Off-dry and sweet wines can be hard to define. But off-dry wines typically have as little as 9 grams of sugar per liter (g/L) whereas fully sweet wines can have over 120g/L. Given their sweet nature, these wines are commonly only associated with dessert—but they are so much more. For instance, they make the perfect drink on a hot summer day.
To start, wines with residual sugar often have lower alcohol because, during fermentation, yeast doesn’t convert as much of the grape’s sugar to alcohol, making these bottles the perfect oceanside sippers. For an even lighter afternoon sip, use sweeter wines in spritzes to cut the alcohol even further—be sure to add frozen berries as ice cubes as an extra refreshing ingredient.
Along with being excellent poolside drinks, these bottles go great with a wide array of foods such as sushi and salad. They also complement acidic and smokey dishes, such as Carolina and Texas barbeque. Not to mention spicy dishes are famously balanced by sweet or off-dry wines as the residual sugar acts as a foil to the dish’s heat.
To help you find your next bottle here is Wine Enthusiasts' list of their favorite off-dry and sweet wines.