When you're planning a dinner menu, it's important to pair your meal with drinks that work well with the dishes. If you've determined that you need a sweet red wine to go with your dinner (or a dark chocolate dessert course!) over a white wine like a Riesling, you may not know where to start. Lucky for you, we've compiled a shortlist of sweet red wines to sip with your dinner.
1. Apothic Red Blend
California Winery Advisor recommends this "blend of zinfandel, merlot, syrah, and cabernet sauvignon" as a top choice.
2. Dal Forno Romano Vigna Seré Veneto Passito Rosso
This passito from a town west of Venice, Italy comes highly recommended by Liquor.com. "Rich and decadent, with sweet red-berry fruit, red licorice, crushed stones, and brown sugar-coated candied violets," the outlet says. As wine lovers, we're definitely intrigued!
3. Botticello Dolce Rosso Lambrusco
Also recommended by Liquor.com, this sparkling wine is a red Lambrusco from the Emilia-Romagna region. It features fruity flavors like strawberry and raspberry and reportedly has "mild tannins, mild acidity, mild sweetness and a mild fizz."
4. Ramos Pinto Fine Ruby Port
California Winery Advisor suggests this port for a sweet red wine, with its rich red hue and notes of plum and blackberry that would please any sommelier.
5. P.J. Valckenberg Dornfelder
Delish says this Dornfelder is a good bet for a "soft and mellow" wine that would work as a dessert wine just as well as it would work with "pasta, pork, or veal." A good choice for a pickup from the liquor store before a dinner party.
6. Cockburn's Fine Ruby Port
Love to Know recommends this as a sweet red wine from Portugal and notes, "Port has a higher alcohol content than regular wine," if that's something you're taking into consideration.
7. Graham's 20-Year-Old Tawny Port
Vino del Vida recommends this Tawny port that has fewer fruit flavors aside from dried fruit and instead features interesting notes of green tea and "intertwining caramel and coffee bean aroma." Wine drinkers should definitely check this one out.
8. Brachetto d'Acqui Rosso
An Italian wine made in Piedmont, this sweet red wine has high sugar content at around 90-115 g/L residual sugar and is recommended by WineFolly.
9. Avignonesi Occhio di Pernice Vin Santo di Montepulciano
So this one is very pricey, but if you want to splurge, this Vin Santo wine made from the Sangiovese grape variety is an excellent choice. It has chocolate accents, molasses, toasted nuts, and more as part of its flavor profile.
Red Wine Stain Remover
10. San Antonio Cardinale Red Blend
Liquor.com named this its best California sweet red wine in 2020. The site promises this bottle is "sweet like marmalade" and "smooth and reminiscent of a moscato."
11. Terra d'Oro Zinfandel Port
Finally, Vino del Vida suggests a port that pairs well with blue cheese or toasted walnuts. Break out the charcuterie board!