Wine Talk

Snooth User: LucyLu48


Posted by LucyLu48, Sep 26, 2010.

Just found this wonderful site trying to change from white Zinfandel wanting to start trying RED WINES but looking for a suggestion for a SWEET RED WINE NOT SO DRY


Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Sep 27, 2010.

Welcome to Snooth!


You should try and find the Jam Jar Shiraz.


There is a thread discussion of the wine here.

Reply by Girl Drink Drunk, Sep 27, 2010.

There's not much out there for sweet reds, except perhaps some local, non-vinous vinifera offerings.  It's not really much of a respected/popular category of wine.

Maybe you could give a sweeter style, easily-accessible Riesling a try, such as Dr. Loosen "Dr. L".  It's easy to find, definitely sweet and probably around $12, though it is white.

Reply by ChipDWood, Sep 27, 2010.

I like the Riesling suggestion and am a fan of it myself, but for reds there are a couple that you could give a swing that may help you make the tradition.  One of those is simply a category: Rose.

The Avanti Rose, made 100% from Malbec grapes while not classically "sweet" is a very fruity, "crushed red berries" kind of experience that's well-rounded on the palate too, particularly for its price.  It's the kind of wine that I have recommended before to those looking to make a similar transition.  It would open the door to the world of Rose's, both drier in style and sweeter.  Maybe break you away from the sugar-laden White Zins you're so accustomed to.

Another option, for me at least, are some of the wines made from grapes indigenous to North America, made primarily on the Atlantic Coast for their hearty roots and resistence to local pests called "Vitis Labrusca", like Catawba which can be blended to sweeten -up a locally made red, Concord, and Delaware.  One of the more popular of these is from Hazzlit winery in New York, called "Red Cat", in reference to its use of the local, indigenous, Catawba Grape in its blend.

It's true: these Lambrusca reds are not considered amongst the "royalty" of vines, but can help to make a lively & fresh transition off of the White Zin to something with a bit more weight to it and a bit more of a rounded body.

An often overlooked selection of "sweet" or at least semi-sweet reds are produced in Georgia- uncommonly unknown as the oldest wine-producing region in the entire world having its roots stretch all the way back to between 5,000 & 7,000 BC.

Which is a long time, Napa must admit.

There is a semi-sweet wine called "Khvanchkara", which is surprisingly available in a number of wine shops in the US- or at least HAVE been in the past.

Getting wines from Eastern Europe hasn't been easy since the Russians decided to "re-make war" on a number of territories, but that is another story, for another thread.  The Khvanchkara is a semi-sweet red made from the Alexandrouli & Mudzhuretuli grape varietals and is similar (at least in style)- and I believe a tad bit more "genuine" on the palate than my final recommendation- which may be the easiest for you to find.

Lastly, you could try a wine made by a producer named Baron Herzog, named "Jeunesse", meaning "youth" in French and representative of the process used to make this semi-sweet Cabernet Sauvignon.  The whole goal of the wine is "freshness", and a sense of youth in its character, while still maintaining more body than most of its sweeter red counterparts.  This is certainly one I would recommend for those who are "nearly ready" to make the jump to drier, more complex, more diverse and expressive reds.

The goal of course is to find a way to convince your brain to develop "wander-palate", which is a most rewarding aspect of drinking wine to begin with, and something that is more developed (not to mention healthier) than just sticking to the tried and true White Zinfandels you're currently familiar with.

Good luck & have fun with it.  It's wine ;).

Reply by Lonestargal87, Sep 27, 2010.

I've found three very delightful and different sweet red wines: Riunite Lambrusco (Sam's and Walmart, Olive Garden), which is just off-sweet, and slightly dry and chalky; Quady Electra Red (absolutely delicious, light and "bubbly"; harder-to-get is the third, Tugboat Red by Lucas Vineyards (only ship to selected states outside NY), and stunning with a great steak or rich burger.

Reply by Girl Drink Drunk, Sep 27, 2010.

I meant "vitis" above, not "vinous".  Ooops- too early for my brain.

Reply by ChipDWood, Sep 28, 2010.

What you meant is what's important- and it's true, and has been a bane of the Atlantic Coast wine maker to try and figure out ways past the very limited varietaals that can produce wine but find healthy and productive homes in the soils.  I've been following the experiement, and from a Virginia Group perspective it's gone kind like this over the latter years:

  1. Cabernet Franc
  2. Merlot
  3. Petit Verdot (which is iys own animal in Atlantic soils.  Rich, oppulent, luscious and silky.  Best I've tried recently is the 2008, Pollack...
  4. Viognier
  5. Petit Manseng (you heard it here first ;)...
  6. Touriga Nacional
  7. Tannat (Yea I know- but believe it.)
  8. Malbec
  9. Chardonnay
  10. Seyval Blanc

Least, that's my take on it.

Reply by Peppino, Sep 28, 2010.

I would also recommend Lambrusco as some are sweet and also Grangano which can be slightly sweet.

Reply by chriscage, Sep 28, 2010.

I've only ever tried one "sweet" red wine, but can't remember the name of it....I wouldn't even suggest it though as it was like drinking Kool-Aid.  Anyways, I've found a couple of off-dry German Pinot Noirs....the one that comes to my mind is Erbans''s reasonably new to the market (about 1yr old or so) and I found it quite's a good entry into developing the palate for dryer styles.

That's my 2 pennies....Cheers!

Reply by chriscage, Sep 28, 2010.

Sorry, I meant to say Erben....not Erban

Reply by VaderSS, Sep 28, 2010.

My partner loves sweet wines, and until recently only drank whites and roses.  She LOVES this Yorkville Cellars Sweet Malbec


Reply by oneglassonly, Mar 21, 2012.

Just found a great red wine at Olive Garden last weekeng. We were offered a sample of ROSCATO ROSSO DOLICE 2010. This wine is violet-hued red with aromatic notes of cherry, blackberry, and red raspberry. It has a wonderful flavor. I just located it on the web at Jericho Wines. Try it!!!

Reply by amour, Mar 23, 2012.

How about the very pleasant sweetish JEUNESSE CABERNET SAUVIGNON   ...

from BARON HERZOG.......

a young semi-dry from California.....served slightly chilled.

Vibrant ruby hue, delicate texture, floral notes, berry, cherry.

Very ripe grapes are cold fermented in exclusively stainless steel tanks

to produce this flavourful  fun wine.

Ever so often, I am pleasantly surprised to actually find a fairly tolerable


(This one, Jeunesse is quite desirable, if only as one of several better wines , all presented

at a dinner party.

I am not at all suggesting it as a main wine.)

It meets the description of what the thread creator asked for.


Reply by andiec, Mar 26, 2012.

This one is easy - Beaujolais Neauvo, though it's getting close to out of season. You can still try the normal Beaujolais (red wines made from gamay tend to be less tannic and more fruity). You can also look for an Italian wine made from the Frappato grape. Don't go to Malbecs and Cabernet Sauvignons! Those two varities along with others (Syrah/Shiraz, Nebbiolo, ect), are all going to be very high tannin and very high alcohol.

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