Varieties of Sweet Red Wine

Written by carl hose
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Varieties of Sweet Red Wine
Sweet red wines complement almost any dinner or work well alone. (red wine image by Maria Brzostowska from

There are several varieties of sweet red wine, typically named after the types of grapes used in production, or the location where the wines are made. Distinguishing among the red wines can be difficult and often requires a palate trained to detect the subtle nuances of each wine. With a little practice, you can become accustomed to the variety of sweet red wines available and learn how to tell them apart.

Syrah or Shiraz

This red wine is produced best in California, Australia and the Rhone Valley in France. Red wines produced with this grape have a wild black fruit taste. These wines are successfully paired with a variety of meats.

Cabernet Sauvignon

This red wine is produced in Germany, Australia, California and France. Subtle vanilla notes (from oak barrel ageing) give it a light sweet overtone. This wine is best served with red meats.

Pinot Noir

Possibly one of the best known of the sweet red wine varieties, the pinot noir is sweet and delicate. This variety is produced in Australia, Oregon, California and France. It often has very fruity flavour notes and works well with chicken, salmon, lamb and a variety of seafoods.


Another popular sweet red wine variety, Zinfandel is found only in Califonia and typically has a fruity (berry) quality about it. It is often paired with pasta dishes, but works well with barbecued meats as well.

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