Just picture the scene. You’ve poured yourself a glass of wine that you hope to enjoy after a hard day at work. You take your first sip, only to find that the wine tastes too bitter for your tastes.
Every wine drinker has likely found themselves in the same situation at one point or another. Typically, you can avoid it if you research the wine before buying it. But that’s not always something that you’re going to spend the time doing. If you’re just picking up a quick bottle from the supermarket, you’re likely not going to spend ten minutes on research.
So, what can you do about sweetening a glass of bitter wine?
Many people may come up with what seems like a simple solution.
Adding sugar to a glass of wine would surely solve all of your problems. It would make the wine sweeter, thus making it more palatable.
What’s to stop you from doing it?
Technically, there’s nothing stopping you from adding sugar to your wine. But there are plenty of reasons why you should reconsider if this is starting to look like a reasonable option.
Reason #1 – More Sugar in Wine Means More Sugar in You
There are some who argue that the world is gripped by an epidemic of diabetes. And as we all know, adding more sugar to your diet increases your risk of contracting Type 2 diabetes.
Of course, this only occurs when eating a high-sugar diet over an extended period of time. But that may be what you’re doing if you regular add sugar to your wine.
Here’s how it works. When you consume sugar, it primarily enters your bloodstream for use by your cells. In this respect, sugar is the fuel for your body. Of course, there are natural sugars and refined sugars, but let’s keep it simple for now.
When everything’s perfect, your body uses the sugar that you consume and leaves none behind. But it’s when you eat too many sugars that you develop a problem.
You see, your body uses insulin to process the sugars that you consume. But your body can also develop a resistance to insulin over time. Too much sugars means that you’re producing too much insulin. Eventually, the hormone becomes less effective, which means there’s even more sugar in your system.
That’s how diabetes develops.
Now, remember that wine already contains natural sugars. It’s made using grapes, which is a sugary fruit in its own right. Even the bitterest wines still contain a small amount of natural sugar.
If you add to that with refined sugars, you’re potentially making the wine more dangerous to drink.
Of course, even without the diabetes issue you still have to deal with the fact that a high-sugar diet can lead to you putting on weight.
Simply put, adding sugar to a glass of wine has no positive effects for your body outside of possibly altering the wine’s taste to your preference.
Reason #2 – It Struggles to Dissolve
Wine is not the same liquid as water.
That’s something that many who think about putting sugar into their wines forget.
Because of this, sugar won’t dissolve as easily into wine as it will into water or other liquids.
Again, remember that your glass of wine already has its own sugar content. Adding more to the mix could basically turn it into a thick and unpleasant treacle.
At best, you’re going to be left with a glob of sugar at the bottom of your glass. Instead of sweetening the wine, you’re going to do little more than five yourself a full mouthful of sugar once you’ve consumed the liquid.
Reason #3 – You Affect the Quality of the Wine
Italian winemakers work for many hours to create their wines. They pour years’ worth of knowledge and farming expertise into every single bottle that they produce. Moreover, you have organisations like the DOC, who regulate the creation of various wines to ensure they meet some pretty meticulous standards.
When you add a spoonful of sugar to a glass of wine, you’re directly insulting the producer that made the wine. Yes, the wine may not be to your taste. But by adding sugar you’re completely changing its composition.
Simply put, you don’t get what the producer intended out of the wine when you try to alter its flavour like this. It’s better to check the label to see what the sugar content is, rather than buying blind and changing things later.
Besides, you will often find that adding sugar to your wine alters the taste so much that it becomes undrinkable.
Reason #4 – It Ruins the Production Process
Let’s move away from adding sugar at home and instead look at the production process.
During fermentation, the yeast in a wine consumes sugar in order to make alcohol. It’s during this process that the yeast will use all of the natural sugars available to it from the grape.
As a result, the amount of sugar that’s available to the yeast determines the alcohol volume of the resulting wine.
Now, imagine that a producer adds more sugar to the wine during the fermentation process. This gives the yeast more sugar to work with, which means it produces an even more powerful alcohol.
Regular wines already tend to have alcohol volumes in the double digit regions. Adding more alcohol to the mix could potentially make a wine very dangerous indeed. Of course, proper labelling could mitigate this somewhat. But the fact remains that more sugar means more alcohol. Such a drink would be much more difficult to consume in moderation, as well as tasting completely different to untampered wines that come from the same grapes.
The Final Word
As you can see, there’s nothing to stop you from adding a spoonful of sugar to a glass of wine. Just know that the sugar won’t dissolve well, you’re making the wine less healthy, and you’re completely losing the qualities that the wine exhibits because you’ve changed ts chemical composition.