- Below 1% sweetness, wines are considered dry.
- Above 3% sweetness, wines taste “off-dry,” or semi-sweet.
- Wines above 5% sweetness are noticeably sweet!
- Dessert wines start at around 7–9% sweetness.
How sweet a wine will taste is also controlled by factors such as the acidity and alcohol levels, the amount of tannin present, and whether the wine is sparkling or not. A technically sweet wine such can actually taste dry due to a high level of acidity and a dry wine can taste sweet if the alcohol level is elevated.
Some of the world's greatest sweet wines also have extremely high levels of acidity to counterbalance the sugar.
Again it’s all about that important balance.
For sparkling wines, we use terms as brut, brut nature, etc., so here is a small overview of what that actually means in terms of RS.
(grams per litre)
|Brut Nature (no added sugar)||0–3|
|Extra Dry, Extra Sec, Extra seco||12–17|
|Dry, Sec, Seco||17–32|
|Doux, Sweet, Dulce||50+|