How to choose a sweet white wine

How to choose a sweet white wine

Steven Murtagh

Written By Steven Murtagh

Sweet wines don’t always have the best reputation with the sweetness sometimes overpowering the tasting notes of the wine itself. However, there are many winemakers who know how to produce a delicious, high quality sweet wine. In this guide, we’ll be exploring how to choose the right sweet fine white wine for your taste preferences.  

What is sweetness in white wine and how is it determined?

The sweetness in white wine is measured by how much residual sugar (RS) the wine contains. Residual sugar is the sugars that naturally occur in grapes that are left in the wine after fermentation of the alcohol. Sweetness is measured by grams per litre with 1% being equal to 10 grams per litre of residual sugar. During the fermentation process, yeast converts sugar into alcohol, so the more alcohol that a wine has, the less residual sugar there will be.

Choosing a sweet white wine 

If you enjoy a sweeter wine and are wondering how to choose the best wine for your taste, a good indicator is the alcohol by volume (ABV). If a wine has an ABV of less than 12.5% it is more likely to be sweeter than one with a higher percentage. Some examples of sweet wines that have an ABV of less than 10% include Moscato, Asti Spumante, Riesling, and rose wines. You might want to consider the below factors if you’re looking at different white wine options, whether it’s for a special occasion or to enjoy in the evening after a stressful day at work. 

There are many different types of sweet white wines, which will feature different tasting notes and flavours. See the below examples to identify which flavours will be most suitable or offer the best pairing to your food. 

  • Chardonnay – fruity and smooth with flavours of citrus, green apple, pineapple, and papaya. 
  • Riesling – quite sweet with fruity flavours but it is normally more bitter than a Moscato. 
  • Pinot Grigio – lighter and dryer than Chardonnay, this wine offers bursts of pear, citrus, and melon.  
  • Moscato – one of if not the sweetest white wine, with a lighter body. It is commonly a great accompaniment to a fruity dessert or a light brunch. Moscato is fresh and floral with exotic spice flavours being a stand out feature. 
  • Sauvignon Blanc – dryer and more acidic than a Chardonnay, it boasts tropical flavours.  

Reading the label and description about the wine will give you a good insight into the region the wine has come from, the grape variety, alcohol percentage, the acidity in the wine, and the year it was made. This information will help you make an informed decision on which white wine is right for you.  

The best way to know whether you will like a sweet white wine is to try it. You can do this by booking a wine tasting with one of our experts at Jean Juviniere. Our team are wine specialists and can offer recommendations on sweet white wines, especially if you’re looking at wine gift sets. Additionally, we offer wines that are fully exclusive to Jean Juviniere, so you can gift a unique sweet white wine that you won’t find in your local supermarket.  


Hopefully this guide has helped you understand how to choose the best sweet white wine for your tastes and needs. If you’re interested in sending wine gifts to your clients or employees, Jean Juviniere specialises in corporate boxed wine gifts. Explore our full range of wine gifts today and send the right message from your business. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us and one of our friendly team will be happy to help.