Wine palates vary so much that it sometimes becomes a personal mission to find a particular tasting profile for each person I talk to each day. Every person I’ve tasted with over the years drop certain hints to what types of wines they really appreciate, by just naming a few wines that they enjoy. All too often do I hear wines such as the Prisoner from the Prisoner Wine Company, or Belle Glos Meiomi. I often hear these wines described as full bodied, rich, dense, highly textured, and very dry. The previous descriptions, while all may be true, the last description “very dry” sometimes can be taken in a different way.
Many of the wines enjoyed in the wine market enjoyed today, may be considered dry – but walk a very thin line on falling onto the “sweet” side. Of course, these won’t be considered “dessert” wines, or be as sweet as an Eiswein from Germany – although it’s not unheard of to match any of the 15%+ massive reds, with dessert. Ahem Apothic Red
Fewer and fewer producers are transparent with their alcohol percentages, due to taxation issues (which is a whole different story), and less and less are listing the RS (Residual Sugar) levels in their wines. Many producers add sugar to their wines, which actually isn’t that uncommon. Even in my favorite country for producing wines, France, is known for chaptalizing their wines. When a grape doesn’t reach optimum ripeness, instead of losing their entire crop – many producers will harvest and may manipulate their wine in some sort to achieve a certain flavor. This of course isn’t romanticized, although it does occur. Acidification, reverse osmosis, and chaptalizing don’t sound quite appealing if on a label.
I’m not trying to pick on one particular producer, I just gave a few examples of some wines that actually have quite a bit of RS to them – and aren’t actually the “very dry’ styles. There is nothing wrong with liking these wines, I just wanted to put some clarifications on when a wine is described as being fruity, soft, and sweet fruit – that in fact, can be considered sweet fruit!