How much residual sugar in red wine

Red wine residual sugar

The residual sweetness of the wine, also known as residual sugar (RZ) or sugar residue, is the amount of sugar in the wine in g / l that remains after the natural end of fermentation or the targeted stop. The taste ultimately depends on the residual sugar and the acidity of the wine. Residual sweetness: The amount of unfermented sugar in the finished wine, which the yeast was no longer able to convert into alcohol and carbon dioxide during fermentation. The sugar / alcohol ratio is determined in such a way that the residual sugar in the wine is compensated for by a corresponding alcohol content. Depending on how high this is, white and red wine can be divided into the listed flavors.

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The obtained grape must contains fermentable carbohydrates and natural yeasts, small single-celled cells that occur in the vineyard and thus also in the grapes. The granulated sugar contained in the grape must is now converted into alcohol by the wine yeast. If the yeast has converted the yeast sugar, it is either completely formed from it or only part of the sugar is converted into alcohol.

The grapes are the better, the higher their Oechsle grade, the more the yeast can convert and the more alcohol the grape variety has. However, alcohol fermentation naturally ends at around 14% alcohol content. If there is still more residual sugar in the grape, it remains as residual sugar.

Therefore, ice wine contains a corresponding amount of residual sugar even after fermentation. The residual sugar is then partly responsible for the sweet aftertaste in red wine. Another way to produce wines with a lot of residual sugar is to add alcohol to the fermenting must, which interrupts the fermentation and thus preserves the unfermented residual sugar.

Many sweet wines have a high residual sugar content, while a dry wine has little or no residual sugar. The winemaker strives to create a balanced acidity with residual sugar in red wine.

The current types of wine in the DeustierService

Small amounts of residual sugar are not primarily sweet, but give the appearance of gentleness and mildness. There are different ways of leaving residual sugar in the glass, e.g. by adding alcohol, which stops the yeast activity. The same effect is achieved by cooling the fermenting wine, by adding sulfur oxide (SO2) or by filtration and subsequent sterile bottling.

On the other hand, if legally permissible, it is also possible to add unfermented sweet grape must (sweet reserve) to the fermented red wine, e.g. in the production of sparkling wine.

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The residual sweetness of the wine, also known as residual sugar (RZ) or sugar residue, is the amount of sugar in the must in g / l that remains after the natural end of the fermentation or the intended stop. Under optimal fermentation conditions (temperature-controlled fermentation), a red wine can ferment to a residual sugar content of at least 0.5 g / l.

The taste is divided into the categories dried, semi-dried, sweet, semi-sweet and sweet, whereby the respective residual amount of residual sugar in each class is precisely regulated by the wine legislation. As an additional service, all types of wine up to 1.0 g / l residual sugar can be found in the extra dry section. This is why other residual sugar limits are also applied.

Daniela Pope

Daniela Papst is a wine lover and tastes all kinds of grape juice. Like most Germans, she prefers to drink local wines, closely followed by Italian and French. But also the fine wines from Down Under have done it to her. On weintrend.com Daniela blogs about her experiences and gives tips for wine lovers.