Sweetness is one of the 3 basic tastes of wine.
Unlike acidity and tannin, sweetness is pretty self-explanatory… it’s the same word as we use for food in everyday life.
There isn’t much I’m going to teach you about sweetness; you know exactly what it is.
Think of sugar and you know what sweetness is.
As you put something sweet like sugar on your palate and eat it, what happens?
Your saliva thickens, you get something like a thin film or layer of something that feels nearly oily covering your tongue, and the inside of your cheeks.
Give it a go so you really understand that feeling and that taste.
The reality is that only when you taste sweet wines will you feel that much sweetness and that the vast majority of wines aren’t sweet so you’re going to have to examine more subtle differences.
Also you’ll have other tastes blending on your palate too, so it will take a bit of focus to single out this taste.
All wines will have some sweetness, even the dry white wines.. and the more you taste, the more you’ll be able to see the differences.
How do we rate it?
To assess the sweetness of a wine, we taste the wine and mark it on a scale of 0-10 or low to high.
Whatever scale you choose, try to imagine water as a 0 or an off the scale low. For the other end of our scale we’re going to have sugar as a 10 which would only be used for sweet wines.
For a Low-Medium-High Scale, we would create a special Super high rating which we’d only use for sweet wines.
It is important to remember that alcohol will also give us an impression of sweetness..
Make sure you look at this taste the next few times you drink wine and see if you can tell the difference in sweetness between the wines.
And then the more you taste, the more you’ll be comfortable with rating the sweetness of a wine.