?
5. TOKAJI ESZENCIA
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.
Chart info from Batch Mead
Sweetest Wine FAQs
What is the sweetest type of wine?
The sweetest type of wine is Tokaji - it has the highest amount of residual sugar. The sweetest type of non-grape wine, is mead (wine made from honey, not grapes).
Is Moscato the sweetest wine?
Nope! Moscato has a residual sugar of 140 g/L on average, wheras Tokaji, a dessert wine from Hungary, has upwards of 800 g/L!
Moscato a good sweet wine for beginners?
Yes, Moscato typically has a residual sugar of 14%, which makes it an approachable sweet wine without being overly sweet. Other sweet wines for beginners include Moscato, Riesling, Sweet Sparkling Wines and Fruit Wines (like hard cider and mead!).
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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.
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