Let’s All Say It Just Once: There’s Nothing Wrong With Liking Sweet Wine

Thursday, 25 April, 2019
VinePair, Emily Saladino
“America is two-sided about sweet wines,” says Regine Rousseau, CEO of Shall We Wine, a Chicago company that hosts wine, beer, and spirits tastings. On the one hand, juicy, jammy wines outsell dry varieties. “But if someone says, ‘oh, I love sweet wines,’ people look at them like, Oh my God you’re so uncouth.”

It’s a pervasive dichotomy, revealing the vast divide between what Americans think we should like, and what most people actually enjoy.

Whether or not we want to admit it, statistically, America does have a sweet tooth. In 2015, The Washington Post reported that each American consumes 126 grams of sugar per day, equivalent to three 12-ounce cans of Coca-Cola. We cut back a little circa 2017, but, according to the most recent data, we lead the world in per-capita sugar intake.

Despite or because of this, there’s a tendency among a certain segment of the wine community to sniff at anything with a semblance of sweetness. Many modern wine geeks discuss perceptible residual sugar (RS) as if it were a flaw. They sing the praises of bone-dry wines instead, describing their favorite bottles with adjectives borrowed from pricey yoga studios, like “clean,” “lean,” and “rejuvenating.”

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