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The Sugar Creep in Wine

The Sugar Creep in Wine

Monday, 16 August 2021 09:03

From The Montreal Gazette

Wine: Want to kick the sugar habit? Try grenache or merlotIf you like the added aroma and smoothness in Liano, Caymus, Apothic or Ménage à Trois, you could be getting more sugar than you think.

Before jumping into alternatives, the SAQ lists residual sugar levels on the price tag in store, and in the “detailed info” section on So the responsibility is yours, as it is with anything you ingest.


So what exactly does the extra sugar do to a wine? It pumps up the aromas and softens tannins, but mostly it negates the effect of a grape’s natural acidity, giving the wine a creamier texture. This is what attracts most people to these types of wines.

I was chatting recently with Marcus Notaro, winemaker at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellar, about the “sugar creep,” about how residual sugar levels are inching up as other wineries have taken notice of how well these wines sell. He refuses to do it. We eventually got on the subject of how much I like some California merlot and I said that basically, adding sugar to cabernet sauvignon is turning the wine into a merlot.