What are some good sweet wines for beginners? This is a common question, and it’s understandable why so many who are newer to the world of wine ask this question. But why a sweet wine? I think the reason why most people ask for a sweet wine is because sweet is often associated with something that is pleasant to drink. However, when it comes to wine, sweeter doesn’t always mean its going to be more pleasant to drink.
There are some wine which are not sweet at all, but are pleasantly smooth to drink. Then there are other wines that are very sweet, but don’t go down so easy. There is no single best wine and if you ask someone that question, the answers you get will vary from person to person. That’s because wine is an acquired taste; each person will have their personal preferences. Just because someone else likes it doesn’t mean you will like it as well.
Does that mean there are no good sweet wines for you, who happens to be a little new to wine? Of course not. There are wine that will be a little more beginner friendly, and they are at least semi-sweet. Do you have to stick to these beginner friendlier wines just because you’re closer to a beginner than a seasoned wine drinker? Nope, you can drink whatever you want, but if you don’t really know what you like yet, then these are some good starting points.
What Kind of Wine is Sweet?
What kind of wine is sweet and fruity? This question and the terms sweet and fruit are thrown around a lot. Many mistakenly use these two terms incorrectly. Sweetness, is used to describe the actual sugar levels left in a bottle of wine.
However, many who are newer to wine often mistaken sweetness for fruitiness. You see, a wine can be completely dry (the opposite of sweet) and still taste sweet. That means the wine could actually have no sugar left in it, but when you take a sip, it can still feel like you’re drinking something sweet. That’s because of the fruity flavors and aromas that wine offers.
Even if there’s no sugar left in the wine, the remaining fruity taste is still in the wine. Combine that with the sweet aromas you smell when you lift the glass to your mouth and it all just feels sweet. This can cause the wine to feel like it’s sweet. However, if the wine is dry and you take away all these other sweet sensations, you will immediately be able to tell that it doesn’t have any residual sugar at all; thus, it is dry. In short, it feels sweet, so it’s going to taste sweet even if it’s bone dry.
Why Sweeter Wines for Beginners?
Why are sweet wines better for beginners? Well, not all sweet wines are recommended for beginners. But there are some wines with varying degrees of sweetness that are very beginner friendly. The main reason is because people are often used to sweet drinks. Even their diet is full of sugar. Our body and our taste buds are used to sugar and so, we love sugar.
Drink something that our taste buds are a little more familiar with and it’ll taste good. On the other hand, if a beginner starts off with a completely dry wine, it’s going to be very different. It’s a taste they don’t really recognize, so they’re less likely to enjoy it.
Other Factors That Affects the Sweetness and Taste
Some other factors that will affect how wine tastes to a beginner includes body, and aromatics. In the end, wine is just fermented grape juice, but the taste can vary depending on the grape variety or combination of grape varieties used to make the juice and fermented into wine. Even things like the technique used to ferment the juice and how long it is allowed to ferment will affect the overall taste. Combine and adjust all these things and a wine can be either simple, or complex.
Body is how a wine feels in your mouth when you take a sip. Body is just the term used to describe viscosity. A full-bodied wine will feel heavy. Light bodied wines will feel lighter, and medium bodied wines will be in between.
Alcohol content greatly affects a wine’s body. Light bodied (light) wines have lower alcohol content. Full-bodied (bold) wines have higher alcohol content. Light wines are a little more favorable for beginners because they’re easier to drink.
Aromatics are the aromas a wine gives off when you take the time to smell it. Lift the glass of wine to your lips and just pause for a few seconds. Let the aromas hit your senses and try to guess what they smell like. Citrus? Apples? Berries? Maybe even herbs? The aromas vary from wine to wine and can even vary based on how long it has been aged. Sweet aromas will give you that sweet sensation—helping make that glass of wine taste sweeter even if there’s no sugar in there.
Best White Wine for Beginners
Moscato is my pick. Why? Because their popularity speaks for themselves. They’re also lighter—lower in alcohol—and they’re semi-sweet.
Moscato is a light bodied wine full of fruity flavors. It’s not considered sweet, but actually rather semi-sweet. You can find Moscato that is both semi-sparkling and flat, but the semi-sparkling seems to be more popular.
How do you tell which is sparkling and which isn’t? Just take a look at the name. If it’s just Moscato, then it’s flat and just a semi-sweet wine. If it says Moscato d’Asti then it’s semi-sparkling.
Moscato goes great with spicy dishes. Salt foods will also do well with Moscato because the sweetness will help balance the saltiness.
For a more thorough list of white wines that are sweet, check out this other post.
Best Red Wine for Beginners
Bracetto d’Acqui is my recommended red wine for beginners. It is made exclusively in Piedmont, Italy. It’s flavor tones include strawberry, sweet cherry sauce, and raspberry. It’s pretty much the red wine equivalent of Moscato and Moscato a’Asti.
This wine actually has 3 types:
- Brachetto d’Acqui Rosso
- Brachetto d’Acqui Spumante
- Brachetto d’Acqui Passito
Brachetto d’Acqui Rosso has low alcohol content (5.5%). It’s semi-sparkling and the sweetness can very from semi-sweet to sweet. Brachetto d’Acqui Spumante is full sparkling and has a slight higher alcohol content at 6&. Brachetto d’Acqui Passito is the sweetest of the three, but much more alcohol content at 11% (although this still borderline light).
Just because these wines are recommended sweet wines for beginners, that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with them. They aren’t lower quality wine, nor is there any shame to drinking them because they are for newbies. They are actually very fine wine. It just so happens they have the perfect balance of everything that is loved by beginners. Seasoned wine drinkers still love them. But don’t stop here just because you found them to be excellent. Next time, try something else. You never know if you’re going to find something better unless you experiment and try something new from time to time. You could even try something drier and see if it’s to your liking; there are many delicious dry wines.