TheWineRambler "A German wine label is one of the things life's too short for" - Kingsley Amis



residual sugar

Posted by Torsten 03 Nov 2010

Sweet wine is evil. Just mentioning it can make people's faces go grumpy bulldog on you. Even the faces of those who haven't tried any yet. Wine with residual sugar is often seen as nasty plonk, suitable for a cheap hangover or perhaps as a wine for the ladies, and that is usually not meant as a compliment either. In the UK, it is particularly associated with Germany 'thanks' to brands such as Liebfraumilch.

So I have to deal with a lot of bulldog faces in my mission to interest people in German wine. The most successful approach, I find, is to get them to taste the wines, especially with food, but that is a slow process if you are just one guy with a wardrobe full of Riesling in a nation of millions of wine drinkers.

So imagine my delight when I was recently invited to a lunch workshop designed to explore how off-dry and sweet Rieslings pair with food: Who is afraid of Residual Sugar? was organised by St. Urbans-Hof, one of the premier Mosel estates. What started as a very exciting and tasty experiment turned into a far-reaching discussion on the world of wine, customer perception, national (wine)stereotypes and wine marketing.

Posted by Torsten 31 Aug 2009

American scientists have proven that you can tell a person by their choice of wine: lovers of sweet wine are more impulsive whereas lovers of dry are more open. Actually, it was a group of Australian and UK researchers - and they base their research on a sample of 45 healthy men and women from Sheffield in the UK. Here is the abstract of the article Sweet taste preference and personality traits using a white wine:

Understanding the influences of food and drink consumption patterns could help elucidate the factors that promote healthy dietary practices. Research has begun to investigate the influence of personality traits on dietary decisions. The current experiment measured personality traits and sweet taste preference using white wine in a healthy sample of adults (n = 45). Sweet taste preference was associated with a higher level of impulsiveness but lower openness. These traits have previously been suspected to influence dietary choices and are briefly discussed within this context.

As much as I would like to I cannot tell you much more about the study as the download costs US $ 31.50. If you fancy spending the money please do let me know if there is anything else of interest in the article. Until then I will be happy to oscillate between openness and impulsiveness - and hope for more academic research being made available free of charge. [read the full post...]

Posted by Torsten 02 Aug 2009

German wine is sweet. Sweet wine will make you fat whereas dry wine won't. Therefore German wine will ruin your diet. Actually, both statements and the conclusion are wrong.

First of all let me say that the majority of wine made in Germany is dry; it just so happens the we export more of the sweet stuff. Now the more interesting question in the context of this posting: what about residual sugar and calories? After all, some of the fruity Rieslings have dozens of grams of sugar - isn't that bad for my waistline? Yes, but no. Actually, it is the alcohol level you should be concerned about too: While 1 gram of alcohol has about 7 kcal, 1 gram of sugar has only about 4 kcal. [read the full post...]

Posted by Torsten 02 Aug 2009

Fear not, I am not on a diet. I just happened to find this tiny (25cl) bottle of WeightWatchers fruity white wine, made by a German producer from grapes from the Mosel and the Rhine. So what has Britain's cheapest supermarket in store for those of you who are on a diet (and are ready to spend £1.44)?

Decent colour, light gold, very clear, light. So far so good. The nose is a little sharp, apple with a tiny tiny hint of pear; think light apple vinegar or at least really sharp green apple. On the palate lemon/apple acidity, pear and something almost buttery nutty in the finish. While this sounds good in theory, none of the flavours is very distinct. The combination is bland and not very well balanced. The wine lacks depth and I found the nose and bitterness a little off-putting. [read the full post...]