Residual sugar level on bottle label

Would you like to see Residual Sugar level on every wine bottle ?

  • Yes
  • No

0 voters


Bit of a catch 22 for me in that - as it isn’t always reported - it doesn’t mean all that much to me - so probably not of huge value to me personally

Also consideration of it only forming part of the picture when it comes to sweetness and taste

Final thought would be the potential cost implication. Is it easy to measure in house or would it have to be outsourced, potentially increasing cost of the wine?

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I suppose any extra information on the back label would be generally welcome. My only concern with this one is that it is only indirectly related to perceived sweetness. Two examples spring to mind - champagne and rieslings. A high level of acid in the base wine means you taste the sugar far less.

Knowing what perceived sweetness to expect would be great, but that’s not something you can measure scientifically.


Maybe it’d need two numbers, like the weather forecast: actual temperature and “feels like” temperature.


Yes, though I suspect international agreement is going to be impossible!

The society has its own system, which is fairly similar to the sort of informal system that various Alsace producers use. And various manifestations of “demi-sec”, “sec” etc. amongst white wine producers attest to the need for something.

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RS on its own is not a complete indicator of a wines taste.

Many Riesings have a high RS but since its such an acidic grape the RS provides balance so that a high RS wine tastes very dry.

My speciality is South African wines and many of their websites have detailed info about ther wines, as s part of them getting Wine & Spirit Board certification.

I’ve asked in the past on this forum for the TWS to shows detailed wine info, but I’ve been told this ‘geeky’ info is of no interest to general members.

My feeling is that if it is of no interest then those not interested will ignore it…


@peterm would you say that RS figures have any authority in attempting to compare sweetness in red wines which are marketed as dry…This is where my love of numbers uncovers the geek in me.
Back in the early 90’s when I was importing French wine, more often than not I would get a fiche technique which would always have a RS level it.
I did a lot a of tastings and a common remark was that French reds were too dry as compared with most New World reds.
Most of the people who attended these tastings typically got their wine from various supermarkets, Majestic and Bordeaux Direct (or whatever BD morphed into)
I decided I would try and get fiche technique from some New World producers. I mailed 2 from each of South Africa, Chile and Australia…I received no replies except for acknowledgement of receipt of the emails…at this point I had a bad bout of depression and did not give my business much attention for 3 months.
On returning to better health I had much work to do and my theory about RS was filed away .
Subsequently I got RS levels of New World wines from a manager of a local Majestic …not scientific but French dry averaged 2.5gm/litre whereas NW reds averaged 9.5 ( from a sample of 40 wines, 20 of each)
I could carry on with my geek theory as to why “unsophisticated” wine drinkers prefer wines with higher RS levels… But I shall not unless I get more interest than the poll has engendered. :wine_glass::wine_glass::innocent::smirk::smirk:


Gosh yes - that introduces another aspect, that of deliberately sweetened wines like Apothic.

I too have been turned off by reds that tasted too sweet, and yes, they were mostly New World reds. But even so, I think that perceptions of dryness can be driven by things other than just the RS level. We’ve already mentioned the balance with acids. There are also non-sugar compounds that give a sweeter impression on the palate, (such as glycerol), which are naturally present rather than added.

I guess what I am leading towards is that even here, RS is only part of the story. Nevertheless, I’m inclined to agree with @peterm that some information is better than none. And I definitely want to know that I’m not accidentally picking up a mawkishly sweet “soft” red.

I think the issue may arise when the knowledge of the buyer is not up to that of the average society member. As a recent convert to wine, it’s only recently that I’ve become aware of the concept of residual wine levels and perceptions of sweetness and effects of acidity etc. I can see a lot of people buying (or not) bottles for the wrong reasons

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I am diabetic, so the question is a no brainer.
Easy decision when dealing with Port, Oloroso or a Setubal.
Quite another with a very ripe red Beaumes de Venise!!:open_mouth:

Recently had this, which I quite liked (with a moderately spicy lamb chilli).

Funnily, TWS does not indicate sweetness, I would be really interested in the residual sugar level of this wine as well as where TWS would put it on the 1-to-9 scale.

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I would like to see it on CNDP. Some of them are almost port like in warm years

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@onlyawino , I would say they have some authority…

As my post said, I’d like this and more info available via TWS website.

Regarding your difficulty in getting info from South Africa. Yes, they were slow with the web, many getting we companys to create a website and email account for them which they didn’t update or monitor emails.

That’s mostly changed now and for my tastings if the website doesn’t have a fact sheet than I usually get one speedily by requesting it.

For an example of one, see Kanonkop’s sheet which includes the chemical analysis for the Society’s Exhibition Pinotage 2015

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RS and acidity numbers would be useful, as would a list of anything other than grapes that has been added to a wine.


Apothic is on offer at 3 for 2 , Booths Supermarket ( Cheshire. Lancashire, Cumbria and Yorkshire)

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Now that’s a proper info sheet !

I saw this very wine in my local Sainsbury’s, a very small shop. Is that possible?

Most I think have the detail to hand on the ‘fiche technique’ , so no extra measuring. :wine_glass:

@szaki1974 I doubt it was this very wine :slight_smile:

Sainsbury stock Kanonkop Kadette Cape Blend - thats a blend of Pinotage Cabernet Sauvigon & Franc and Merlot. The Exhibition TWS wine is Kanonkop Kadette Pinotage – 100% Pinotage

The Cape Blend is an excellent wine, as are all of Kanonkop’s wines.

If you want it, here’s the background. Kanonkop only grow red grapes. About 50% is Pinotage (they have some of the oldest vineyards), rest are the two Cabs and Merlot.

They make 100% Pinotage, 100% Cabernet and a Bordeaux Blend ‘Paul Sauer’.

What grapes didn’t make these wines because maybe they’re from young vines or not up to top standard was blended together and labelled as Kadette - inspired by the idea of the original Mouton Cadet.

Being an estate they couldn’t increase production although demand was exceeding supply.

So they bought in grapes to increase production of Kadette. That was a great success, plus of course it raised their revenue. So then they produced a Pink Pinotage, labelled as Pinotage Rose. Then they bought in Pinotage and made a Kadette Pinotage. At the same time they added the words ‘Cape Blend’ to the original Kadette to differentiate it.

As the Kadette range uses bought in grapes (as well as some of their own) they are not estate wines so you’ll see the labels says Produced and Bottled on Kanonkop. They can’t use the word Estate. And the appellation (WO) is Stellenbosch while the Estate wines are Simonsberg-Stellenbosch

So what do you get with Kadette? The same brilliant winemaker*, the same fermentation in low open concrete tanks, but older oak barrels instead of new, and you pay half the price.

According to Sainsbury’s website, they’ve reduced the Kadette Cape Blend to £8.50 which is a bargain when you see the winery are charging 105 Rand for the 2017, converts that to £5.36 then add shipping UK wine tax, duty and 20% VAT .

*Abrie Beeslaar, three times winner of the IWSC International Winemaker of the Year.
see The Pinotage Club: Kanonkop Triumphs Again at IWSC


I think you are right. Thanks for the explanation, I think I’ll get a bottle on my next shop.