How to Make Bitter Wine SWEET (Tips When Wine is too Dry)

Bitter wine is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, many wines are made intentionally to be bittersweet.

The more dry a wine is, the fewer carbs it has, so many seek wines that are as bitter as they can tolerate.

However, if your wine is too bitter for your taste, there are a few things you can do to make a bitter wine sweet so that will suit your taste.

This guide will explore how to make bitter swine sweet.

Here’s How To Make Bitter Wine Sweet

You can make bitter wine sweet by adding wine conditioner, simple syrup, honey, or add a little sweet dessert wine to make your wine sweet enough to drink.

Always add just a little at a time and give it a taste test to avoid oversweetening.

What Makes Wine Bitter?

The concentration of tannins in wine is the main factor that determines how bitter it will taste. Tannins are a type of polyphenol found in the skin, seeds, and stems of grapes.

Tannins are also found in other fruits, like apples, pears, and quince, and give the fruit its astringent taste, determining how dry or sweet the wine will be.

Difference Between Dry Wine and Sweet Wine

The quantity of sugar that is dissolved in wine without being transformed into alcohol during fermentation is the primary distinction between dry and sweet wine.

This sugar is known as “residual sugar.” The sweetness of the wine will be determined by the amount of residual sugar.

Dessert wines have the maximum amount of residual sugar, making them syrupy and sweet.

In extremely fresh wines, sweetness is counterbalanced by acidity, making it difficult to detect, though the sugar content may be a little higher than very dry wine.

Sweet wines, on average, have higher alcohol concentrations than dry wines thanks to the extra sugar fermentation.

Dry wines are bitter, with very little residual sugar or carbohydrates. This makes them a favorite for dieters, but they can be difficult to swallow for the novice.

Read our related article, Dry vs Sweet Wine, for a more in-depth peek into the world of dry and sweet wines!

Sweeten Wine With a Wine Conditioner

serving sweetened wine
You can sweeten wine that is a little too bitter to be pleasant for drinking.

A wine conditioner is a combination of non-fermentable sugar, sorbate, and water. It’s a really easy way to get a predictably sweet and stable taste in your bottle of wine.

Add the conditioner a little at a time, tasting as you go until you get the right amount of sweetness for your taste.

It’s better to go slowly because you can’t take the sweetness out later.

Sweeten Wine With Sugar

Another way to make your wine more palatable is to add sugar by making a simple syrup and adding a little at a time, swirling to mix, until the wine tastes the way you want.

While adding sugar directly to the wine will increase its sweetness, you may also want to try different types of sugars, like honey or maple syrup, to find one that complements the flavor profile of your wine.

If you let the wine sit too long after sweetening with syrup or sugar, it will ferment and increase the alcohol content, so sweeten it within a few hours of serving.

How To Make Simple Syrup

Simple syrup can be made in several ratios, but the basic simple syrup is a 1-to-1 ratio of water to sugar.

To make it, heat 1 cup of water in a small saucepan until it is barely bubbling. Remove the pan from heat and stir in 1 cup of sugar and stir until dissolved.

Let the mixture cool completely before adding it to your wine. Simple syrup can be stored in a squeeze bottle or cruet for easy portioning.

When using this simple syrup recipe for making cocktails, it measures 1-to-1 for the sugar in the recipe. So 1 Tbsp of sugar equals 1 Tbsp of this simple syrup.

Sweeten Wine With Delicious Food Pairings

pair wine with food
A bitter wine is a perfect complement to fatty foods like cheese, or rich desserts like cheesecake.

If you find that your wine is still too bitter for your taste, you can try pairing it with food. Certain foods can help to mask the bitterness of wine, making it more palatable.

Some bitter wine and food pairings bring out the richness of both food and drink, making the pairing delicious.

For example, pair a dry red wine with a dish that has a high-fat content, like cheese, charcuterie, or a rich dessert like cheesecake.

The fat in these dishes will help to coat your mouth and tongue, making the wine taste less bitter, while the bitterness of the wine helps to cut down on the sweetness of the dessert.

You could also try pairing your wine with sweet fruits or chocolate. The sweetness of these foods will help to balance out the bitterness of the wine.

Read More: Wine and Chocolate Pairings. Here are the BEST wines that go with milk, dark, or white chocolate!

Sweeten Bitter Wine With Sweet Wine

A good way to sweeten bitter wine is by blending it with a sweeter type of wine. This can help to create a more balanced flavor profile overall, making it easier to enjoy your wine.

Dessert wines are often too sweet to drink very much, so blending some with a bitter wine is a good way to enjoy both.

Wrap Up

The way to make bitter wine sweet is by carefully adding sweetener until it’s just right using a wine conditioner, simple syrup, or a little sweet wine.

If you don’t have to drink it as a plain wine, consider turning into a cocktail like a wine spritzer. That’s one of our favorite ways to use wine that we don’t like to drink plain.

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