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Residual sugar

Also referred to as residual sweetness (RS), the amount of sugar in the wine that is achieved by a natural end to fermentation or by deliberately stopping it. Various methods or agents are used to remove or kill the yeasts or at least inhibit their activity to a great extent. These include, for example, filtering the fermenting wine (removing the yeast cells), cooling to minus 3 to 2 °Celsius (stabilisation), adding sulphur, briefly heating to 75 °Celsius or, in the case of certain wines, spriting, i.e. adding pure alcohol (killing).

Designations for the sugar content

The residual sugar consists mainly of the sugar type fructose (fruit sugar), because glucose (grape sugar) is converted more quickly into alcohol and carbon dioxide, as well as a small proportion of non-fermentable sugars (pentoses). The remaining sugar content can be indicated on the label in the form dry, semi-dry, feinherb, medium sweet or sweet, as regulated by wine law. There are other country-specific designations, but these have no legal significance for wine. The previously common term diabetic wine is no longer permitted for consumer protection reasons.

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Markus J. Eser

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Markus J. Eser
Weinakademiker und Herausgeber „Der Weinkalender“

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