About a dozen of the 26 sweet reds we tasted.
Count ?em ? 26 sweet reds, tasted and reviewed. Who else would do more? Though, to be honest, there are probably dozens more out there that I haven ?t gotten to, and I ?m not not sure that I ever will. I ?m only human.
Vintages aren ?t listed, since many of the wines are non-vintage. In addition, most of the wines that that are dated are made to drink immediately and are made with a recipe that tries to make the wine taste the same every year. Hence, its vintage will make almost no difference.
? Apothic Red ($12, sample): Moderately sweet, but with red wine characteristics like tannins. Not especially fruity (red cherry maybe?).
? Jam Jar ($10, purchased): Probably the first of the modern sweet reds, and it proudly calls itself a sweet wine, almost like cherry cider.
? Brix Sweet Shiraz ($9, purchased): Grape juicy aroma and sticky mouth feel, and nothing much more than sweet.
? Beringer Red Moscato ($5, purchased): The final frontier for sweetness — twice as much sugary-ness as a Beringer white zinfandel, with a very distinctive cherry Kool-Aid flavor.
? St. James Velvet Red ($7, purchased): This Missouri wine is a traditional regional sweet red, made with concord. Not as sweet as the red moscato, but sweet enough.
? Quady Red Electra ($14, purchased): Technically, this is a dessert wine, but the sweet red wine trend has given the wine a boost with people who wouldn’t normally buy dessert wine. Very sweet.
? Sutter Home Sweet Red ($5, purchased): Cherries with a big burst of flavor, as well as some acid balance. Clean, no flaws.
? Smoking Loon Sweet Red ($8, sample): Red wine tannins like a grocery store merlot, and more grape juice-like in flavor.
? Bava Rosetta ($16, sample): Very sweet with light bubbles and an almost white tea flavor. Not that far removed from a small batch soft drink, and well done.
? Turning Leaf Refresh ($6, sample): Thin, and not much of a finish. An orange-ish aroma and very sweet.
? Barefoot Sweet Red ($6, purchased): Lots of cherry fruit and made in the Barefoot style ? soft and approachable.
? Cherry on Top ($8, sample): Not impressive ? unbalanced and grapes seem of very poor quality.
? Red Breast Sweet Red ($14, sample): Lots of red cherry fruit and lots of sugar. Grape juice doesn ?t seem this sweet.
? Montefiore Sweet Red: ($12, sample): Lots of dark fruit, mostly balanced, and fizzy. Very well done.
? Cornicelli Casa Rossa ($12, sample): Very New World in style, with lots of cherry fruit and very sweet. An odd, almost mint tea aroma.
? Vertikal Dornfelder Sweet Red ($8, sample): Funky aromas and not much going on. Not very impressive, considering the dornfelder grape is supposed to make quality sweet wine.
? Lindeman ?s Sweet Red Bin 46 ($7, sample): Smells like Australian shiraz and has telltale peppery flavor, but none of this carries over to the wine. Was surprised it wasn ?t more drinkable.
? Rose ?s Sweet Red ($9, sample): Spanish tempranillo that isn ?t especially sweet ? more sweet fruit than anything.
? Robertson Natural Sweet Red ($6, sample): South African wine that tastes like it was made with pinotage ? which is an acquired taste, even with sweet wine.
? Foxbrook Sweet Red ($5, sample): California red blend that tasted old and worn out, and wasn ?t all that sweet.
? Riunite Lambrusco ($5, sample): The original sweet red has a little effervescence; otherwise, seems a little thin with less fruit its competition.
? Roscato Rosso Dolce ($9, sample): Italian sweet wine with red fruit and bubbles that tastes a little like cherry 7-Up.
? Blue Fish Sweet Reel Red ($8, sample): German red that tastes like unripe red grapes mixed with sugar.
? Red Curtain Sweet Syrah ($7, sample): French wine that smells like syrah and tastes mostly sweet, with very little to distinguish it from any of the other sweet reds.
? Menage a Trois Red ($10, purchased): Almost not sweet enough. Tastes more like a soft California wine that a sweet red. Fake oak gives it an almost chocolate feel on the back.
? Gnarly Head Authentic Red, ($10, sample): Lots of stewed red fruit and a sweet finish ? one of the sweet reds calling itself a red blend.