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Percentage of sugar of the wine

Production methods

Sugar and wine: A matter of balance

Does your wine taste fruity, or is it really sweet? Very ripe grapes have a fruity aroma and richness that may appear to be sweetness, without actually containing sugar. Nonetheless, some wines do contain this sweet substance, which helps intensify a wine’s fruity flavours and roundness on the palate.

Published on October 14, 2020

To make your search easier

Whether you want to identify products that have fewer calories and are therefore lighter in alcohol, or to narrow down your search for residual sugars in wines, you can now use the filters for this purpose in the left-hand menu on the page, in addition to the product sheet, which will give you more information on each product.

Did you know?

    • Did you know that over 98% of the calories in your glass of "dry" wine (see sugar/liter ratios) come from the alcohol, not the residual sugars?
    • A standard glass of wine (125 ml) with 13% alcohol and 2 grams of sugar/litre contains 92 calories from alcohol, and only one calorie from the dreaded sugar that too many people demonize when it comes time to buy a bottle.

Sugar and wine: Let's examine the situation

Of course, wine comes from grapes, a sweet fruit. It is thanks to this fact that, under the action of yeasts, fermentation can take place in order to obtain an alcoholic beverage. Not all sugars are fermentable, and it is up to the producer to leave more or less in the process for reasons of tradition, style or adjustment. Modern oenology has discovered methods to add a bit of sweetness to the wine after vinification, mainly by adding a bit of concentrated must (from the same grape juice) before bottling. This allows to intensify the fruity flavors, to give it roundness, or to balance an acidity considered too biting... as we would do it ourselves in a lemonade or a spaghetti sauce.

Minimal quantities

Does this mean we should be concerned?
Most table wines are dry (less than 4 grams of sugar per liter) which is less than ½ gram of sugar per glass.

To compare, that's 12 times less than a single packet of sugar at the local coffee shop.

A can of soft drink? That's 30 grams.

To find the same amount of sugar in wine, you would have to ingest 60 glasses of standard wine for a single serving of cola. Obviously, we're not suggesting that.

The presence of sugar: a matter of taste!

Excluding dessert wines that contain much more, most wines offered at the SAQ are below the limit of taste perception of sweetness (the famous 4 grams per liter). Beyond this amount, one will begin to detect its presence by its flavor, also the sweeter texture it will bring to the liquid. But it will add at most 2 or 3 calories to your glass of wine, which is what your body would need as energy to do 5 sit-ups, say.


Now that you understand the content, the role and the real caloric contribution of sugar in your Saturday night drink, you should certainly favour alcohol moderation as always... But trust your personal taste rather than a number that is far from being diabolical!


  • Wine (red, white, rosé)
    DRY0 - 4 g/L
    MEDIUM-DRY4.1 - 12 g/L
    MEDIUM-SWEET12.1 - 50 g/L
    SWEET>50 g/L

  • Sparkling wine
    BRUT NATURE< 3 g/L
    EXTRA-BRUT0 - 6 g/L
    BRUT< 12 g/L
    EXTRA-DRY12 - 17 g/L
    DRY17-32 g/L
    MEDIUM-DRY32-50 g/L

    Interval limit: between1.2 to 60 g/L

  • In comparison
    Soft drink 330 ml30 g of sugar

    approximately 6 g of sugar

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