From complementing the indulgence of a chocolate cake to winning over the hearts and palates of grape curious and connoisseurs alike – sweet wines (red to white) can do it all. Here’s a look at a few delicious options in India to sniff-sip-swirl, including a refreshing Riesling and mellow Moscato.
Few things spell elegance like a glass of grape. Popular features at fine-dining restaurants, grand weddings, and first-class airline experiences – vinos often come with steep price tags and flavour profiles that need some getting used to. Not to mention, a sea of labels underlined by the region of origin and ageing process – including Chardonnay, Champagne, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Sangiovese. For those just stepping foot into the world of tannins and terroir, experts recommend sweet red and white wines. This refers to Port, Moscato, Lambrusco, Sherry, Sauternes – which contain residual sugar after fermentation or have a higher percentage of sugar and alcohol. They’re easy on the wallet and breezy on the palate – pairing deliciously with a host of culinary creations. Here’s our pick of a few that deserve a spot in your home bar.
Best bottles of sweet red and white wine to pop at dessert hour
Schloss Lieser Niederberg Helden Riesling
Rieslings refer to grapes that grow well in cooler climes, typically that of Germany. This particular bottle hails from Mosel and is quite popular amongst connoisseurs. It boasts of notes of peach, apricot, melon, honey, orange peel, citrus, and honey. There’s a delicious balance of sweetness and acidity with this one – making for an elegant, mellow, refreshing sip. The finish is well structured as well.
Pair with: Seafood, omelettes, fruit-based desserts, and floral-flavoured yoghurt
Price: INR 13,000 approx.
Dow’s 20 Years Old Tawny Port
Port wines are fortified sweet wines that range from red to white. Old Tawny Ports are some of the sweetest around. This particular bottle – popular amongst experts – features an amber-gold libation that comes with notes of dried nuts, honeysuckle, butterscotch, and spice. Aged in seasoned oak casks, it has a strong caramelised flavour and a dry quality. Every sip is balanced and sweet, with hints of red berry. The finish, meanwhile, is focused and dry.
Pair with: Nuts, dried fruit, fruitcake, vanilla ice cream, and creme brulee
Price: INR 10,000 approx.
Vetti Moscato d’Asti
Moscato d’Asti refers to a sweet, lightly sparkling wine from Northwestern Italy with Moscato grapes grown near Asti. Unlike champagne, this wine doesn’t undergo a second fermentation in the bottle. Consistently deemed the best of its kind in the world by experts, Vetti Moscato D’Asti features organically-farmed fruits and held in stainless steel tanks until bottling. It pours a sunshine yellow and features the aromas of peaches, ginger, and rose petals. Every sip is delicate, sweet, and complex with honeysuckle and fresh apricots on the finish.
Pair with: Pan-Asian creations, lobster, pastry, blue cheese, and fruit-based indulgent desserts
Price: INR 4,000 approx.
Featuring grape varietals that commonly hail from the South of France – Muscat wines are aromatic. Castel Muscat is a medium-sweet vino that pours a light yellow with golden hints. On the nose are delicate notes of exotic fruit and honey. Every sip, meanwhile, is refreshing with hints of pear,melon, and apple. As modern as they come, this one is quite expressive.
Pair with: Serve with a charcuterie board, desserts, or peach crumble
Price: INR 2,180
Lustau Deluxe Cream Sherry Capataz Andres
Spain’s gift to the world of vines, Sherry typically has a nutty flavour and high alcohol percentage. Lustau Deluxe Cream Sherry Capataz Andres hails from Jerez and is made with the blend of Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez wines – featuring Palomino and Pedro Ximénez grapes. Aged in American oak boots, it pours a mahogany. On the nose are hints of dates and raisins. Every sip is sweet and soft, with a balanced finish.
Pair with: Light desserts and blue cheeses
Price: INR 5,000 approx.
Woodbridge By Robert Mondavi White Zinfandel
A type of Rose that’s dry-sweet, White Zinfandel is made from Zinfandel grapes. Woodbridge By Robert Mondavi features a bright rendition. Moderately sweet and wholly crisp, it offers notes of red fruits, cherries, strawberries, watermelon, and peaches. This makes it the perfect refresher on a bright summer’s day.
Pair with: Spicy cajun appetisers and tangy cheeses
Price: INR 4,000 approx.
Sula Late Harvest Chenin Blanc
Reportedly India’s first still dessert wine – Sula Late Harvest Chenin Blanc is as fruity and rich as they come. Featuring Chenin Blanc grapes, it comes with notes of honeycomb, mango, apricot, and raisins. Every sip is refreshing and complex. Best part? The production process is sustainable.
Pair with: Cheesecake, panna cotta, Indian desserts, blue cheese
Price: INR 2,000 approx.
All images: Courtesy Brands/Shutterstock
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answer: Sula Late Harvest Chenin Blanc, Lustau Deluxe Cream Sherry Capataz Andres, and Dow’s 20 Years Old Tawny Port are amongst the sweetest wines in India.
Answer: Woodbridge By Robert Mondavi White Zinfandel, Lustau Deluxe Cream Sherry Capataz Andres, Castel Muscat are amongst the sweetest wines in India.