Question about wine and sugars

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Tstryke

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This is a completely newbie question but I have been having some trouble finding an answer via the usual searches.

I have a Merlot that’s currently clearing. My fiancée and I prefer sweeter wines so I would like to back sweeten when it’s ready.

In any case, my question is in regards to the verbiage for the wine once you add sugar so I can use the proper names when discussing it.

When adding sugar to a Merlot, is it still called Merlot? When adding sugar to any wine does it change what the wine is called?
 

salcoco

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the wine's varietal name is the same sweet or dry. Suggest to back sweeten perform bench trial. make a sugar syrup two cup sugar to one cup hot water blend in mixer or via a hot stove. let cool take 1/4 cup sample(60ml) of wine. use 1/4 tsp(1.25mil) of syrup and one to first sample, two in second , three in third etc. do tastes test select ideal one. calculate the amount for main batch along with syrup add potassium sorbate and k-meta. wait a few days make sure it doe not restart fermentation then bottle
 

sour_grapes

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When adding sugar to a Merlot, is it still called Merlot? When adding sugar to any wine does it change what the wine is called?
As Sal says, it is still "Merlot." But you can use a further descriptor, depending on the amount of residual sugar (either leftover from fermentation, and/or that you added):
Dry ( 10 g/l residual)
Off-dry or semi-dry (10-30 g/l residual sugar)
Sweet (more than 30 g/l)
 

Tstryke

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Ok great. I don’t recall ever seeing anything in the shops that said Sweet Merlot so I wasn’t sure.

Not that it really matters because we will be drinking it all ourselves but having the knowledge is always a plus.

Thanks!
 

BernardSmith

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Gotta agree with winemaker81. Often grape wines may be objectively quite dry but you can perceive them as fairly sweet. Unlike country wines that tend to need their acidity and relative thin flavor to be balanced with added sugar grape wines (in my opinion) don't often need any added sugars after fermentation. Let me suggest that you allow the wine to age until you are ready to bottle and then taste and make sure that it really is too dry for you then bench test how much sugar to add.
Happy to explain "bench testing" if you need it.
 

Tstryke

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Appreciate all the responses!

I've got a ways to go before any of this is ready for consumption. In the meantime I've been going a little crazy with making all kinds of wine when my fermenter is open. I'm sure many here can relate.

So far I have the Merlot from the kit, a Pineapple from some concentrate I bought at the brewing supply store (the color and clarity looks fantastic), a Mango wine that I made from fresh mangos that I hand squeezed (about 20 pounds of them), and a white grape wine that will begin fermentation tonight.

My fiancée keeps looking at me like I'm some kind of lunatic. I want to make wine from everything.

:h
 

Tstryke

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Happy to explain "bench testing" if you need it.
I would appreciate the explanation. I assume you take a measured amount of wine with a measured amount of sweetener and, once happy, scale it up to meet your actual volume but that's probably a ham fisted explanation.

As a side note, every time I go into the room to check on the carboys, I want to pop open the pineapple wine and guzzle the whole thing. The color looks amazing!
 

BernardSmith

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No , not ham fisted. That is the idea exactly. To operationalize the idea (to make it actionable) decide on a sample size - and that may be 50 ml and decide on the varying amounts of sweetener you want to add to each sample - and that may be 5 g (so 5, 10, 15, 20 ) and so take 5 samples and add a varying amount of sugar to each sample. Taste. Let's say that 10 grams is not sweet enough but 15 is too sweet. So you then take another four or five samples and add 11, 12, 13, 14 g to each respective sample. Let's say 14 g is "perfect". If the TOTAL volume is 5000 ml and your sample is 50 ml then divide the total by the sample = 100. Then multiply the amount of sugar (14 g) by 100 = 140 g , and so add 140 sugar to the total volume (You might want/need to make a syrup to ensure that the sugar is all dissolved and you might make that syrup with additional water or from a very small amount of the wine or mead that you very gently and carefully heat to help dissolve the sugar.
Don't forget to stabilize the wine with K-meta and K-sorbate to prevent any remaining yeast from fermenting the added sugar. .
 
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