Thomas wrote:After many years in the wine biz, especially the years selling wine to consumers, I'm convinced (or maybe I have convinced myself) that the main reasons most people say they like dry but prefer sweet wine
Is that really true where you are? I do know that many so-called Anglo-Saxons have a strongly "sweet tooth" but .....
In continental Europe, at least in the French speaking and Mediterranean countries which I know best, that is not true. Most "dry" appellations or wines labelled "sec" are just that, with the glaring exceptions of some in Alsace and some white Burgundy which are "off-dry" (French does not really have a term for that though "sec tendre" is used in the Loire valley) but rarely to the extent of many Californian and Australian Chardonnays, which in my book are medium dry..
I have noticed in Germany that a lot of wines labelled "trocken" have some RS but not to the extent of being more than "off-dry" in my book. Some German producers to whom I have spoken admit that the German public is not too keen on bone dry and one (Roman N.... at Wiltingen) has devised the term "harmonic dry" to explain the presence of a little RS.
Thomas wrote:As I laid it out in an earlier post that you must have missed, Tim, my proposal is to refer to wines in more general categories like best with food (with a suggested list), best for sipping (and for geeky analysis), best for dessert. As I also said, I would fix the present sparkling wine classification because that isn't only confusing to people, it may very well be downright deceptive! But I'm unsure how to go about fixing it.
That's my beginning shot. I'm sure others can come up with equally good or better possibilities, but people and things being as they are, change is not only scary, it's seen as subversive!
The trouble about those categories, which are fine in principle, is that they are even more judgmental than categories of dryness/sweetness. They also lack the virtue of conciseness which "dry", etc. have.
I am sure that it was objections like yours and David's which made Olivier Humbrecht come up with his "indice" system in preference to the simple words. My problem with that is that only a geek knows the sysyem by heart and explanation is rarely on hand.
For those who missed it, I repeat (slightly edited) the Belgian importer's explanation of the "indices" from an earlier thread.
“The white wines are noted from 1 to 5 in accordance with a tasting perception of residual sugars. We emphasise tasting perception because the sensation of sweetness is additionally influenced by the acids from the vintage and not only by the quantity of residual sugar.
1 = a fully dry wine (dry)
2 = a wine which is dry for most consumers where others may perceive a faint touch of residual sugar (off-dry)
3 = similar to “demi-sec” (medium dry)
4 = a wine richer than “demi-sec” but less so than “moelleux” (medium sweet)
5 = a wine similar to Vendanges Tardives (usually “moelleux”) without the appellation (sweet)
Vendanges Tardives (VT) and Sélection des Grains Nobles (SGN) are not covered by “indices” as the terms are sufficiently explicit.”