'residual sugar' on Serious Eats

Wine Jargon: What is Residual Sugar?

Residual Sugar, or RS for short, refers to any natural grape sugars that are leftover after fermentation ceases (whether on purpose or not). You should think of RS as having a balancing relationship with a wine's acidity. They are on opposite sides of the seesaw, so if the wine has sugar you will probably want acidity, too—otherwise the wine will feel cloying. On the other hand, certain very high-acid wines, like Vouvray or Riesling, can be far more tasty with a few extra grams of RS. More

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