Sweet wine is often defined as wine with over 20 grams per liter of residual sugar. From German Riesling to Italian Moscato wine to Hungarian Tokaji Aszu, sweet wines are crafted and consumed all over the world. Because our bodies crave sugar naturally, sweet white wine is one of the first styles wine novices tend to gravitate to, but there are a vast range of styles and plenty of sweet wine types that impress and tantalize wine connoisseurs as well. Read on for some of the most popular styles, and what food to pair them with.
Learn more about different sweet wine types.
Riesling is a favorite among chefs and restaurant sommeliers for good reason: Its food-friendly acidity balanced with heat-tempering sweetness make this the perfect pairing for many different cuisines and dishes. The spiciness of Thai chiles and ginger, for example, is offset by Riesling’s sweetness, while the wine’s zingy character matches a curry’s bright citrus notes. Naturally, German Riesling also tastes great with German food — think peppery radishes fresh from the garden, tangy potato salad with pickles, and salty roast chicken.
Light and slightly fizzy, Moscato d’Asti might as well have been made with funfetti cake in mind! Pairing beautifully with birthday desserts is not this wine’s only strength, however. A natural at the breakfast table, it plays well with fruit and pastries or even a Chinese dim sum brunch. The low alcohol content also makes it ideal for relaxed daytime drinking.
Primarily made from Hungary’s white Furmint grape, Tokaji Aszu lands high on the wine sweetness chart, and matches up decadently with foie gras. This luscious wine also works in tandem with other rich, salty foods: Try it alongside blue cheese or pork crown roast. For dessert, pair Tokaji Aszu with the creamy custard and crisp, caramelized finish of a creme brulee.