When people talk about sweet wines, many of them are probably referring to fruit wines and jams. But in the world of wine, sweet wines are defined as those with a high residual sugar content.

The sweetness of the wine is determined by the amount of residual sugar. This is the amount of sugar that remains in the wine after fermentation. The fermentation process converts glucose into alcohol. Stopping this process earlier leaves more glucose in the final product, resulting in a sweeter wine with less alcohol. Technically, it is usually expressed in grams per liter (g/l), with a sweet wine being one with an alcohol content of more than 121 grams per liter.

Because of this higher residual sugar content and generally lower alcohol and tannin content, these bottles are considered by some to be somewhat easier to drink. However, there are also strong wines that contain a lot of residual sugar. Wines with an alcohol content of more than 17-18% were probably enriched with neutral alcohol to stop fermentation early. These alcohol-enriched wines, such as. B. Port, are made to complement sweet desserts.

Sweet red wines can be light or full-bodied. We’ve included this entire range in the wines we’ve selected to taste and review, so we can give you our recommendation and verdict on the best sweet red wine.

Our best sweet red wines – notes and comparisons

1. Cleto Chiarlie Raw Black Pink

Main product characteristics

Lambrusco is generally considered a fruity red wine from Emilia-Romagna. Lambrusco, however, is a group of about 10 different grape varieties and 11 unique sub-regions. The largest share of the market is in the 3 main Lambrusco producing regions – Modena, Lambrusco – Emilia and Lambrusco – Reggiano.

The selection of wines ranges from dry (Secco) to sweet (Dolce). Look for wines labeled Semisecco, Amabile or Dolce for a smooth style. And the color ranges from dark purple to light ruby red in this sparkling rosé from the oldest DOC producer in Emilia-Romagna.

Chiarlie was founded in 1860 and this 160 years of winemaking experience is reflected here in this blend of Pinot Noir and Lambrusco. Production was limited to 5,000 dozen.


  • Variety: 85% Grasparossa (Lambrusco), 15% Pinot Noir, sparkling with Italian rose
  • Title : Modena, Emilia-Romagna, central Italy.
  • The wine: Charlie
  • Alcohol: 12%
  • Bottle: 750 ml

What we like about Cleto Chiarlie Brut de Noir Rose,.

Fine bubbles and a beautiful pink color culminate in a creamy foam of luxury and elegance that can be drunk at any time of the day.

A sparkling aperitif in its own right, but also an excellent choice for brunch. Accompany them in the evening with Spanish tapas or, if you’re going to Italy, pasta and pizza for dinner. And don’t forget to save a glass (or another bottle!) for dessert with a strawberry, fruit salad, or sweet snack.

Gently pressed Grassparossa and Pinot Noir with notes of roses, strawberries, raspberries, red currants and other wild berries. Mint and apple juice provide balance.

Cleto Chiarli Brut de Noir Rose is aged in the cuvée for six months to produce a sparkling rose with persistent bubbles.

What we don’t like about Cleto Chiarli Brut de Noire Rose

Don’t expect champagne flakes. It is Lambrusco, after all. Fortunately, this is reflected in the comparative price.


  • Light and spicy for brunch
  • A fruity taste and an aftertaste that goes well with dessert.
  • A deliciously sweet rosé wine to end the evening with.


  • It could be Styrofoam.
  • An unexpected sweetness for some

2. Pink Banfi scale

Main product characteristics

This is another Italian sparkling wine, but darker and sweeter than the previous one. It is made from Bracchetto, a sweet and complex aromatic grape variety that grows only in the Aqui Terme region, in southern Piedmont. The wine called Brachetto d’Acqui is produced exclusively in the Piedmont sub-region of the same name and has a DOCG classification.

The Controllata e Garantita (Designation of Controlled Origin and Guarantee) is the highest classification in Italy. All DOCG wines from each producer are tasted and analyzed by a government evaluation committee before they are bottled. If approved, the wines are guaranteed by a numbered government seal through the cork or closure.

The Brachetto d’Acqui has a light ruby red colour and a low alcohol content. The wines are dry to very sweet, with attractive aromas of strawberry and flowers. Regala Banfi Rosa is no exception and is even among the top 2% of wines in the world.


  • Variety: 100% Bracchetto, Italian rose bubbles
  • Title : Bracetto d’Aqui, Piedmont, Italy.
  • The wine: Banfi
  • Alcohol: 7%
  • Bottle size: 750 ml

What we like about Banfi Rosa Regal

The flavors: Strawberry, cherry sauce, raspberry, purple and pink candy. And in the mouth, Banfi Rosa Regal is also a delicious sparkling red wine.

Magnificently sweet, attractive and elegant, it is suitable not only for parties but also for any occasion as an aperitif. It goes well with savory dishes and seafood and is enjoyed at the end of a meal with cheese, berries, fruit salad or other sweet desserts.

But it is best with chocolate, especially dark or bittersweet, thanks to the aromatic notes of rose petals and raspberries.

What we don’t like about Banfi Rosa Regal.

I think it’s fair to say that the sweetness of the raspberry contributes to the acquired flavor. Too sweet for many drinkers.

Not to be confused with a rose!


  • A celebration of life in a glass of flute
  • Deliciously sweet.
  • A short but sweet ending with a romantic aftertaste.


  • Too much raspberry flavor
  • Insufficient quantities of alcohol

3. Caccioli 1928 Sparkling Pink Dolce

Main product characteristics

Lambrusco wines range from dry (Secco) to sweet (Dolce). The last of our sparkling wines, this sparkling rosé, made from Lambrusco grapes from the Modena region of Italy, is definitely at the sweet end of the spectrum.

Cavicchioli 1928 Rosé Spumante Dolce should be drunk young and well chilled at 40°F. It is excellent as an aperitif, but also goes well with sweet and sour flavors, seafood, risotto and pasta toppings such as ravioli and tortellini. Enjoy fresh fruit for dessert and a cheese platter.


  • Variety: 100% Lambrusco di Sorbara, Italian rosé sparkling wine
  • Title : Veneto, Italy
  • The wine: Cavicchioli
  • Alcohol: 9.5%
  • Bottle size: 750 ml

What we like about Caccioli 1928 Sparkling Rose Dolce

Sure, it’s a great summer wine with sweet and fruity notes, but if you don’t like champagne on New Year’s Eve, it’s also perfect. Why not enjoy it all year round? In addition, a good bottle makes a great gift for the host or hostess.

The color of rose petals, this soft sparkle is bursting with sweet flowers and fresh fruit. It’s the fruit that follows the palate, with the darkness of strawberry, raspberry and cherry balanced by lighter watermelon and a hint of lemon spice.

Light and refreshing for a very light drinker.

What we don’t like about Caccioli 1928 Sparkling Rose Dolce

Even for a Prosecco Cavicchioli, the 1928 Sparkling Roses Dolce is sweeter than expected, almost like a marshmallow. If you are looking for an alternative to Champagne, which is very expensive, it may be too tame for you compared to the explosiveness of a crisp Cava.


  • Very light, shiny
  • smooth, soft and sweet
  • distinctive bottle


  • Too fruity at the front.
  • kurt and sweetness

4. Quinta do Vesuvio Vintage Port 2017

Main product characteristics

And now the first of our port selections. Port wine comes from the Douro region in northern Portugal. It is a blend of many rich grapes, including Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Barroca and Tinta Cão.

With Port red, expect aromas of blackberry, raspberry sauce, licorice, cocoa, juniper berries and anise with mineral notes of graphite and crushed gravel. Sure they have a sweet taste, but they have enough tannins to balance that out.

Vesuvius is the last of the old school Vintage Ports. In fact, it is almost the same wine that was produced on the original 1826 estate. It is even pressed on foot in the original granite lagoons, large shallow pools of water where the grapes are crushed.


  • Variety: Touriga Nacional 60%, Touriga Franca 25%, Tinta Amarela 10%, Souzão 5%, Port
  • Title : Douro, Portugal
  • The wine: Vesuvio
  • Alcohol: 20%
  • Residual sugar: 115 g/l
  • Bottle size: 750 ml

What we like about Quinta do Vesuvio Vintage Port 2017

As you would expect, it has a strong, spicy fruit flavor. But in addition to a fundamental strength with 115 grams of residual sugar, it also remains a bit fresh. It’s a luxurious jacket for the palate, but the best feature is the juicy finish on the palate, as long as it’s tasty.

The Quinta do Vesuvio Vintage Port 2017 is the perfect combination of fruit (lots of fruit!), great power and full-bodied flavour to accompany this finish. It’s clearly a substantial wine, but it doesn’t seem heavy. There’s a lot of alcohol in it, but no alcohol burns.

It’s a follow-up that’s more than worthy of the recent vintages, but we have to take our time with it. Your patience will be more than rewarded!

What we don’t like about Quinta do Vesuvio Vintage Port 2017

Be prepared to hold it for a very long time. It’s an investment, and the longer you do it, the richer he gets. Don’t even think about opening it before 2030, and if you can, wait until it ends in 2075!


  • Surprisingly cheap
  • Tons of flavours to feast on
  • Luxury in a bottle


  • 2017 was not a good year for the port.
  • She needs a little more balance.

5. Nipoort Vintage Port 2017

Main product characteristics

If you thought 2075 was a long wait for the previous port, you won’t believe how long this Niepoort Vintage 2017 is recommended.

Robert Parker Jr. writes in his Wine Advocate that patience is required. Nothing tells me I should drink now. She should age brilliantly. If you don’t have enough basement and patience, turn around. Drinking 2035-2085.

When such a respected wine connoisseur declares it the best wine of the vintage and awards it 99-100 points, who are we to disagree? In case you need further confirmation: The manufacturer himself, Dirk Nieport, says it’s the best thing he’s ever done.

When you’ve waited this long, it seems like an academic moment to say what went well. But for your information, it’s perfect with blue cheese and chocolate desserts, or just dark chocolate.


  • Variety: Turiga Franca, Tinto Cao, Tinta Francisca, Tinta Amarela, Susao, Tinta Roris and others, Port
  • Title : Douro, Portugal
  • The wine: Niepoort
  • Alcohol: 19.76%
  • Residual sugar: 89 g/l
  • Bottle size: 750 ml

What we like about the Niepoort Vintage Port 2017

Niepoort Vintage Port 2017 is a blend of vines between 80 and 100 years old. With 89 grams per liter of residual sugar, its concentration and potency ultimately improves.

The first thing you notice is the beautiful dark purple border and the great depth of color. It is then an aromatic profile characterized by the dark fruits of its color. The initial punch of the first taste leads to a fresher middle fruit, but still flavors of this dark fruit.

The finish is just as bold as the beginning, but with a dry, light green tint. With its impressive length and structure, you will understand why it is recommended to age it for such a long time. Clearly, the amazing combination of elegance and power only gets better with age.

What we don’t like about the Niepoort Vintage Port 2017

It’s not often you can say you’ll find an impeccable wine, but the one thing we didn’t like about this Niepoort 2017 is the long wait. Whoever said that patience is a virtue has obviously never tried it!


  • In the nose, smoky and strong
  • Rational and powerful
  • Fantastic central fruit flavour


  • We don’t know if we can wait that long….

6. Quinta do Noval Vintage Port 2016

Main product characteristics

Our last wine is another Vintage Port that will last a long time. Quinta do Noval 2016 Vintage Port is, like Niepoort 2017, a blend of fields, this time mainly Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinto Cão and Sousão. It is also reviewed by Robert Parker, Jr. Wine Advocate is very well reviewed, with a low score of 97 and a consumption date of 2026-2075.

Aged for 18 months in old oak barrels of 640 litres or more, producing 6,000 cases. The producer confirms that balance, harmony, finesse and elegance characterise our great Vintage Ports, which are only announced in great years (3 or 4 years per decade).


  • Variety: Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franc, Tinta Cao and Sousão, Port wine
  • Title : Douro, Portugal
  • The wine: Quinta do Noval
  • Alcohol: 19%
  • Residual sugar: 82 g / l
  • Bottle size: 750 ml

What we like about Quinta make Noval Vintage Port 2016

From the first aroma with the promise of intense and concentrated fruit, it does not disappoint.

In addition to blue fruit, dark chocolate, floral violets and a touch of eucalyptus provide the necessary freshness. It is one of the best noses we have ever tasted.

The green of the leaves continues in the first mentholated taste, but after that and in general it is still dominated by the young fruits of blackcurrants, figs and blackberries. A dark green bracelet, Turkish coffee and notes of ganache provide a generous balance. The tarred backing adds plenty of fruit edges towards the end.

Quinta do Noval Vintage 2016 Port is slightly lighter in sugar, with a residual sugar of 82 g/l. This makes it subtle, delicate and polished, but still chewy, intense and deep. The tannins provide a perfect balance. But it is the purity of the fruit that is the undisputed star.

What we don’t like about Quinta do Noval Vintage Port 2016

If we had to criticize, we’d say it’s not as big or as immediately impressive as the other Ports of this vintage. But only if you have to!


  • A distinctive sign from the start
  • Generous tannins for this lush fruit.
  • Soft but subtle


  • More stylish than most of his colleagues.


As we’ve seen, sweet reds range from a bright, light Lambrusco to a full-bodied Vintage Port. Whether it’s an aperitif, a daily accompaniment to a main course or a sweet lotion, whatever your drink and taste, there’s a sweet red wine for you.

With such a variety, it’s hard to say which one is best. But as you can probably tell from our reviews, we just loved Niepoort 2017 Vintage Port and we think it’s unbeatable.

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