9 Popular Semi Sweet Red Wine (Best Bottles, Food Pairings)

    Semi Sweet Red Wines

    If you’ve always been a fan of semi sweet white wines such as Moscato or Riesling then branching out into red wines can prove tricky.

    So what are the most popular styles of semi sweet red wines?

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    9 Popular Semi Sweet Red Wine Styles

    Semi Sweet Red Wine

    The presence of tannins and higher alcohol content often found in red wines means they’re much drier to taste and can be unpleasant for those who prefer a sweeter style of wine. Thankfully there are lots of semi sweet red wines out there that’ll be a perfect fit for your tastebuds.

    These off-dry styles of red wines are as fruity as they are sweet and all the better for it.

    Here's 9 popular semi sweet reds:

    1. Lambrusco

    This lightly sparkling Italian red wine is as fruity as it is fun. Think strawberries, ripe cherries and raspberry jam sweetness in a glass. Delicious.

    2. Zinfandel

    Zinfandel Wines

    Although originating in Croatia, Zinfandel is growing to great success in the USA. Try a late-harvest Zinfandel for a semi-sweet style of this delicious red wine.

    3. Garnacha

    Grenache Wine Bottles

    Garnacha (or Grenache) grows well in most wine regions and produces really ripe, sweet grapes capable of producing luscious dessert red wines. Try a glass with a snap of chocolate for a match made in heaven.

    4. Malbec

    Malbec Wine Glass, Vineyard and Sign

    Single variety Malbec is capable of producing really ripe and sweet fruit flavours. Try an Argentine Malbec next time you see one for an example of how basking in the sun can produce lots of sweet berry flavours in this popular red wine.

    5. Shiraz

    Shiraz Wines

    Big and bold Shiraz is a wine with a huge personality and a sweet, fruity palate to match. Not for the faint of heart, Shiraz is great with rich, hearty meals adding a touch of berry sweetness to help balance everything out.

    6. Red Moscato

    Slightly sparkling with lots of cherry and violet aromas, red sweet moscato d'asti is made from Black Muscat grapes and is just as sweet and fun as its white grape siblings.

    7. Brachetto D’Acqui

    Semi Sweet Brachetto D’Acqui Wine Bottles

    This semi sweet red wine from Italy has lots of juicy acidity and candied aromatics.

    8. Tempranillo

    Tempranillo can be made in lots of styles so check the labels here. But when made in an off-dry to sweeter style this red wine is delightfully sweet and soft to drink.

    9. Beaujolais Nouveau

    The king of semi sweet red wines, Beaujolais Nouveau tastes like candied violets, sugared strawberries and ripe punnets of cherries. Serve slightly chilled on warmer days.

    So what bottles should you look out for if you want to try these styles for yourself?

    10 Semi Sweet Red Wine Bottles

    Here are our top picks of semi sweet red wine:

    1. Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau

    Sweet Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau

    This popular Beaujolais wine is a great semi sweet red wine for beginners. Think ripe cherries and sweet violets, it makes a great introduction to the style.

    2. Penfolds Max’s Shiraz

    A rich and beautifully balanced Australian Shiraz with lots of bold fruit flavours.

    3. Zuccardi Aluvional Altamira Malbec

    From one of the best Malbec producers in the world, this is an exceptional example of Malbec that’ll please those with sweeter palates.

    4. Brazin Old Vine Zinfandel

    Brazin Old Vine Zinfandel Wine

    With delicious notes of mocha, chocolate and vanilla Zinfandel doesn’t get more deliciously decadent than this.

    5. Lambrusco Pruno Nero

    Soft and sweet with a fruity fizz that foams in the glass, this wine is packed with sweet cherries, raspberries and flecks of vanilla.

    6. Rully Les Cailloux Rouge, Domaine Rois Mages

    This Pinot Noir from Burgundy has a sweet fresh finish thanks to its low levels of tannin and bright cherry acidity.

    7. Costers del Prior Priorat

    Costers del Prior Priorat

    This Garnacha blend from Spain has sweet vanilla mingling with ripe raspberries in the glass, creating a silky smooth and semi sweet red wine.

    8. Fleurie Georges Duboeuf

    This floral Gamay from the Beaujolais region of France tastes like parma violets and chocolate covered raspberry creams. Serve slightly chilled on hot days for a really refreshing red wine experience.

    9. Jim Barry The Forger Shiraz

    A vibrant and floral Australian Shiraz with sweet berry fruit and soothing chocolate notes.

    10. Risata Red Moscato

    A party in a glass.

    Sweet, red and sparkling, red wine doesn’t get more elegant than this.

    But what about food pairing?

    How do you pair semi sweet red wine with food?

    Best Food Pairings For Semi Sweet Red Wines

    Steak with Red Wine

    Semi sweet red wines have it all.

    A little bit of sugar, lots of acidity, light tannins and moderate alcohol levels; making them perfect food pairing wines.

    So why don’t you bring out a semi sweet red wine when you have a meal with lots of trickier elements?

    Think pizza night, barbecue afternoons or roast dinners.

    The sweet, fruity nature of these reds should sit well with a number of dishes, making them the perfect dinner guest.

    Some of the sweeter red wines, such as Red Moscato may even pair well with dessert.

    Try them with tiramisu or chocolate truffles for a really decadent end to a night.

    Got a taste for the sweet stuff now? What other styles of sweet red wine are out there?

    Other Sweet Red Wine Styles

    Port, Sherry and Madeira Wines

    If you want to level up your sweet red wine game then why not try some fortified or dessert options?

    Sherry, Port and Madeira are much sweeter styles of red wine but that doesn't mean they’re not delicious.

    Rich, aromatic and complex, these wines are great after dinner drinks as well as great gifts for the sweeter red wine lover in your life.

    But do all of these sweet flavours mean high levels of sugar?

    Is semi-sweet red wine high in sugar?

    Is Semi Sweet Red Wine High In Sugar?

    Just because a wine tastes sweet does that mean it’s also high in sugar?

    Whilst not all sweet styles of wine will be high in sugar, there will be some residual sugar in your glass to provide those delicious off-dry to sweet characteristics.

    Fortified and dessert red wines will have very high levels of sugar which is why it's best to drink these wines in smaller quantities.

    If you’re concerned about sugar levels in your wine then speak to your retailer, they’ll be able to advise you on the best balance between off-dry wines and sugar intake.

    Before You Go... 

    Red Wine Vineyard

    We hope this provides you with all the answers on semi sweet red wine.

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    philip thompson Author: Philip Thompson
    Philip is the General Manager at Expert Wine Storage, and is very knowledgable about all things relating to wine and wine storage, including wine fridges. He is regularly featured in media outlets sharing his knowledge on wine. Connect on Linkedin

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