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Why oh why. Dear Society?


I’m old.
Long time drinking wine. And shuddering. Too dry. Gave up on red. Cringe.
Wondering through the whites, I found Ruppertsberger Reisling 2017.
Delivered today ( along with my kitchen being demolished!).

Dear wine society.
May I suggest you try to educate the ignorant (such as myself).
Never mind tasting … whatever? A nice simple
This is dry … This is sweet?
I could have walked away a happy bunny, seeking number 2…3 (my case).

Sorry to lower the tone, but I like wine, I like the society.
Just that I don’t know much about wine?


Sorry, not trying to be obtuse but I’ve read it twice and I don’t really understand the question?

The society do give a level from dry to sweet? Taste is subjective, especially something like Riesling where dry and sweet can go hand in hand (if you want sweet dry a dessert riesling, it then puts the dry ones in perspective).

The only real way to get a hold on it is to taste as much as you can, try and attend events if you can (don’t have to be society events, see if any merchants near you run any).

Apologies if this isn’t what you meant.


I’ve had no understanding of the ‘levels’ (other than the obvious mathematical one).

Hence a suggestion of a ‘tasting’ of levels, rather than just different wines.


You can filter wines by “sweetness/fullness” on the website.

For example. On the TWS website,
-click Buy Wine, then sort
-By Type

On the lefthand side of that page below the price sliders are some options under the heading sweetness/fullness.
They are organised by the number of wines available in each category rather than sweetest at the top etc.

Dry/Rich equates to a 3
Medium/Off Dry to a 4

Be guided by that and the descriptions, try a few different wines and hopefully you’ll find where your sweet spot is. Hopefully that helps and is answering your question.


If you attend a a tasting you get to know the levels though?

What’s dry and sweet to me is probably different for you and every other member. The only way you can really qualify it is by tasting and setting your reference points. It’s very hard to convey in writing IMHO. Witht hat said Dry Riesling is probably going to be one of the sweetest of the wines rated dry.


I learnt to gauge the levels through my WSET level1 and 2 courses, and tastings at my ,local wine shop. Having said that, it is quite subjective and i do believe not everybody’s palate is exactly the same. Some may have different perceptions of aromas and flavours to others. I also sometimes do my own tasting notes at home depending on how i feel.


Is this the one?
It says 3 of 9. So “dryish”

And you might be old, but if you’ve managed to get this far, you’re obviously belying your age :wink:


Never took it further than drinking at home @Richcastle?

Agree that your level n may be my level n ± 1 or 2.

Never having more than one bottle open at a time (oh you … :slight_smile: )
I don’t have the opportunity to taste ‘at home’.
Best bet was a period where my family used to vote (1…10) on any
new wine I bought home.
It was hard steaming labels off and sticking them in a book though!


Judging by your photo, you are not old at all, @dpawson. At least, as compared with me! (what with having been born in 1505).

Are you having trouble getting the measure of the sweetness of German wines particularly? If so, as a group they frequently have higher levels of acidity as compared with wines from elsewhere. Since sugar tends to counteract the effect of acid, it may be that you have a differing sensitivity to one of these as compared with the average. Just a passing thought -


TWS could create a tasting pack to demonstrate the sweetness scale with sample (125ml?) portions.


Personal judgement of sweetness is a problem. No only do you have different levels of sugar but acid too. Different tasters often call the sweetest differently because there tastebuds work differently.
Well that’s my theory.


My wife always thinks old white burgundy is sweet or at least confuses it with sweet styles. I think its the oxidation and texture.


I think also lots of people confuse fruit with sweetness or wines with tropical aromatics.


I think its a problem when serving wine especially to less experienced wine drinkers. I’ve found myself stating loudly, “it’s not sweet” on more than one occasion. But I’m now in therapy.:grinning:

edit for spellcheck error


Speaking of serving… Temperature makes big difference… Cold lessons perceptions of sweet and acid…


I know it is subjective, I still think it would be good fun to have a tasting of wines that represent TWS sweetness/fullness scale. There could be two wines from each. Whites, two examples each of:

1 Bone dry
2 Dry
3 Dry rich
4 Medium / off dry
5 Medium sweet
6 and 7 Dessert sweetness
8 Very sweet
9 Intensely sweet


Yes, that’s it.

I think this thread at least shows I’m not alone in having little or no understanding
of dry … sweet?


Do it blind and see if people can guess correctly!


BTW, I still don’t understand your OP. Are you saying that you stumbled across a wine you liked, but felt that you could have been guided to it years ago if TWS were more helpful?!


True, but you still have taste them.

@dpawson I don’t understand why you say you don’t taste at home. If you drink wine, surely you taste it too…? When you buy a TWS wine, note the sweetness level number and note down your impression. It is difficult to simply say a wine is sweet or dry - there are different degrees of sweetness.