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4. Sugar, acid & balance

Sugar, acid & balance

This month we're finding out about some of the different methods winemakers can use to make wine sweet - or stop it from becoming dry. We'll be looking into the balancing act between sugar & acidity and checking out some of the different styles of wine that can be made when you dial one element up or down. 

All these wines will be best serve chilled, so either keep the pack in the fridge or pop it in the freezer for 10 minutes before you get going. 

There's more information on all of this month's wines below - as well as some tips on where to buy them and a couple of alternatives. To rate each of the wines and start building up your personal taste profile - click here to feedback.  

Featured Wines

No. One

Dry Viognier

Country: France
Region: Rhone Valley
Sub-Region: n/a
Producer: Domaine de la Janasse
Year: 2020
ABV: 14.5%

Contains Sulphites

BUY THIS WINE

This viognier is big on body and peachy yoghurty flavour - but low on acidity. It's pretty typical of the style - if you don't want to break the bank the Taste the Difference Viognier from Sainsbury's is decent - or if you've got money to burn check out some of the pricer wines from prestigious region Condrieu

No. Two

Dry Riesling

Country: France
Region: Alsace
Sub-Region: n/a
Producer: Albert Mann
Year: 2020
ABV: 13%

Contains Sulphites

BUY THIS WINE

Riesling can be dry to sweet - but the wines that come from Alsace tend to be dry. If you're into this style check out some of the Riesling wines from Australia too. This Clare Valley Riesling from Aldi is a bargain at £7.49 or if you want to find out what happens when Riesling ages you could go for this one and leave it for a couple more years to develop honey and petrol aromas.

No. Three

Off-Dry Riesling

Country: Germany
Region: Mosel
Sub-Region: Lieser
Producer: Thomas Haag
Year: 2018
ABV: 8%

Contains Sulphites

BUY THIS WINE

This is an awesome example of an off-dry riesling. Perfect with spicy food or something fatty like roast pork. German wine is getting popular again and is really good value for money. Check out Howard Ripley who have a massive selection at a range of price points.  

No. Four

Noble Rot

Country: France
Region: Loire Valley
Sub-Region: Coteaux du Layon
Producer: Domaine Ogereau
Year: 2018
ABV: 12.5%

Contains Sulphites

BUY THIS WINE

Sometimes mould can be our friend, and this is the case with botrytised wines. If you're into this style you'll want to check out Sauternes and Tokaji for some even richer more intense examples, or Monbazillac for a similar style that's a little bit more affordable. 

No. Five

Fortified

Country: France
Region: Roussillon
Sub-Region: Maury AOC
Producer: Mas Amiel
Year: 2018
ABV: 16.5%

Contains Sulphites

BUY THIS WINE

There are a few ways fermentation can be stopped in its tracks and when you add alcohol to do this it's called fortification. Because much of the sugar hasn't been converted by the time fermentation is stopped, these wines tend to be sweet. If you like this check out Banyuls - another famous wine in this style (Vin Doux Naturels). 

No. Six

Pedro Ximenez

Country: Spain
Region: Jerez
Sub-Region: n/a
Producer: Valdespino
Year: n/a
ABV: 17%

Contains Sulphites

BUY THIS WINE

Pedro Ximenez (him-in-ez) is one of the sweetest wines there is with over 400g residual sugar per litre. It's delicious but definitely an indulgence, so if you fancy something that's just as much of a treat but is slightly more tame try a cream sherry which is a blend of PX and the drier Olorosso sherry.