Are White Wines Sweeter Than Red Wines?

Robust and oaky reds or crisp and refreshing whites...which ones are sweeter?

You might think that tantalizingly smooth white wine is the thing to pour when you want to satisfy your sweet tooth, but the answer is not always that simple. There are plenty of sweet red wines, too. Like all types of wine, their flavor depends on how they are made, from the vineyard to the barrel.

Grapes: sweet treats from mother nature

The grapes are what make your wine sweet, and boozy–grapes' natural sugars are what convert to alcohol in wine. The riper the grapes, the sweeter their flavor, and the more sugar there is. If the grapes aren't quite ripe enough when they're picked, winemakers will also add some cane or beet sugar to help complete the fermentation process.

Along with the ripeness of the grapes, the winemaking style and wine region can both dictate a wine's flavor profile and sweetness.

Sweetening the deal

A dry wine with no residual sugar may taste sweet if its fruit flavors are especially ripe, or it has notes of vanilla and butterscotch from oak aging. The wine's levels of acidity, alcohol, and mouth-drying tannins can also affect how sweet or savory a wine tastes.

A warm and sunny climate, like California, nurtures grapes on the vine, giving them a long time to ripen and giving them a sweeter taste, even if the sugar has been converted to alcohol.

While all of these things can make a wine taste sweet, any type of wine can taste very different depending on where it is made, certain types of wine are known for their sweeter or dryer profiles.

From zesty to nectar-like...

The expertly selected white wines on our site range from dry to sweet. If you're looking for something crisp and dry, shop zesty Sauvignon Blanc and mild Muscadet. If you're pouring wine and want a luscious treat, fill your glass with nectar-like Moscato or tropical-fruit-rich Chenin Blanc.

...and smooth to fruity

Red wine lovers are sure to find something on our site that will please their palates, too. If you want something big and savory to drink with a juicy steak, uncork our Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from Europe and South America. If big, ripe fruit is what you desire, try our cherry-packed California Pinot Noir and tangy Zinfandel, two wines with smooth flavors that are extra delicious when sipped alongside a spicy meal.

Sweet or dry, we've got wine that is sure to please

Shop these carefully curated reds and whites from our store:

2017 Spencer Family Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc


Enjoy this light-bodied white by the pool.

2017 Les Agnes Muscadet Sevre Et Maine Sur Lie


Whisper-mild white wine.

Abbazia Moscato Vino Dolce I.G.T.


Spritzy off-dry white from Northern Itlay.

2017 La Référence Cabernet Sauvignon


Jammy and easy-drinking.

2018 Killari Merlot


Soft Chilean red with peppery hints.

2017 El Portal Vineyard Select Zinfandel


Nothing says "California" like this bold red wine.