I have posted a questionnaire a while ago to answer this question. I meant to know the standards using the hydrometer which I think it is kinda missing info here.
I presume we all agree that 1.000 is a semi-dry and 0.096 is fully dry wine.
But when it comes to sweetness, the info is needed to be agreed on! Is backsweetning to 1.001 sweet? Semi-sweet or Port?
To clarify the point, the measurement of sweetens and dryness needs to be defined and standardised using the hydrometer.
What is considered as sweet? Semi-sweet, or port(dessert) wine? Is back-sweetening to 1.030 exceeding the limits makes it undesirable?
This needs to be defined so we don't need to wait for the digital invention to come to life!!
Not really. Any wine that finishes below 1.000, I consider dry from a hydrometer perspective. But here, I’m only looking at whether the wine should be dosed with sorbate to keep the wine from restarting a fermentation.
If I’m below 1.000, I’ll generally skip it; and if it’s around that 1.000 it’s a judgment call. Much above and I’ll hit the wine with sorbate and let it sit for 3 months or more.
I don’t think, though, that taste is necessarily tethered to your hydrometer.
I’ve had a number of wines that finish at 0.992 that tasted sweeter than other wines in the 0.995-0.997 range. But that was because the 0.992 wine had fewer tannins or was a more fruit forward wine.
There’s is some guidance out there that generally lays out where bone dry, dry, off-dry, semi-sweet and sweet wines are on your hydrometer, though. Like the one here:
I’m only suggesting that the difference in taste between them (particularly that line between two adjacent categories) isn’t dictated by residual sugars alone.
But, that’s just one novice winemaker’s opinion. YMMV.