As the steam roller of “smooth” wine gathers more momentum and market clout, I’ve finally resorted to my own testing. I own an Omega pocket pH meter and recently bought a couple of hundred Accuvin residual sugar strips.
If this sounds like overkill to you, take a look at that picture at the right. These are all Italian sangiovese. Four are Chianti one, Farnese is an IGT sangiovese, probably from Abruzza. (The numbers pictured are the pH.) Note the Farnese redlined the sugar strip. Most of the Chianti are bone dry.
Yes this is apparent especially if you leave a bottle open on the counter overnight. (You’ll get a LOT of vanilla and caramel flavours the next day, a tell tale for high residual sugar these days.) However even the most egotistical wine critic should like to double check on her or his tastebuds. So I test.
If you can’t count it, it doesn’t count. And if you count it and don’t tell me, I’ll find out. Pictured at left is a tube of the strips with the Omega meter (in the coffee mug standing in some wine) in the background. I brightened the photo a bit to make the readout more apparent to my Iphone camera. I made no adjustment other than scale to the Accuvin strips at right.