What makes a wine sweet?

So what is the difference between a sweet wine and a dry wine? Well, the explanation is not simple but here we go…The longer the great is on the vine the sweeter it will become, and then that sweetness gets transformed into alcohol later on during the fermentation process. Sweeter wines are often harvested later in the season and are fermented by adding yeast. The Yeast then eats up the sugar and converts it into alcohol. sweeter wines usually have a lower alcohol content of 7% to 10% and because there is more sugar than alcohol the residual sweetness is left in to create a sweeter wine. So sweet wines can be made one of two ways…

1.) The winemaker can chill the fermenting tank in the middle of the process to kill yeast prematurely, and in doing so leaving more residual sugar.

2.) The winemaker creates a normal right wine and adds a grape juice concentrate. 

Many grape varieties are often assumed to be one or the other. As an example, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are known to be on the dryer side and varieties like Sémillon and Riesling our most known as sweeter wines.The confusion more often than not lies with the person buying the bottle of wine. Often you will find your favourite variety and get a rude shock that it is not what do you know that varietal to be. This is because the sweetness factor has to do with how the wine is made as much as what grape it is coming from. So it is wise to check the back label for more information before purchasing.

Have your say: Leave a comment below to share any information on this topic as we often add to the articles. Thanks

Kenneth Tasker
Digital Stratagist and Web Designer

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