Is Sugar the Answer for Dealing With a Tart Wine?


We learned from Mary Poppins that “just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.”

But does it help the wine go down for someone who prefers sweetness over tartness and/or tannins? That’s the topic of today’s Wine FAQ…

QUESTION: I like sweet wines, but it seems like a vast majority of wines are dry and somewhat bitter. What would happen if I added sugar to a dry wine?

ANSWER: We’d honestly never thought about doing that, so we decided to give it a try.

We added a spoonful of sugar to 4-ounce glasses of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, Malbec and Syrah — five of the most popular red wine varieties, and every one of them bone dry.

In each and every case, the flavor of the sugar stood out — much like it does in a cup of coffee. It did not enhance the wine, but rather took away from the wine’s natural fruit flavors. That said, if you like the flavor of sugar, it’s certainly an option — just not one that we would recommend.

Another option: Transform those dry red wines into Sangria by adding sugar, orange slices, lemon slices, brandy and club soda.

Posted in Wine FAQ
Members-only Wine sampler specials delivered straight to your inbox via our Cyber Circle newsletter.

%d bloggers like this: